September 1, 2009

Green Café Set to Provide Alcohol at Full-Service Bar

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After less than six months since its grand opening, the Green Café is already making a major addition to its offerings. This Thursday, Green Café, at the corner of College Avenue and Dryden Road, will be opening a full-service bar and adding alcoholic cocktails to its burgeoning selection of upscale food and drinks. According to staff, the bar will offer over 200 varieties of liquor, beer on tap and a special bar menu prepared by a new chef.
Bar manager Luis Kim described the venue as a “place for students” with a “new atmosphere” for Collegetown. “Green Café has an excellent reputation with our fresh food. What will make [the bar] unique is our variety of drinks. There will be great food and cocktails, but we want to keep the prices low while maintaining the quality,” Kim said.
The bar area — which will emerge nightly out of the café’s current dining area — will house a laser show, fog machines and room for patrons to sit or stand. While there are no immediate plans for a D.J., music will play “at a level where you can communicate and chill,” according to Kim. “If things go well, in the future we will have karaoke and live music. Our main goal is to bring happiness to students here and we want to expand.”[img_assist|nid=37722|title=First call|desc=Green Café, on the corner of College Ave. and Dryden Road in Collegetown, will now serve alcoholic beverages at its new full-service bar.|link=node|align=left|width=336|height=240]
But plans for expansion may be hindered by several issues Kim and others foresee. “One problem we’re expecting is the [interruption of] the buffet line,” Kim said. “If we get 250 or 300 people in [the bar area], it’s going to get really big” and impede on those wishing to utilize the buffet.
This concern was shared by a first year engineering graduate student diner who asked to remain anonymous because he did not want to publicly offend the Green Café. “Having drunk people walking around will negatively affect the food business. Being a [non-consumer of alcohol], I frequent places where there is less alcohol, so when they start serving alcohol, I’ll probably come here less.”
Others however, were less agitated by the potential intrusion. Meredith Donnan ’10, acknowledged that although Green Café’s intrigue had “gone down since its opening,” if the bar had good music and wasn’t expensive, she “would be there.” Nina Maydenova ’10 concurred that while cost was a factor; if the space was “trendy and chic” she would be “all about that.”
Collegetown bar owners voiced an air of casual indifference to the Green Café bar’s possible encroachment on their business. “I’m not terribly concerned about it,” said Stella’s General Manager Aaron Piccirilli. “[Stella’s] is trying to provide a more upscale offering for people who are trying to learn about alcohol. It’s something we’re passionate about. Green Café’s bar will probably affect The Palms and Johny O’s more than us,” Piccirilli said.
But in the midst of this skepticism, Kim remained stolidly optimistic. A graduate of business school in Brazil, Kim is the nephew of the owner of Green Café and plans to attend Columbia University after this foray into the hospitality industry is over. “Stella’s and other bars have a different feeling [than the Green Café],” Kim said. “Ours will be for people looking for some excitement and a new atmosphere.”
The bar-area of Green Café, which will begin serving alcohol at 5 p.m. on Thursday, will be closed to those under 21 beginning at 10 p.m., at which point identification will be required to enter the newly apportioned space.