Kokomo Café opens in Flagler Beach
Kokomo’s Café is still in its “soft opening” stage, meaning it’s opened discreetly, with no advertising pushes yet, and it’s already been well-received by the community, said co-owner Tina Hutsell.
She and her husband, Mark Hutsell, jumped on an opportunity they saw when they heard the BeachHouse Beanery was relocating and decided it was time to foray once more into the restaurant business.
"This building is the perfect location," Tina Hutsell said. "We couldn't pass it up."
The couple had owned a large restaurant in Nashville, Tenn., but since they moved to Flagler County eight years ago, they’ve worked outside the industry.
They got the keys to their new restaurant Oct. 1 and repainted, redecorated and repaired the building, turning it over and opening their doors in three weeks.
Now, they serve coffee, smoothies, desserts and sandwiches at Kokomo Café, which will hold its official grand opening Nov. 1.
The Hutsells make all their sauces in house. They also cut all their meats and cheeses on location to preserve the freshness of their food.
“We love everything about (owning a restaurant),” Tina Hutsell said. “You’re always meeting people. It’s been a lot of fun opening here. The community has been very welcoming.”
The Hutsells also hope to engage the arts community with their new restaurant. Currently, the walls of the Kokomo are bright with works from local artist Rick Cannizzaro, which can be purchased at the café. Other local artists will be able to rotate in their work, Tina Hutsell said.
The couple is working with neighboring businesses to bring entertainment to the community as well. Currently, they’re planning for live music, poetry readings and performances from hula hoopers.
Kokomo Café is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, at 202 S. Central Ave., in Flagler Beach. Call 693-4912.
Europa expands Indian menu
Europa Lounge and Bistro has made its food offerings more vegetarian-friendly by expanding its Indian menu to include more meatless options. One of these new offerings is pakora, which is chickpea fritters in a yogurt-based sauce.
The restaurant also upgraded its filet mignon by adding a topping option for it. Customers can now have their steak topped with mushrooms, onions, gorgonzola, or a special Europa sauce, which is cheese-based.
Europa will host a Halloween party, starrting at 10 p.m. Saturday. The restaurant and lounge is located at 101 Palm Harbor Parkway. Call 445-0601.
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