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Spilling the Beans | Restaurant News Roundup

Story by Cara DeGette, Editor, GPHN

Farewell to the BluNozer 

BluNozer Cafe, the warm and cheery coffee, breakfast and brunch spot on Ivy Street just off Colfax, has closed for good. When it first opened several years ago by the Park Hill sister duo Dorothy Timmons Hotchkiss and Della Timmons, the small restaurant quickly became a favorite for its yummy food and welcoming exuberance of the sisters. 

In recent months the BluNozer, a nod to the nickname for Nova Scotians, has been shuttered while the sisters cared for their ailing mother. In mid-January they posted the following note on the door, as well as on social media sites. 

“Sadly and unfortunately we are closing permanently. This has broken our hearts to have to close. We cannot thank each and everyone of you enough for all the love and support throughout the years. We have truly enjoyed taking care of our dear sweet mother and have been very blessed she’s made a recovery. One never knows what we will do next. We are looking forward to our next adventure. We will open a couple weekends so everyone can come pick up their personal mugs and maybe buy a little memory of the BluNozer. 

Love to everyone from Dorothy and Della”

Oblio’s Opens Its Arms

When the federal government shut down in December, the owners of Oblio’s Pizzeria on 22nd Avenue at Kearney Street jumped into action, offering free meals to employees who had been furloughed and their families, and launching a Go Fund Me effort to provide assistance to seven families who were financially strapped as a result of the shutdown. 

Their efforts to help generated plenty of media coverage, including a mention in the New York Times. 

“[Oblio’s Owner Morgan] McKay expected to host no more than three or four unpaid workers a night,” the article noted. “Instead, a dozen or more have appeared nightly, joined by a new crop of paying customers who come to support her efforts.

“Shutdown business remains brisk after nearly a month, and she has no plans to stop the deal, despite a growing financial strain.”

In late January, McCay posted an update on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “We have received letters from all over the country sending kind words and donations to help support us in feeding furloughed families and to support the seven families we were raising money for. It is such a beautiful, powerful thing when we all come together!”

Ester’s Opens On Oneida 

The much-anticipated Ester’s at Oneida Park opened in late December. Not unexpectedly, the crowds were not far behind. 

The neighborhood pub is in the recently refurbished Oneida Park Center between 22nd and 23rd avenues, in the former site of the corner market and liquor store. Specializing in pizza, salads, brunch and craft beer (among other offerings), the restaurant has already generated online rave reviews, like this one: 

“We just finished dinner at Esters … it was fantastic. Customer service was spot on and the food was great! There’s a really nice menu and bonus … every Wednesday night, bottles of wine are half price and what you don’t finish they will cork for you to take home. For those of you with littles they have a kids menu. Great addition to the ‘hood!”


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