Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stamford Talk Field Trip: Cafe Moja

So. I've written a lot about Cafe Moja- drug selling, gunshots, melees with cops. I drove by that place for the 4 years I lived in Southfield. It always looked sketch but I never wanted to judge. Well, a fellow Stamford Talker who lives in Southfield said she had always wondered about that place too. "Happy hour?" she joked. I'm not a big joker, so I took her up on her offer.

I will go almost anywhere if it's going to get me a good story. I've been to a KKK rally, for goodness' sake. (Not as a participant, but as a protester. Let me give the KKK an official Stamford Talk "F You, Get a Life.") That was in Hazard, KY. Long story.  Today, on day 6 of my Mississippi visit, I said to my sister, "I kind of want to go to that taxidermy place, just because I think it would be disgusting."  I'm just wondering, where do the guts go? I tried to get a glimpse of the back of the store as we drove by, but didn't see any hints of gut-filled garbage cans. Oh well.

CM serves West Indian and Southern cuisine.  Even though I thought we'd be the only white women in the joint, I figured it would be fine, because restaurants exist for people to eat at them.  However, when we called to confirm that CM was open, we got the answering machine.  When I had driven by, it looked closed, too, with the blinds down, and more run-down than I'd remembered.  We didn't want to give up that easily since we'd already gotten our minds set on it. 

I suggested we stake the place out and see if there was any activity, and if we determined it was closed, we'd go to Crabshell for a drink.  We staked it out inconspicuously (in the parking spot four feet from the door) for 5 minutes and the place was dead as a deer about to be taxidermied.  "This is ridiculous; let's go to Crabshell.  Wait! Before we go, just pull on the door to see if it's open."  Well, it wasn't, somewhat to our relief.   "We gave it a good faith effort; let's go to Crabshell!"

We had Amstel lights and good conversation at Crabshell. Decent little happy hour group, with the requisite group of young-ish men in button-downs looking sort of cute and talking sort of loudly.


Anonymous said...

Went in there for lunch a couple of times when I was living down in Southfield. Was sort of surprised by all he granite countertops and HDTVs. The cook there is from Jimmy's, the soul food joint that used to be on Pacific before it had to close down for the Urban Transitway deal

Unknown said...

I hope you get your chance to check it out StamfordTalk, cause for reasons not associated with the club I have been running into some of the people who work there. I don't know the days they are open, but there is apparently much more to the story than is being told. The owners of the property have wanted to take it back from a significant time before this incident is one part of the story. The lady who worked as office support was punished for this non-work related incident, is another. The persons in the 'after hours' situation were workers or relatives of the workers is another. So there is much to discover, keep looking!

Stamford Talk said...

Anonymous, how was the food? That's what first got me interested in the place.
whitemist, maybe I will email the owners and see what the deal is with the dining, and if the place is actually closed. OK, just emailed them. I'll let you know.

Anonymous said...

It was OK. Can't say I even remember what I had. I'm guessing something fried. Not sure where else you can go for a similar fare in Stamford, Chef Jeff's in Norwalk is the closest thing that I can think of. Haven't been to the Jamaican place on Stillwater. Might have to check that out, haven't had pigeon peas and rice for a while.

patty said...

I passed this interesting establishment this evening and thought of you, ST.

In fact I pass Cafe Moja most work days. Tonight I had an obscene amount of work to start for the week, so I went into the office for a few hours. On the way in I couldn't tell if Moja was rockin' or not (it was daylight). But as I left Southfield under the glow of the orange full moon, there was no mistaking it: the lights were off and Moja was dismally empty.

Maybe it's an irregular schedule, maybe it's fallout from the recent incident.

Stamford Talk said...

Patty, you reminded me to check my email to see if I got a response from Cafe Moja!

CM responded: "Currently the club is closed due to unforeseen circumstances. We hope to re-open next week. We will keep you posted and thank you for your interest in Cafe Moja."

I hope they'll email me when it's open, or maybe you'll get the scoop in one of your drivebys. Way to spy...