Raven’s Cafe back open after 5 years

Link Swinson of the Ravens Cafe serves Jordan Rowcroft inside the Imperial Billiard & Bar on Monday.

Raven’s Cafe returns to its previous home inside the Imperial Billiard & Bar on Front Street. The owners had vacated the spot some years before to open Zephyr downtown, and felt the time was right to bring back the original restaurant.


Haydar Suyun originally opened the business in 2003 and ran it until 2006 when he opened Zephyr. He said that he simply didn’t have enough employees to cover both at the time.

“Now we have enough crew and knowledge to run both places,” he said.

He reopened about a month ago with separate crews for the two restaurants.

Under its chef, Beau Schooler, Raven’s Cafe seeks to supply casual food for the Front Street crowd with burgers and sandwiches and the like. Suyun feels this is a good menu for being both inside the bar and for the mixture of tourists and residents seeking casual dining.

“I think we’re doing a proper cuisine for the bar setup. People like to have fries and burgers here,” he said.

Imperial Manager Shelly Hurt said four different places have been in that kitchen spot since Suyun left, including Mexican and pizza places.

“I was really enforcing hard for them to come back because their first go-around was so good,” said Hurt.

Suyun said the homecoming has been welcoming.

“It’s been really good because most of the people and shopkeepers around here are happy for us to come back,” he said.

Hurt agreed that its business has been good since reopening. She said tourists there have even commented that they remember it from years ago.

Suyun said there have been some improvements in the bar since 2006 that will have a positive effect on the reopening. He also said the non-smoking laws for the bar will especially increase his food business.

Suyun is now working on his next business venture. He plans to open a Belgium beer café and bistro near the Harley Davidson spot downtown. He hopes to open it around January.

• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or jonathan.grass@juneauempire.com.


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