HEATHER BRADY AND MILES DUMVILLE
After nine months in the works, the University Café on William Street will open its doors to the Fredericksburg community next week.
While the exact date is not set, owner David Allen is excited about the grand opening festivities, which will feature artwork from local artists, who are UMW graduates. The radio station 99.3: The Vibe will also be present at the opening.
The café will be open seven days a week. Food will be available until it closes at 1:30 a.m. on weeknights and 2:30 a.m. on weekends. Monday nights will feature fried chicken and waffles, Kung Fu movies, and an R&B disc jockey, while live music and entertainment will be provided over the weekend.
Allen has already hired 20 college students as employees to staff the café. He envisions that it will be a community center, and urges students to become a bigger part of Fredericksburg life.
“There’s sort of a college-on-the-hill deal right now, and that’s not the way it should be,” Allen said.
He wants to facilitate better communication between the students and Fredericksburg locals, and stresses the café’s potential as a venue for intellectual conversation and learning.
“What we’d like to see is an exchange of ideas and concepts,” he said. “There’s been issues of the ‘creepy factor’ downtown, and we don’t want that.”
The café will also provide cooking demonstrations and classes for a mixture of age groups, featuring its chef, Michael Shea, as an instructor. Although prices for the classes will vary, students will be able to eat what they make.
The University Café will become part of the growing list of Downtown businesses accepting Eagleone card credit as payment.
The Free Lance-Star reports that there will be an old-fashioned lunch counter adjacent to the kitchen, and that the cooking will be done in full view of the public. On the opposite side of the café, a 42-foot bar will serve coffee, beer, wine and liquor.