First Look: The Depanneur | Post City

First Look: The Depanneur, a café, corner store and supper club mash-up on College Street

BY JON SUFRIN | Sep. 14, 2011 |

When Len Senater got out of the graphic design business to get into food, he knew that he wanted to eschew the traditional restaurant model. Most restaurants are too impersonal, he says, plus, the financial risks are too high to get truly creative. After taking over a run-down convenience store at College and Dovercourt and spending months on the renovation (“it was more like an exorcism,” he says), Senater opened up his hybrid creation, The Depanneur, in late August.

The concept: By day, The Depanneur acts as a particularly green-focused grocery store and café. Cooking essentials like organic produce and dairy line the shelves, while coffee (from I Deal $2-$4), breakfast sandwiches ($3-$4) and organic ice cream (from Organic Meadow, $1-$3.50) sate the to-go crowd. Particularly observant patrons may notice that nearly all the furniture is on wheels: the interior makeup of the place is mutable to make room for The Deppaneur’s alter-ego, the Rusholme Park Supper Club. Currently in its beta-testing stage, Senater would like to see the supper club as a regularly-occurring event hosted by different chefs and food-lovers. The host will be responsible for a prix-fixe menu and will join the guests in a family-style dinner. Ideally, theme nights will occur: a literary themed dinner, perhaps, or a musical dinner where the dishes are based on songs. For Senater, the space is all about creating a unique experience.