The West Broadway Business and Area Coalition posted on Facebook today that The Avenue Eatery was again open for business, and under new management. I stopped by for a meal and to chat with the new folks about what I experienced before, in hopes those mistakes wouldn’t be repeated.
My advice was to keep the basics on hand, keep employees dressed and acting professional, add outdoor seating, and just plain old make the place their own; don’t just expect we’ll come to you because you’re here. The community is hungry (and thirsty) for a good coffee shop, but the operative word is “good.” If the food and service isn’t up to certain standards, we’ll go somewhere else.
The folks working certainly seemed to take my comments to heart, and even responded about the outdoor seating with, “We’ll have to get working on that with the council NOW to make sure it’s ready by the spring.” Music to my ears.
Now about those standards, keep in mind that this is a SOFT opening and not the grand opening, which means they’re still ironing out some kinks in both the food and service. But in my short time there, at least four people walked on by, did a double-take, and came in excitedly to ask if the Eatery was back open for business. All of them stuck around to order and left happy. (At the time of this writing, the shop’s credit card machine hadn’t arrived yet though; make sure to have cash on hand.)
The turkey pastrami sandwich came on freshly baked bread and in a basket, which was a nice touch. The sandwich itself was quite good, and a welcome step above most of the fried food fare along Broadway. The dark roast coffee was strong enough to make me jittery, so you know it’s good stuff. And the sweet potato pie was to die for. I will definitely be back for more of that.
The food is reasonably priced as well, with most sandwiches costing around $5. My large coffee, sandwich, and pie only set me back ten bucks – plus the minimum 20% tip that these folks most certainly deserve. So check out the new Avenue Eatery and let’s support our local businesses.
(Photos by Jeff Skrenes)