Elizabeth Ames: Cafe Renata

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Posted on May 22, 2015 by Elizabeth Ames

Café Renata was a popular brunch spot in University City. It was always filled with college students on Sunday mornings, patiently waiting for their turn to get seated. Delicious brunch foods were served and the restaurant smartly offered a “boozy brunch” option: if a table bought a carafe of orange juice, they would receive a complimentary bottle of champagne.

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But disaster struck at the restaurant located at 43rd and Locust Streets. On March 12, a fire started when towels were taken out of the dryer and weren’t put away. According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, the combination of heat in the towels and static electricity were what caused the fire to start.

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Now the restaurant is completely boarded up and locked. The windows that you can still see are so filled with soot that you can barely see the old neon “Open” sign that used to glare from the window. There is trash along the sidewalk in front of the store. But the owners still have hope to reopen soon. There was a fundraiser sponsored by local businesses to help raise money so Café Renata can open again soon. There is now a poster on the front of the building thanking people for their support.

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While it is still unclear if Café Renata will reopen, it is obvious that the owners want to reestablish their restaurant. And the locals clearly want Café Renata to come back to the neighborhood. Hopefully the boards and locks will be removed soon and the restaurant will once again be a vibrant part of University City.


Photography and Text by Elizabeth Ames, Copyright 2015


About The Author:  Elizabeth Ames is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2015.  She is pursuing a career in Criminology.  To read more articles by Elizabeth Ames, go to the search bar at the bottom of the page: type in author’s name, click the search icon.

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