New Orleans, LA, March 8, 2013, — After an eight month renovation and build out, Café Reconcile will officially reopen to the public on Monday, March 11, 2013, with lunch service beginning at 11 a.m. The award-winning nonprofit, which provides invaluable life skills and job training to disconnected youth from highly distressed communities in the New Orleans area, underwent the $5.9 million expansion to not only triple its program capacity, but to also create a new source of revenue through full-service catering and events on and off site.
The inspiration of Fr. Harry Tompson, Craig Cuccia, and Tim Falcon, Café Reconcile has been a cornerstone of economic and youth development in New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood for over 15 years. The expanded facility includes more than 17,000 square feet of new programming space, made possible through the generosity of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Shell, Credit Suisse, the Goldring and Woldenberg Foundations, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, the State of Louisiana, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and many other committed investors.
According to Glen Armantrout, CEO of Café Reconcile, “The anticipation has been building as the community has become aware of major improvements at Café Reconcile, and we could not be more excited to reopen our doors. We’ve missed our customers and, most of all, our students. We are humbled by the continued support of our many friends throughout this long process and we thank you for welcoming us back. Our space has changed dramatically, but our commitment to ending the cycle of poverty, prejudice and fear has not; we look forward to reaching more of the city’s young adults through our expanded services.”
“The youth served by Café Reconcile are bright talented people seeking a way to make a difference for themselves. It is our honor to be a part of making that happen and we are excited about the future impact of these expanded programs,” said Tom Pyburn, Board Chair. “Don’t forget that we also have the best lunch in town and that patronizing Café Reconcile makes a difference in your community!”
Features of the renovated and expanded facility include:
- Increased capacity of youth served annually (from 160-400)
- Increased seating capacity by 50% including outdoor dining space for up to 75;
- Two new state-of-the-art culinary training kitchens
- Off street parking
- The Emeril Lagasse Foundation Hospitality Center provides the space and technology to accommodate large catering requests as well as banquet space to host large group functions like weddings, business meetings, and other events
- The Shell Family Learning Center offers students and other community members access to parenting classes, literacy and computer skills, and other relevant skills previously not conveniently accessible for our youth.
- Intensive mental health and medical services through in-house counselor and improved referral system
- Direct assistance with housing, childcare, and transportation
- Financial education and planning workshops
- Continuing education programs for graduates
- New after school programs for elementary and middle school students in nutrition and general health
For a look at the new space, stop in for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm or consider attending “America’s Hometown Sweets,” a kickoff event for the 5th annual NOLA Food Fest, featuring desserts from across the country. Tickets are available at: www.nolafoodfest.com.
To learn more about Café Reconcile, visit: www.cafereconcile.org.