Eleven days ago, Cafe Cedar owner Jehad Selah sent out a tweet to his followers: "Hello everyone, great news, great news, great news, great news. We are so excited about our move...."
There really is "great news," Selah tells Fast Pitch, but he's not ready to talk about it - yet. Selah did close the venue at 2 East Second Street in Parkville on April 13 (the restaurant's phone number is no longer in service), and not because business was slow. "Our business was very good, right up to the last day," Selah says. "But I was very unhappy with that location." Selah had combined two culinary concepts at his former digs: Patrons could order either classic Middle Eastern cuisine or all-American fried-chicken dinners. But after eight years in that space, Selah was ready for a change. A big change.
"I can't say too much right now," Selah says, "because we're still in negotiations, but I've found an extraordinary location - and it's still in Parkville."
"You didn't even like my old restaurant space," Selah says. "You said it looked like a Costco store." (I actually wrote, in my 2007 review of Cafe Cedar, that the venue looked as big as a Costco: (it's) a fascinating combination of cozy Americana, Jerusalem gift shop and 1960s airline terminal. And that's not exactly a bad thing - without the visual clutter, this would be a really ugly place").
Selah plan to keep all of the most popular dishes on the former Cafe Cedar menu. "But with a twist," he adds.
He's also planning to continue to offer live music at his new restaurant. Cafe Cedar had been booking local musicians to play in the dining room for several years. "He supported local musicians like you can't believe," says performer and radio personality Jeanne Jasperse. "I'll have musical acts in the new restaurant," Selah says. "But more, you know, jazzy."