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Cream, Sugar, Painting?

Coffeehouse gives you something pretty to look at while you sip your joe.

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Jeffrey Paul “Meat” Gadbois’ paintings of sad-eyed, sleepy folk greet java fans as they place their orders at Café Marika. The Collinwood coffeehouse’s old-world vibe is the brainchild of Michael Feigenbaum, who wanted to bring a little Eastern Europe to Cleveland. “The idea of merging art with food is attractive to me,” he says.

The café’s breakfast menu includes various coffee blends and Hungarian-style pastries. At lunchtime, the kitchen crew whips up Hungarian sausage, schnitzel, and trays of homegrown veggies, courtesy of the North Union Farmers’ Market. Desserts range from chocolate tortes to rum-punch cakes. A wine and beer bar helps wash it all down. “Think outside of the traditional main course,” advises Feigenbaum. “Buy a bunch of different things to piece together a meal.” Since its February opening, the café has been bustling with local artists. And at dinnertime, you’ll see bands from the nearby Beachland hanging out before showtime. “We pieced together a lot to renovate the place,” says Feigenbaum. “It’s merged into this old-fashioned European hangout.”
Starts: May 3. Daily, 8 a.m.-10 p.m., 2007

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