CONCOURSE — The new cafe at the Bronx Museum of the Arts is set to open next week.
Museum officials have now set Sept. 9 as the opening date for The XM Cafe, and they have extended its hours of operation to include Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Staff had originally planned to open the cafe on Aug. 2 and operate it only on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
However, in response to a large amount of community interest in the project, the museum will now open the cafe on Wednesdays as well.
The XM Cafe will operate on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Fridays from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. It will remain closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
To celebrate the opening, the first 50 guests on Sept. 9, 10 and 11 will receive a free small coffee, cappuccino or espresso.
The XM Cafe, whose name was chosen by the public through an online poll, will be in the lobby of the museum's north wing and serve coffee, salads, sandwiches and pastries, with coffee being provided by local Bronx coffee company Morris Perk.
Fountain House, a group that works with people who are living with mental illnesses, has partnered with the museum on its cafe and will hire local Bronxites to be the coffee shop's employees.
The XM Cafe will be the latest addition to a coffee boom in the South Bronx, which recently saw the opening of a Palombo bakery and cafe by Yankee Stadium and should see a Starbucks opening later in September at 161st Street and Morris Avenue.
“The museum is excited to announce the extension of our hours of operation and the opening of our new cafe," Deputy Director José Ortiz said in a statement. "Some equipment manufacturing and inspection scheduling have created some unforeseen delays. Regardless, the cafe buzz has been great, and we couldn't be happier.”