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ISSUE 121 VOL 20 PUBLISHED 5/9/2008

OleCafe to reopen with revamped atmosphere

By Mara Fink
Associate Editor

Friday, May 9, 2008

The OleCafe, formerly known as the Ole Store, plans to open for business May 15 with a new menu and completely remodeled interior. After having to postpone their original opening date due to technical difficulties, the much anticipated opening of the store will finally become reality.

Now under new ownership, the OleCafe will no longer feature sit-down dining, but will have a menu featuring soups, tossed salads, homemade desserts and a pasta bar at dinner time.

There will also be a full coffee menu and a small wine bar. Owner Angie Perez said the average cost of dining at the new OleCafe will be $7-10.

The reasonable price sounds attractive to many students who are looking forward to the opening, like Eri Isomura '11, "If you want to get off of campus a little bit, only having to pay that much is really convenient," she said.

Perez said one of the goals behind the OleCafe is the appeal to a wide cross section of people. With menu items like chicken taco salad and turkey and chili soup along with paninis and pizza, and dessert choices of cheesecakes, cookies and bars, the OleCafe hopes to have something for everyone.

"I feel like the inviting atmosphere and great food and dessert will really appeal to people of all ages," Perez said.

St. Olaf students in particular, like Katie Madden '10, are simply excited about the close proximity of the OleCafe to campus.

"I'm really excited for it to open and I'll go there a lot to study," Perez said. "Especially in the winter you have to get off campus to go there, but it's still close when it is just so cold."

However, many students have long been awaiting the opening of the store, and this has caused some frustration. Whit Noble '08 said he was disappointed that due to the postponement of the opening, he wouldn't be able to patronize the store.

"I suppose I'm glad it's reopened," he said. "But it took too long, and a lot of people were frustrated in its absence."

However, Vanamali Medina '10, who lives in an apartment above the OleCafe, acknowledged that sometimes good things take time.

"I've seen people getting so frustrated that it's not open, there's even a facebook group about it, but I know they want to be open as soon as possible," she said. "The owners are doing a really thorough job. It looks amazing in there, they've put a lot of work into it."

Perez said that ideally she would have opened months ago, but due to certain technicalities, the opening has taken longer than she had anticipated.

"I would love to be open before all of the college students leave," said Perez. "I would have been open two months ago if I could have, but health code, equipment and city permit issues have held us up a bit more than we thought."

Perez plans to host an opening celebration at the store to show the public the new renovations and will offer a special treat to those who stop in.

The OleCafe is located at 1011 St. Olaf Ave, just a few blocks east of campus.

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