Of all the restaurants and eateries on campus, there is one I just can’t seem to figure out. This café does business between what seems like 11am and closes for the day around 2pm. Though it has a diagram of actual business hours posted on the window, it seems the sort of place you have to catch open. On the few times I have caught it open, the service was good, the food and prices OK and the crowd small.
Something about the exclusive hours just isn’t working. The café is closed more hours than it is open. Instead of filling a need, it was filling a space.
Recently, the café owners partnered with an Italian restaurant to provide a unique restaurant experience. During the day—during the hours it’s open—the café will serve its clientele. In the evenings, the bright café is transformed to an intimate Italian restaurant with candles, tables and from what I could see on opening night, eager customers.
The two establishments are sharing space—not clients or staff or even ambiance—but actual space. So far, it seems to be working. Building on the prime location, the restaurant is the only Italian restaurant on campus. It started advertising before opening night and it hasn’t stopped since.
Without even being open the café is benefiting from the additional exposure. Perhaps they will gain customers who become so enamored with the location that they are willing to put in the effort to decipher the opening hours.
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