It's been more than four months since Fat City's Jonathan Bender reported that the owners of the local pierogi-manufacturing operation, Frank Gazella and Andrew Misak, were preparing to open a cafe in a space in the City Market. The proposed restaurant would serve the Polish dumplings, beverages and desserts.
Since then, Gazella and Misak have become so busy making pierogi -- they get orders from all over the country -- that they realized they didn't have time to actually run a restaurant. Enter chef Marshall Roth and his business partner, Harry Blasko, creators of the Dog Nuvo restaurant at 1724 Main. They'll officially open the Pieroguys Cafe tomorrow.
"We met Frank and Drew when we turned Dog Nuvo into a full-service restaurant last December," Roth says. "We wanted a starter, so we thought of their pierogi, which turned out to be an excellent idea. We sell a lot of them.
"Frank liked what we were doing with Dog Nuvo, and we started having discussions about me creating sauces they could serve with their pierogi. I think Frank felt we had the ability to make the cafe happen, and we agreed to manage the restaurant operation for them."
When Pieroguys Cafe opens tomorrow, it will sell seven or eight different dumplings, including a potato, cheddar, bacon and jalapeno pierogi. The dumplings can be ordered either fried in a locally produced safflower oil or pan-sauteed in safflower oil and finished off, Roth says, in a caramelized onion butter.
Because the cafe will open for breakfast at 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Gazella has created several breakfast pierogi, such as a scrambled egg, peppered bacon, potato and cheddar dumpling.
"I've created a special dipping sauce for the breakfast pierogi," Roth says, "a maple-orange creme fraiche."
Other dipping sauces developed for the cafe, Roth says, are a yogurt and dill tsatsiki sauce, a special barbecue sauce, and the popular sweet-tomato jam that he developed for the pierogi served at Dog Nuvo.
There will be tables and chairs in front of the cafe, Roth says, "but we're thinking that most of our customers will buy the dumplings as street food. We're serving them in a paper cone -- three for $4.99 and six for $7.99 -- so people can buy them and walk around the market and eat them as finger food."
The Pieroguys Cafe will be open Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cafe will also offer frozen pierogi to take home and cook.