After closing its location in the food court at University Park Mall this summer, Sassy’s Cafe is getting a significant upgrade.
The new Sassy’s Sandwich Shack Burgers and More, located at 303 Florence Ave., in Granger’s Toscana Park, opens to the public Monday, August 3.
“We really have the ability to offer people a healthier side of a quick-service menu,” owner Sean Wojtkowski said. “What we’ve done is kept a small selection of our popular sales and added burgers and fries to the menu.”
The casual-dining restaurant will feature a re-imagined menu, which demonstrates Wojtkowski’s empathy for those afflicted with food allergies.
303 Florence Ave., Granger
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (tentative) Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday
Until January of this year, pastry chef and owner of Sassy’s and Indulgence Pastry Shop said he found himself unusually irritable, breaking out in rashes and about 25 pounds heavier than he is now.
After adopting a raw diet with his friends, henoticed improvement in his health within a few days.
During that same time, a taste-testing at Indulgence resulted in an allergic flare-up and a clinical diagnosis of gluten intolerance pinpointed the problem.
At the new Sassy’s Sandwich Shop, classic or sweet potato fries will be crisped in sunflower oil rather than peanut oil and most of the restaurant’s vegetables are certified organic in an effort to cut down on allergens. Sassy’s non-GMO beef is purchased locally from DC Meats, Inc and many of its products are gluten-free.
For vegans and vegetarians, Wojtkowski has dedicated a separate flattop grill to avoid cross-contamination with meat. For an additional $2.95, a veggie burger patty can be included in one of Sassy’s four salad options.The owner also said he has no plans to use animal products in the fryer.
Barbecue pulled pork or bacon can be added to Sassy’s $2.95 all-beef hot dog. Extra toppings won’t likely be needed for the lobster, bacon and cheddar cheese burger — think surf ’n’ turf between two buns.
Salvaged farm items like ladders and lanterns adorn the walls, contributing to a modern, rustic decor. Vintage window frames scooped up from antique shops in Elkhart and Shipshewana are suspended from the ceiling. An old bicycle, illuminated by stringed lights, hangs over the restaurant’s entrance.
With raw, wood paneled walls and a purposefully weathered paint job, the 3,000 square-foot space bears little resemblance to the Bakin’ & Eggs restaurant which previously operated there.
Sassy’s dining room can seat about 60 people, with an additional 20 seats available on the Indulgence Express side of the room. At both registers, patrons will have the option of ordering from either menu, including Indulgence’s cakes, baked goods and milkshakes.
Wojtkowski said most of the packaging at Sassy’s Sandwich Shack Burgers & More is made from recycled materials, similar to the texture and composition of “green” egg cartons.
Italian sodas, Coke products and coffee varieties like espressos, lattes, mochas and cappuccinos, as well as sandwiches, salads and soups will be found on the Express side. Wojtkowski has already applied for a beer license, but said it could take up to three months to be processed.
Wojtkowski said the restaurant has yet to determine daily specials, but he hopes to include them once his crew becomes comfortable with the new menu items. Currently, there are still about 10 to 12 positions he is hoping to fill, including front counter operator, cooks and staff on the Indulgence Express side.
“The feedback we’ve been receiving about the location has been phenomenal,” Wojtkowski said. “A lot of positive responses from people about where we’re at and what we’re offering. I look very forward to opening.”