Following the opening of Ithaca Wine & Spirits, a popular high-end liquor store that attracted many locals and Cornelians since last October, Collegetown is now welcoming a new amenity right in the heart of Eddy Street: Chatty Cathy Coffee & Juice Press.
Owner George Papachryssanthou — an Ithaca native and son of the owner of Souvlaki House in Collegetown — decided to return to his home street with new business ideas after living in New York City for over six years.
“Growing up in Eddy Street throughout my life, I saw a necessity for a good coffee shop on Eddy Street,” he said. “We wanted to continue bringing different style hospitality to Ithaca and Collegetown in general.”
After the success of the Ithaca Wine & Spirits, Papachryssanthou and his wife Milany Papachryssanthou ventured into opening an Italian-themed coffee shop on 327 Eddy Street, continuing to bring refined hospitality experience for those who live near Collegetown.
Papachryssanthou said that he planned to distinguish his coffee shop from the other businesses in Collegetown out of his “respect for the traditional, old-school Mediterranean coffee culture,” he said.
“You can taste the difference,” Papachryssanthou said. “Coffee culture in the Mediterranean is like a tenant of life — it is about the quality and care that goes into pressing a good coffee.”
In addition to using the high-end coffee press machine imported from Italy, Chatty Cathy uses beans and grounds from the Corso company, founded by School of Hotel Administration alumnus John Meadow ’02.
Papachryssanthou said Meadow used to live above Souvlaki House in Collegetown, Papachryssanthou’s family business, and recalled playing with Meadow as children.
The high-end service and quality of George and Milany’s business is already well known among many Cornellians, many of whom were impressed by their initial experiences with Ithaca Wine & Spirits and expect the same quality from the newly opened business.
“I am very glad that they are opening a gourmet cafe right where I walk everyday,” said Ethan Mandell ’19. “Their wine and spirits business was unparalleled in Collegetown, and I would not expect any less quality of products from Chatty Cathy.”
Some students are looking to Chatty Cathy as another place where they can socialize and study in a leisurely environment.
“Collegetown Bagels and Starbucks always seemed to be packed, and are often noisy with over-priced coffee,” said Neel Jain ’19. “I think Chatty Cathy would be a more luxurious alternative for people to work and socialize. Not to mention the better coffee.”
Due to rising rental rates in Collegetown, many businesses have moved out for Cornell’s housing development. But unlike some food and beverage business owners in Collegetown, Papachryssanthou expressed optimism for his business.
“Instead of corporate gentrification, I think my business brings in new construction, new ideas, but with the same old people,” Papachryssanthou said. “We are just locals who want to see Collegetown become more vibrant.”