With alcohol suspension over, Caffé Gelato seeks fresh start with renovations – Newark Post

With its liquor permit suspension over, Caffé Gelato is hoping a new look provides a fresh start.

The restaurant, which opened in 2000, underwent a series of renovations during the month of January.

Owner Ryan German switched up the color palette – utilizing cooler colors like gray, white and black – and added a wood-fired pizza oven.

“It’s fun to go out somewhere new and see a new place,” German said, adding that he hopes the renovations make Caffé Gelato feel new. “This gives a warm, clean, fresh feel, and adding the wood-fired oven is pretty neat. I hope people like it and embrace it.”

The renovations came in a month that is typically slow, as University of Delaware students are on break, but the last 30 days were even harder for Caffé Gelato, which had its alcohol permit suspended after undercover cops caught the restaurant serving minors on three separate occasions.

“Someone called and said, ‘Why don’t you take off, take a break?’ Someone else called and said, ‘Why don’t you renovate?’” German said as the final bits of renovation were completed on Friday morning.

So, he decided to do just that.

“The renovation part has been enjoyable. It helped me get through January and gave me something to focus on, to focus my energy on something positive, something the community likes,” he said.

The biggest change is the pizza oven, German said. The restaurant now serves artisan pizzas featuring ingredients that were already on the menu, like arugula, prosciutto and gorgonzola cheese.

German said the last major renovation was in 2008, when the restaurant expanded to a space previously occupied by Bert’s Music.

“This building has a lot of history,” he said, noting that it has been a general store, hardware store, department store and a cafe.

Caffé Gelato remained open through the renovations with limited hours. He said that they “worked around the clock” and staggered which spaces were available for dining while construction continued.

“It was tough,” he said of the last month. “But I want to see a vibrant Main Street with good restaurants. That’s what the idea of this renovation was – to make it warm and inviting and fresh, and to serve good food.”

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