“I’m a picky eater,” says Sue Patel, “so I hope for all the picky eaters out there, I have something for them.” She’s filled her new Oasis Cafe with things she likes: frozen yogurt, ice cream, raw juice, soups, salads, paninis, and bubble tea in a wide range of flavors (she recommends the chai) and a choice of tapioca, bursting, and jelly pearls. “Boba” tea has been available near campus for a while now, but Oasis is the first place on Main St. to serve it.
Patel (whose full first name is Suhasini) grew up in Kenya, and both African and Indian influences are evident in ice creams made with brightly colored candied nuts, spice variations, and Alphonso mangoes. In early November, her seasonal frozen yogurt flavors included pumpkin spice, chocolate orange, and cinnamon.
Oasis replaced DaVinci’s Salon. Patel’s parents bought both the salon and Shalimar restaurant next door in 2016. They closed the salon last spring and were looking for a new tenant. At the time, Patel was working full-time as an ER nurse at Henry Ford Hospital, but she’d already decided she wanted to try her own venture (though she’ll likely keep one or two nursing shifts a week). She says her family shares ownership of the business, but they’ve given her free rein.
Patel is counting on the salads, wraps, and paninis to bring in customers as the weather gets colder. It’s a smart move. On a cold and rainy day in November, before she’d added them to the menu, a group came in to look around, but ultimately one of them announced, “We’ll come back in better weather!” Once it’s warm again, Patel plans to add smoothies.
Oasis Cafe, 305 S. Main. (734) 882-2148. Daily 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.