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New York-based crepe franchise opens location in Bloomington



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T-Swirl Crepe recently opened a location on Kirkwood Avenue. The franchise started in New York. Ty Vinson Buy Photos

From the blaring pop music to the fact that it connects to the restaurant next door, T-Swirl Crepe is anything but what comes to mind when you think of crepes. The crepes aren’t French. They’re Japanese.

T-Swirl Crepe, on Kirkwood Avenue opened Oct. 16. 

It’s called T-swirl Crepe because when making the crepes, they pour the batter on the pan and then use a wooden T-shaped stick to spread the batter. 



“The owner went to Japan and just saw something different, something special,” T-Swirl Crepe worker Happy Dong said. 

Dong works with the company in New York. He came to Bloomington to train the new employees. 

T-swirl Crepe started in New York four years ago and now has franchises in more than 15 locations in states including California, Pennsylvania and Maryland. More will be opening soon. 

Dong explained there are different types of crepes in Japan that are not like French crepes. French crepes are soft and often eaten off a plate, while Japanese crepes are crisper and are placed in a holder. 

“So you can eat everything like a sandwich,” Dong said. 

The restaurant offers sweet and savory crepes. The sweet crepes are offered in a variety of flavors include Caramel Fuji Apple and Matcha Azuki Bean. The savory flavors include Spicy Crabmeat and Angus Short Rib. 

All the crepes are gluten-free because they are made with rice flour, and creams and custard are made in-store.

The crepes range in price from $5.50 for mini crepes to around $9 for regular ones. 

Dong said so far they have had good business. A lot of T-Swirl Crepe’s customers are students because of the restaurant's close vicinity to campus. 

IU student Napirin Thitadilok said she hadn’t heard about it before but happened to be walking by and decided to stop in. 

She said she ordered the strawberry banana crepe, and as someone who eats a lot of crepes, she was excited to try a new one. 

The store is connected to owner Andy Lin’s other restaurant, Japonee Express, which serves sushi and Korean fare. 

“We have the sweet crepes so people order their sushi and then come over here for desert,” Dong said.

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