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Happy Badger to close on May 18

Happy Badger

After 14 years of operation, the Happy Badger will be closing on May 18.

“We’ve outgrown our kitchen,” said co-owner Ben Cohen. “We can’t do the type of food that we want.”

According to a Happy Badger press release, Cohen, and his sister and co-owner Sarah Cohen, would prefer to focus on “fine dining, location specific pop-up dinners and weekend brunches.”

For now, the Happy Badger is open for brunch Monday through Friday and on Sunday.

On Saturdays, the Cohens are serving brunch at Black Kite Coffee in Toledo. They are not yet sure about finding a more permanent location.

“Being a small business owner is always risky,” said Barbara Ruland, director of Downtown Bowling Green.

The restaurant business is especially tough to be in, Ruland said, although many people see it as an easier business.

Restaurant owners face the “up and down nature” of the business, Ruland said. They also face lower turnout when the weather is bad, like it was this past winter.

On May 18, the Happy Badger will have a barbeque for its last day open.

“I think it’s unfortunate [the Happy Badger is closing], because they have really good food and it’s different than anything else Bowling Green offers,” said Bowling Green resident Kasey Ellis.

Ellis visits the Happy Badger about once every other month, and likes that the menu is always changing. She said the food is always different, but always good.

Ellis also likes that the Happy Badger’s food is homemade and they try to use local food sources when possible.

According to the Happy Badger’s press release, they put “an emphasis on ethics over profit.”

Bowling Green resident Nate Ballinger said the Happy Badger’s brunch is unlike anything else available in Bowling Green.

“It’s a bummer,” Ballinger said. “It’s good food.”

Happy Badger closing “means we have one less interesting place to have brunch on Sunday,” Ruland said.

“It was kind of quirky. It was unusual,” Ruland said. “The food was really good.”

Cohen said his favorite part of owning the Happy Badger has been the “community aspect.” Over the years, employees and regular customers have become his close friends, he said.

Though the Cohens’ future plans are not certain, they look forward to growing “into something even more sustainable, more in line with our ideals, and more delicious,” they stated in the press release.

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