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Cafe Serving International Food Coming to Roosevelt Island Near Subway Stop

By Shaye Weaver | March 13, 2017 11:47am | Updated on March 14, 2017 4:19pm
 The Bloomberg Center, to the right, will have a cafe that will be open daily to students, staff and the public from 11 a.m. to midnight.
The Bloomberg Center, to the right, will have a cafe that will be open daily to students, staff and the public from 11 a.m. to midnight.
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Cornell Tech

ROOSEVELT ISLAND —  An international cafe is slated to open in the Bloomberg Center building of the upcoming Cornell Tech campus — serving up American, Korean, Middle Eastern and Thai dishes all in one spot near the tram and F train station.

Tech Cafe will occupy the patio and first floor of the Bloomberg Center at the southern end of the island, opening in August with the rest of the four-building campus.

Customers will be able to choose from a variety of prepared dishes that rotate for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., seven days a week.

The morning menu will feature breakfast burritos and tacos, bacon sandwiches, quiche, skillet scrambles, Mexican molletes and ricotta pancakes.

For lunch, the eatery will roll out soups, sandwiches and entrees like Korean kalbi with kimchi fried rice, chicken and sausage Jambalaya, and red wine-braised chicken with roasted heirloom carrots.

Dinner features roast pork loin, braised beef and mushroom pot pie, baked halibut, Thai green curry and lamb shawarma, among other items.

The café will feature 122 tables and 330 seats, according to school officials.

School officials announced details of the cafe to members of Community Board 8's Street Life Committee last week.

► Read more: See renderings of Cornell Tech's Hotel and Conference Center

"People who live on Roosevelt Island are very excited about having a new place to go and get some food," a Cornell Tech representative told members during the March 7 meeting. "The menu... is probably why they are excited."

Ramon Pabon, a resident of Roosevelt Island who works at the Octagon on the northern tip of the island, welcomed the new cafe to the neighborhood, saying it's much needed.

"We need this to go forward so we can have more jobs for our members and more variety for the community," he said at the meeting. "We are limited when it comes to food and beverages and any other kind of entertainment on the island."

The new cafe will join a scarce smattering of restaurants on the island, including Riverwalk Bar & Grill, Piccolo Trattoria, China 1 Kitchen and a Subway sandwich shop.

Cornell Tech is applying for a full liquor license for all four stories of the Bloomberg Center that would allow it to serve drinks during art exhibitions, conferences, movie screenings, seminars and graduation celebrations. But there will only be a bar inside the café, officials said.

The school selected Starr Catering Group to operate the eatery. The company manages cafés at the New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx, the New-York Historical Society and Carnegie Hall.

The committee approved Cornell's bid for a liquor license, and the full board will vote on it on March 15. However, the board's vote is only advisory, and the State Liquor Authority will have the final say on whether to approve the license.