Café reopens with familiar food and new layout
Café Nostalgica reopened its doors Aug. 17, and even in its newness it was strangely familiar. After only two days of dry runs, the new staff was extremely excited for the patio party opening.
“The fries are the same, which is the best,” said Amalia Savva, former president of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa. “I really like that they’ve kept a lot of the old.”
The café is trying to find a balance between keeping the things that students loved and creating a unique new atmosphere.
“We are still moving into the new house, and like any move it will take some time to make the new space our own,” said Kate Gauvreau, the manager of Café Nostalgica.
The food was the star of the evening. For the initial opening, the restaurant offered a teaser menu that included student favourites: burgers and poutine. Other Nostalgica classics like the beloved nachos have returned now that the full menu is available.
“It’s good to have it back—that was the best burger I’ve had in months,” said Paul Tower, a third–year history student.
“I never got to experience the old Nostalgica, but this is yummy,” said Mike Burnside, a second–year commerce student.
“I’m also really happy I can use my meal plan and flex dollars here. It’s awesome they’ve implemented that right from the start.”
The move, facilitated by the Graduate Students’ Association (GSAED), provides yet another food and drink option forstudents.
The new layout includes a stage, which was immediately put to use as local musicians played to an enthusiastic crowd on opening night. The layout allows for excellent views of the stage from anywhere inside and from most of the patio.
The only hindrance with the new open design is the pillar in the middle of the stage. This earned a few jokes from the musicians, but the venue seemed well appreciated.
There were also some initial growing pains. Service was a little slow, some orders came with the sides switched, and the restaurant wound up with one overworked debit machine for the packed room.
“We could not have asked for a better crowd,” Gauvreau said. “Without the people, Nostalgica just wouldn’t be home.”