SouthfieldJuly 10, 2012
Southfield Eatery opens in library, pays homage to city
By Jessica Strachan
C & G Staff Writer
SOUTHFIELD — After the café area was left vacant for nearly a year inside the Southfield Public Library, the new Southfield Eatery has taken up residence and plans a new spin on dining, Southfield-style.
“The Southfield Eatery is meant to be a reflection of the city of Southfield,” said co-owner Johnny Cannon.
Cannon, a Southfield native and Southfield High School graduate of 1992, and his partner, Greg Armstrong, have set up several eateries around metro Detroit, including Uptown Eatery, New Center Eatery and also CanStrong, a meal program and distribution center for healthy lunches in local schools.
Having a restaurant in Southfield with a promising outlook for success is something Cannon said he couldn’t be more excited about.
“We want to branch out and create a franchise, and this is one of the busiest libraries in the entire region. Not to mention it has a built-in clientele, which is a dream,” he added with a laugh. “We just have to come in and do our part.”
Southfield Eatery opened last week, and offers an array of breakfast foods, salads, soups, paninis, sandwiches, wraps, boxed lunches and baked goods, and of course, coffee. It carries a line of Pateet’s, known for its Famous Cheesecake, and Caribou Coffee.
With an open, airy vibe and seating for 40 inside the café and space for 30 more outside, Southfield Eatery is already drawing in everyone from library staff to students studying with a cup of joe, locals doing business with the advantage of free Wi-Fi and families dropping in for lunch before or after a visit to the library. According to manager Jathan Cannon, Johnny’s cousin, who joined him in the business a couple of years ago, things are going better than expected.
“Everyone here is just as excited as we are because they’ve been waiting for something to open here as long as it’s been closed,” he said.
With an increase of summer library traffic and the raging heat outdoors, Jathan said the smoothies have been particularly popular in the first week of business, though the display of baked goods never ceases to catch customers’ eyes.
Cannon said he and Armstrong worked on creative names to pay tribute to the Southfield community, too. Guests might try The Librarian, The Evergreen or The Shiawassee, which he explained was the first street in the city.
It’s all in line with the role that Southfield Eatery will play, he explained, adding that their job is to bring fresh, quality products and great service to an already fantastic location and welcoming patronage.
“We are definitely trying to mimic the beautiful facility,” he said about the Southfield Eatery’s atmosphere. “We plan to be here for a long time to come.”
While no date was officially set at press time, the Southfield Eatery’s grand opening is expected to happen before the end of July.
The restaurant will be open during library hours, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The library is closed on Sundays during the summer months.
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