Polish bistro hits Main Street with homemade options

Amid numerous pizza parlors and brunch stops, Main Street is increasing its diversity with the opening of an Eastern European bistro EuroCafé: Real Food and Deli, owned by best friends Margaret Zdzieszynski and Krystyna Skrzypek. Zdzieszynski and Skrzypek have lived in America for 20 years after moving here from Warsaw, Poland. They noticed that Eastern European food is relatively unknown and underappreciated. Due to this, they plan on bringing Polish and Eastern European culture to Geneseo by selling traditional homemade foods such as pirogues, kielbasa, soups and specialty desserts.

They chose Geneseo to open their restaurant for a few reasons.

“We care for the students’ health. You are our next generation and we want you to eat good, healthy, tasty food,” Zdzieszynski said.

Skrzypek added, “By doing this, we want to, in a small way, participate in changing the image of Polish people and Poland because the general public have an archaic vision of what Poland is and what Polish people look like, who they are and what they eat.”

Skrzypek also has the idea of bringing Polish artwork and photographs to the cafe, one of many plans the two have regarding their business’ future as it becomes increasingly successful.

“We want to have fun with it,” Skrzypek said. “You have to have fun with what you are doing because the customers will notice it.”

According to Zdzieszynski, EuroCafé will be both a sit-down and takeout bistro and will serve lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. During its grand opening March 1 to 3, however, EuroCafé will remain open on Sunday and Monday. There will be free samples and a live music performance on March 1.

Because the cafe only seats 19, the primary focus will be on the takeout aspect, where customers can place orders online to be picked up later. There will not be a delivery service, as Zdzieszynski and Skrzypek are currently the only employees.

The café will sell merchandise including jarred pickles, sauerkraut, jams and chocolate as well as packaged kielbasa and sausage to make at home, if so desired.

While the two share the same goals, this wasn’t always a team project. Five years ago, Zdzieszynski looked at the exact building EuroCafé is located in now with the hopes to open a bistro on her own, but the building was already purchased by another business.

A year later, the two met and formed a strong friendship.

“We have so many similarities, we thought her mother and my father had a fling,” Zdzieszynski said amidst laughter, clarifying that this is an inside joke between the two of them.

The best friends feel like working together is meant to be, as they are “passionate about cooking, eating and being together,” Zdzieszynski said.