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Le Lounge at Bon Bons

The 573 Magazine team meets cool people, finds fantastic places, and samples the delectable dishes from our local eateries. Sometimes it happens simultaneously, like when we went to Le Lounge at Bon Bons in Downtown Cape!

Meet Stephenie Gardiner

Stephenie is the young, energetic creator and owner of Bon Bons and Le Lounge: a hard-working mom, no stranger to big dreams. Stephanie knows working toward a goal and making a dream a reality can be complicated.

Since 1998 I have lived in Cape. I graduated with a degree in Biology. The plan was to work and eventually own a zoo, but here we are, lol. I’ve always been creative and into trying things that challenge me.

I’ve always liked to cook; when I was 10, I read cookbooks from front to back and picked things to make. Growing up, my family wasn’t a go-out-to-eat family, but when we did, I remember that it was always with friends, and we always laughed and had such a good time. I knew I wanted to be doing something that made people happy and feel good.

I started Bon Bons when I was pregnant and from home, making cakes for friends and my husband’s work. Eventually, I entered the Downtown Cape farmers market and added other pastries and desserts. After a few years, I got a food truck. Even though the truck was nice and helped me grow, it was hot and a lot of work, and I wanted to hear, see, and talk to people. So I sold the truck and leaped at opening a storefront.

I opened in December of 2019...three months later, covid hit. We had our regular customers get food almost daily from us, churches buying gift cards, and people buying treats for other organizations or just was amazing. We pulled through, and in December, it’ll be four years.

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Cape needed a place for people to go out, have some drinks, talk with friends, and chill. I wanted Le Lounge to feel like you were in someone’s backyard or a European-type courtyard. I added the swings because they were fun and something different; they went along with the carefree, chill vibe... it’s a lounge...not a bar.

Le Lounge is a place for business professionals, young entrepreneurs...people in the mindset of “all day long, we have to be on point, working hard”...I wanted this to be where people could chill and forget their to-do lists. A place that lets them escape reality. There’s something about sitting on the swings that let you calm down and feel a little more carefree. I like that.

Bon Bons’ famous 1/2 pound Hamburger. Thick, juicy, and tender. Fresh, thick tomato slabs, lush crisp romaine lettuce, onion, pickle, ketchup, mustard, and mayo... it’s a tasty, filling, and oh-so-satisfying lunch.

The Frenzy Tots. Crispy, crunchy outside with a soft, warm inside and tons of cheddar cheese smothering the whole thing with little bits of juicy bacon and chives...this side dish is supreme. An absolute craving killer!

Nice to Meat You. A massive eclectic food mix platter. Chunks of perfectly seasoned grilled chicken sprinkled with chives, a sweet and sour Thai dipping sauce, and a delicious potato and sweet potato mixture with onions. It’s a nice modern health movement twist on the classic meat and potatoes dish.

The Fish Tacos. Grilled tilapia with large chunks of tomato, a delicious coleslaw that’s sweet, thick slices of red onion, and big cilantro leaves… it’s delicious! The lime wedge adds a nice fresh flavor to the dish. It is beautiful. Beautifully made, beautifully plated, beautifully enjoyed.

The Beignets are heavenly. Lovely, fluffy, soft, light pastries with powdered sugar and a decadent, creamy, silky smooth chocolate dipping sauce. It is simply euphoric...perfection in a silver bowl.

The macaroons are outstanding! The chocolate is delectable and dances with your tastebuds. The chocolate chip cookie bar has an upscale tea room spin. And the strawberry is like a birthday party in your mouth. Sweet, fun, and scrumptious!

Pineapple Margarita - Wow, it’s perfect. The rim is coated with tajine (chili, cumin, cayenne, lime) and offsets the sweet, refreshing pineapple. It’s sweet with a spicy kick.

Ocean water- Yum! Dangerously tasty, this potent and intoxicating cocktail tastes like a blue snow cone.

Next time you’re down on the riverfront, stop by, treat yourself, and let go of the workday.


words by aj koehler

pics by t smugala

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