Ragazzi’s plans to close, more on Okra African Grill and two new bakeries

→ Ragazzi’s announced plans to close its location near 168th and West Center. The restaurant said in a Facebook post that after four years, its owners decided to close.

Okra African Grill, the restaurant I first reported on last week, has an opening date: March 14. Its owner also shared her backstory. Owner Nina Sodji came to America in 1994 from Togo, West Africa, and worked as a nurse.

In 2004, she opened an African grocery in Omaha, and later added a restaurant, until it moved and later closed. She enrolled at the Metropolitan Community College Culinary Institute and there realized the food she grew up eating derived from lots of cultures, including French, Spanish, German, Indian and neighboring African countries. Though those dishes were the results of colonization and political unrest, they sparked her curiosity.

Okra African Grill is her version of those dishes, and is an homage to all African cultures and their transcontinental history.

→ Two new bakeries are open or opening soon. Wildflower Bakery & Treats is focused on gluten, nut and dairy-free options. The bakery, which is currently available for special orders, has “open bakery” days where locals can come and sample the goods and purchase some to take home. Check out the link above for more details and sign up to be notified when the bakery is open.

→ And WD Cravings, a specialty bakery and coffee shop, is open at 7110 N. 102nd Cir. It has a focus on French patisserie baked goods, and also serves coffee, tea, petit fours and a wide variety of pastries.

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