Sound Food revamps to make ends meet

At Sound Food, where Mardi Ljubich of Shefidgets Catering has been serving dinner four times a week for the last several months, changes are in the works.

She and her husband Mark Ledbetter have decided the numbers are not in their favor for continuing with frequent dinners and plan to return to Ljubich’s vision when she and Nadia D’Aoust began renting Sound Food in 2008. Ljubich will continue to use the restaurant as a venue for her thriving catering company and offer the facilities to the community as a venue space.

But she has other plans for the iconic restaurant as well. A few times a month she will open the doors to the community for special events: First Fridays with wine tastings with Ron Irivine, dinners paired with wines and musical or comedy nights with dinner. She will also offer a supper club, where customers can order a night’s worth or a week’s worth of meals for pre-order take out. She will offer cooking classes, where people can come in, take the class and prepare a week’s worth of meals to take with them, and and she hopes to become more active in the community, helping community groups with fundraisers.

When Ljubich and D’Aoust, who is no longer a part of Sound Food, received their beer and wine license last year, they had to abide by its many conditions, including serving meals four hours a day, four days a week, with at least five meals on the menu requiring a fork and knife — meaning not burgers or pizza, Ljubich said.

The condition proved onerous at the restaurant, particularly after D’Aoust left, Ljubich said, and she began working on her own in the large restaurant, which needs to fill up at least once every night in order for Ljubich to break even.

Ljubich is hopeful this new model will work — and that it will fit the needs of the community, including businesses that might need a gathering space during the day.

“People have migrated from regular events to special events,” she said, noting that’s exactly what she will be offering. She has several things in the works, including a comedy night and dinner this Friday and a fashion show and concert to celebrate the spring equinox.

For venues, she plans to rent the restaurant out at $50 per hour on the weekends and $40 per hour during the week, a rate she intends to be “very affordable” to the community.

“And it’s beautiful,” she noted.

To contact Ljubich, call her at (206) 718-0126; see also

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