Sunshine Café reopening after owner’s recovery from injury

Young-a and Steven Clement

Sunshine Café, a 30-year-old West Duluth restaurant known for its affordable, tasty breakfasts and cheery atmosphere, will reopen Thursday after a five-month hiatus.

Owners Young-a and Steven Clement closed their café at 5719 Grand Avenue in August when Steven fell two stories from a ladder while cleaning the gutters on his home. He was in intensive care for a month and has been recovering ever since. He fractured ribs and vertebrae, damaged the orbital bone in his eye and sustained a nasty head wound.

Young-a says the ordeal was frightening for their family. “In one minute, life can change,” she says. “We’ve realized a lot and become very humble about life — embracing whatever comes.”

The café has 70-80 regular customers, many who have developed friendships with the Clements over the years. “It’s more than just a business. Customers become our family, we’re thankful for their support,” says Young-a. She happily describes watching families come in with little kids who have grown up and now come to the café with their own children.

Sunshine Cafe

The café features home-cooked food and an all-day breakfast menu. A sign on the window boasts “best omelets.” The place is adorned with brightly colored knick-knacks, some gifts from customers, and yellow booths. But the real cheer comes from Young-a, who is often greeting customers and taking orders. You can’t help but smile when faced with her sunny disposition. She clearly enjoys her work and is proud of the family restaurant.

“This is home to us,” she says. “We feel it’s the best place in town. We don’t advertise. People come on their own. To me, Sunshine is alive. It attracts people — really nice people.”

The Clements are looking forward to getting the diner back up and running. But since it’s a mom-and-pop shop with only one additional staff member, they’re a little nervous about being too busy. “We’re going to take it day by day — to pick up where we left off and see how it goes,” says Young-a.

The café’s menu may be simplified a bit in the beginning to ease into the reopening. But favorites like the Swedish pancakes and omelets will be offered, as well as regular lunch items like sandwiches. Business hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunshine Cafe

2 Comments

Nick L

about 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing this.  I noticed their hand-made closed sign this summer but got anxious as it never came down.  Glad to read he is recovering.

the Midnight Taco

about 5 years ago

So glad that he is on the mend and that our special place is back, better than ever. 
You don't know how much you are loved - thanks for being the best kept secret in Duluth.

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