The restaurant for a chipmunk features a bar and picnic table, and serves pizza, sushi and the silly joy we all need right now.
Angela Hansberger, a food writer with no new eateries to review during the global pandemic, has created a unique quarantine hobby. She recreates fabulous dining experiences at home, on her porch, for a chipmunk.
How the Restaurant For a Chipmunk Started
When quarantine first started, Angela’s uncle sent her a small gift in the mail. He owns a bowling alley in Ohio, so naturally he had some time on his hands too. He crafted a small wooden picnic table that was intended to be placed in a tree for squirrels. But when Angela opened the gift, she decided to place it on her porch with some leftover Christmas chestnuts.
By the time she went to the recycle bin to discard the table’s cardboard box, she noticed that a tiny chipmunk was already sitting at the table, feasting on those chestnuts. She was delighted and amused – and a now Instagram famous chipmunk was born!
What’s Served at a Restaurant For a Chipmunk?
Wondering what chipmunks eat, she googled to find they like berries, seeds, vegetables, mushrooms. She also learned that chipmunks are mostly active during dusk and dawn, when there are few predators around. And Angela must be a Jazz fan, because she cleverly named the chipmunk Thelonious Munk, after Thelonious Monk, the great American Jazz pianist and composer.
She noticed Thelonious came back every day, waiting for his meal. This new circumstance flipped Angela’s world. She became the chef and server, and he became the patron and critic of her food. She found he liked some things better than others. Thelonious loves blueberries and is not a fan of mushrooms or cabbage.
Like many of us during quarantine, Angela needed a creative outlet. Instead of baking bread or dancing on TikTok, she creates tiny dining experiences. She writes, “Missing my own restaurant experiences, I try to give them to Thelonious.”
As time went on, she became more and more creative as a chef. She created small pizzas out of almond flour, berries and nuts. Thelonious loved those! She made tiny sushi out of carrot and mango and one grain of rice. She created small unsalted pretzel twists for the chipmunk, placed next to a flight of tiny “beers”.
Creating An Atmosphere For Joy
Angela and her husband created a small bar for the chipmunk, titled The Peanut Club, where he can have a pre-dinner cocktail, just as they hope to do again soon. She’s also set up a tiny campsite, a DJ booth and a smoker for nuts.
Her Instagram feed shifted from photos of the latest restaurant openings to miniature feasts for a chipmunk. And strangers started finding Thelonious on Instagram and enjoying this little escape during such a stressful time. Angela says, “It’s silly, yes, but sometimes silliness is needed.”