Distinctly Downtown: Natalie’s

Natalies logoIf you are familiar with The Dessert Bar, then you know Natalie’s will be an experience you won’t forget. The location of the pleasant eatery might have changed, but the delicious recipes have expanded and they offer new menu items including breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Now located in the Shoppes at Akron Centre, Natalie’s is open and ready to connect and share their new vision with Downtown Akron. Whether you are in the mood for an appetizing chicken salad or a sweet signature Hollywood square, Natalie’s will meet your needs.

Natalie, who co owns the restaurant along with her husband, started cooking in her younger years. She attended a culinary arts trade program during high school which fueled the fire in her heart for cooking and baking. Although Natalie loved the restaurant business and working in the environment, being young and in school made that difficult. She then entered the corporate world and worked there for about 15 years. With the passion for the kitchen still residing inside of her, five years into her corporate America career, she started baking cakes. Baking cakes and catering soon became the focus of her drive. Natalie left corporate America and decided to open a business to what many would remember as The Dessert Bar.
natalies collage
Natalie switched locations from the Montrose area to right here in the heart of Downtown Akron. She has expressed her love for the city and for the history and security of the Chase building. After asking Natalie what she looked forward to the most, she replied “the increased traffic flow”. Now that she is more out in the open and not as hidden as before in her previous location, she anticipates serving existing formal customers and meeting new patrons to make them customers for life. While working in a friendly family environment, she hopes that new and existing patrons notice the name and menu change. The name change from The Dessert Bar to Natalie’s was designed to give insight to the larger spectrum of food Natalie and her restaurant could offer other than just desserts. Natalie’s offers breakfast, on request only, home-style dishes, standard deli options, specialty items and grill items. All menu items are made with homemade recipes, and are accompanied by homemade sides. Catering is also available upon request. Natalie’s catering events range from corporate lunches, and weddings, to anniversaries and school reunions. Natalie enjoys being in Akron and serving her community. Along with anticipating meeting new customers, a smooth transition from the familiar Dessert Bar to the current Natalie’s, is the main goal for this restaurant owner.

To experience the warm and friendly environment that Natalie strives to offer her customers, visit her new location in Downtown Akron 50 S, Main St., Suite 122. To inquire about her catering or to make a delivery request contact Natalie’s at (234) 334-4166. From about 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Natalie’s receives a rush of patrons for lunch, so when visit, plan accordingly.

To find out more information about the menu, catering information or to see examples of Natalie’s exceptional cakes and desserts, visit her website at www.nataliesakron.com or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook/TheDessertBarAkron.

By: Chantel Burt
DAP intern

Distinctly Downtown: The Coffee Pot

photo 5The owners of the Stew Pot Kitchen are proud to announce the opening of their new business called “The Coffee Pot” located inside the Akron-Summit Library near the Main Street entrance. Scott Malensek, the owner, thought it would be a wonderful idea to offer customers a quick, grab-and-go, breakfast that’s not offered at the Stew Pot. The main reason why Scott decided to open The Coffee Pot is because his customers kept asking him to serve breakfast. Since the Stew Pot Kitchen is only 180 paces from the library, he gets a lot of people and employees from the library come into the Stew Pot. The employees from the library told him about the empty space inside the first floor of the library and Scott thought it was the perfect place to serve breakfast to his customers. The Stew Pot Kitchen and The Coffee Pot are both family-owned; Scott works with his wife and kids which makes both restaurants family-friendly.

photo 3 (2)

The Coffee Pot has a very settled, calm, and quiet environment with veggie plants growing in the windows and new paintings and photos hung on the walls. The vegetable plants growing inside of the Coffee Pot are used in the recipes at both restaurants, which makes the food even better since the plants are homegrown! The plants consist of basil, (for the tomato basil soup), hot peppers, lettuce, cherry and yellow tomatoes, cucumbers and much more. Since the Coffee Pot just opened they are still doing renovations on the inside. Scott likes to feature local artist work and by the end of the year he wants to make the Coffee Pot an “urban jungle”. He wants it to be warm and a bright green space whenever it’s grey and nasty outside in the winter. “Next time we get seven months of winter, I want it to be summer in the Coffee Pot,” he said.

The Stew Pot Kitchen offers soups, salads, and sandwiches for lunch while the Coffee Pot offers grab-and-go food and drinks that are made to order. They serve a wide variety of coffee and tea that change daily.

photo 1 (3)
They offer Jamaican coffee that smells strong but taste light, kind of like tea, and it tastes amazing. Another coffee they offer is Kenya coffee, the smell is just what you would imagine Africa to smell like with a strong taste. The Coffee Pot also offers salami and American cheese, custom roast beef with homegrown lettuce sandwiches, basic salads, muffins, fresh fruit, and to-go snacks for when you’re in a hurry. In the near future, Scott plans to add more items to the Coffee Pot menu that includes more flavors of coffee and more sandwiches. He also wants to grow more varieties of plants in the Coffee Pot along with getting more artist work on the walls to give it that urban jungle feeling.

The Coffee Pot and The Stew Pot Kitchen have pretty much everything in common. Everyone who works at the Stew Pot Kitchen also works at The Coffee Pot. The customers that come into the Stew Pot for lunch also come into the Coffee Pot to grab a quick coffee and sandwich for breakfast. The Stew Pot offers a wide variety of soups, have you looked at their website? There are over 100 different kinds of soups, all from the customer’s feedback! Scott is the kind of person who loves customer input, every soup and sandwich on his menu has had some kind of customer feedback, like if they have suggestions on what he should add to it. He really values his customers and what they have to say about his recipes. If you don’t like the soup that you ordered, tell them and they will keep trying until they get it perfect just for your satisfaction. Most of the ingredients put into the soups are homegrown or they get them from a local homegrown market. They not only grow plants inside of the Coffee Pot, they also have their own garden at their home and that’s how the Tomato Basil soup is made.

The Coffee Pot is a unique addition to Downtown Akron with a homey, calm, and green photo 3 (1)environment that is always welcoming. He wants to make his customers happy by offering the best coffee and food in town. So stop by and have a cup of coffee before work or stop by the Stew Pot Kitchen and try their phenomenal tomato basil soup or their famous chili.

This year in July marks the 4th anniversary of the Stew Pot Kitchen and they are offering specials everyday and lots of awesome deals. Check their Facebook daily to catch the new specials offered the whole month of July.

By: Hillary Walker
DAP Intern