Cafe, gathering space planned for historic Danish church in Fletcher Place

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Lille Bonne
Lille Bonne Community Cafe is planned for this building at 701 E. McCarty St., originally home to the Trinity Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1872. (Google Maps photo)

A community gathering place is planned for one of the churches that’s commemorated in the name of the Holy Rosary-Danish Church historic district in Fletcher Place.

Lille Bonne Community Cafe will be located in the 151-year-old Danish Church, featuring a coffee shop as well as a venue for yoga classes, art classes, live music, speaking events and private meetings, according to co-founder Abby Reckard.

Reckard, a marketing strategist, intends for the building at 701 E. McCarty St. to open as Lille Bonne in summer 2024. Reckard and her business partner, real estate agent Will Lonnemann, are Fletcher Place residents.

“Some of the great things in the neighborhood are purely focused on food and drinks, which I love,” Reckard said. “But I have two young kids, so I can’t just pop over to Hotel Tango or Bluebeard to hang out.”

During the past decade, Virginia Avenue venues Bluebeard, Milktooth and Hotel Tango Distillery have contributed to making Fletcher Place a popular food and beverage destination.

Reckard, the mother of children ages 5 and 2, has described Lille Bonne as a “neighborhood living room” about three blocks west of Virginia Avenue.

“I’ve been kind of obsessed with the concept of ‘third space,’ where everybody can meet and there’s no requirement to sit down and spend a lot of money—or spend any money at all. We want to have free programs,” Reckard said.

Lille Bonne, or “little bean” in Danish, will operate as a for-profit business, Reckard said.

Reckard, Lonnemann and investor Philip Golobish purchased the former church for $235,000 earlier this year. On Tuesday, the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals approved variances for the Lille Bonne project to move forward.

Reckard said she expects another $235,000 will be spent on building renovations, with some of that money to be raised during an upcoming crowdfunding campaign.

In 1872, members of the Trinity Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church congregation built the 2,600-square-foot brick structure.

The Holy Rosary-Danish Church district, named partly for Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 520 Stevens St., is bordered by Virginia Avenue, East Street, I-65 and I-70. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

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3 thoughts on “Cafe, gathering space planned for historic Danish church in Fletcher Place

  1. Fantastic to see this structure be purchased by people in the neighborhood. When the old church there put its buildings up for sale, I worried about the future of that truly historic building.

  2. I have grew up in this neighborhood and I have never ever heard of it referred to as the Holy Rosary-Danish Church District. Its Holy Rosary.
    Quit inventing stuff and passing it off as some type of historic legacy….

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