Blueprint Cafe in the Ironbound

Why This Is Awesome: Much like our local, national and global society, I’m in the midst of a transformation. It’s a transformation that affects my life on multiple levels, and one that I hope will lead to a better version of the person who typed on this keyboard a year ago.

However, just as our society is changing — we hope for the better — it’s important to recognize the aspects of it that we would love to keep and support so that it stays and flourishes for many years to come. That’s why my lotus moment for August is a little different. It’s not so much about an image or view of art that brightens my day, but much like last month’s lotus moment, it’s an experience or feeling that does the same.

A few weeks ago, I snapped the photo above at one my favorite Newark restaurants called Blueprint Cafe & Lounge. Since I’m both on a new diet and trying to save money, I hadn’t eaten out at restaurants much in the last 4 months. But I decided on that day in July, I would swing by for a bite and to see how the cafe was handling the quarantine. And in doing so, I remembered how much I missed it.

BIPOC-owned businesses are struggling especially hard during this time of transformation, and the last thing we want to see are great establishments that boost our physical, mental and spiritual health leave us far too soon. What I like about Blueprint is how they have something for everyone, whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or omnivore. Their staff is always helpful, gracious and kind; their decor, warm, eclectic and funky in all the right ways.

I know not everyone is in a place to financially support small businesses as much as they’d like. But should that change in the near future, please consider stopping in and see what they have to offer. In its own way, Blueprint is a work of art that’s serves as a communal space, a charming eatery, and a cultural sanctuary for creatives and non-creatives alike. I wish them well in these difficult days, and I can’t wait until I get to sit inside and enjoy the cafe once again.

Blueprint Cafe and Lounge is located at 369 Raymond Blvd., Newark, NJ 07105