Happy Place Creperie strives to dish up smiles

By Ethan Hartley
Posted 10/13/21

Happy Place Creperie on Main Street offers a variety of sweet and savory crepes, served up by a Serbian native who revels in sharing a piece of his childhood.

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Happy Place Creperie strives to dish up smiles

Posted

Two women walked into Happy Place Creperie at 438 Main St. in uptown Warren and were vocally enthused by the possibilities on the digital menu above the counter. They had stopped in out of curiosity, having been drawn to the spot by its bright colors and joyful aesthetic.

It gave Aleksander Janjic, the towering restaurant owner with a warm demeanor and inviting grin, another reason to smile. It’s exactly the kind of reaction he had been hoping to elicit since opening the creperie in August.

“I wanted to make a happy place for everyone. A place where you can come in and get uplifted energy and get good food quickly and go on with your day,” he said. “Food that is for everyone. The young and the old, little kids — that does not happen very often in restaurants.”

Originally from Serbia, Janjic explained that crepes were a staple food item throughout his childhood and in Serbian culture in general, available everywhere from sit-down restaurants to small, roadside window kiosks where you could grab them as a walk-around street food. They invoke a feeling of home for him.

“I can visualize it now. The image of getting crepes on the dining room table with a glass of milk. Thinking of a happy childhood, this is what comes to mind,” he said. “The smell of the batter on the heat, the coffee, for me it is a peaceful moment that I remember always and a place that I want to come back.”

While crepes have become increasingly popular in the U.S. since the turn of the millennia, crepes experienced by Americans are normally served with sweet ingredients such as fruit and Nutella hazelnut spread. Those decadent staples are on the menu at Happy Place, but customers will also find a variety of savory ingredients and combinations that they may never have experienced on a crepe before, such as roasted pumpkin seeds, pesto and avocado with ricotta, or smoked salmon with dill, capers and freshly cut cucumbers.

“I didn’t want to have just a dessert place, I wanted a crepe shop where people could come to eat at any time of the day,” Janjic said.

Coming from a background of managing fine dining restaurants in places such as Washington D.C., Martha’s Vineyard, the Caribbean and throughout Europe, Janjic (who lives in Providence) said he saw the storefront in Warren and immediately knew this was the place to set up shop. He wanted to bring together all facets of humanity through a commonly enjoyed food item.

“I came to the United States and traveled the world to meet people and wanted to get to know people. Restaurants are a very good place for that,” he said. “Because you get to be around people that are eating. The process of dining and sharing food is a very intimate process.”

The two women who had been drawn into the creperie, Audrey Field and Susan Maloney, bantered delightfully throughout the selection process, marveled at the cooking taking place in front of them, and raved about the finished product. It seemed a wholly new experience for them, and one they vowed to return for in order to try the sweet variety.

“Crepes are easy to love,” Janjic said with a wide smile.

Happy Place Creperie accepts online orders and is open from 11-7 on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11-8 on Friday and Saturday.

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