The Blue Kangaroo welcomed its first customers through the door late last month, and it wasn’t long before the County Road hub formerly home to Madigan’s Cafe was packed. Some sat down to try one of the cafe’s many sandwiches while others tried a cup of gourmet, organic coffee.
Owner Kristel Dunphy said the spot is designed as a community cafe or a place for people to eat, drink and hang out. Pictures from a local artist adorn each wall and a local interior designer helped with the layout.
Ms. Dunphy said the idea was inspired by trips to other cafes around the East Bay, South County and Providence. She teamed up with general manager Steve Gelsemino to pull the idea together. Mr. Gelsemino previously ran delis in Providence.
Coffee at the Blue Kangaroo comes from Jim’s Organic Coffee, an organic coffee company based in Massachusetts that utilizes environmentally-friendly practices such as plant-based material packaging.
At the cafe, customers will find Brian Krane. He’s what Ms. Dunphy described as a “coffee aficionado” and Blue Kangaroo’s coffee barista with a knack for concocting everything from coffee to espresso, cappuccino, mocha lattes and even the cafe’s specialty “Boomerang” coffee. He’s also adept at pour-overs, a filtering process that enhances flavor.
The restaurant has a full menu of sandwiches and salads available daily. The Big Henry has ham, pepper jack cheese, coleslaw, tomato, red onions and hot sauce while the locally named Maple Avenue has prosciutto, roasted red peppers, Atwells gold cheese, lettuce, tomato and house Italian dressing.
Ms. Dunphy said the cafe seems to have taken off pretty quickly. The first day was supposed to be a soft opening.
“Friends and family, but it kind of exploded,” she said.
As for the name, there’s not much to it other than being catchy. Ms. Dunphy said she, Mr. Gelsemino and their families compiled a list of names, which they took to area cafes for a type of informal survey among strangers.
Blue Kangaroo just happened to be the clear favorite.
Ms. Dunphy said the restaurant is currently open for breakfast and lunch, though the goal is to eventually expand to dinner. The first week, customers were still stopping by in the afternoon as the restaurant closed up.
The Blue Kangaroo is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.