It surprised me that there was no attempt made to restrict the cafe to "residents and their guests," as I'm assuming such an action is mandated by zoning regulations, which seemed to have been clarified for both the Farmers Market and the Stuy Town ice rink. My guess is that we will see at least some signage indicating this rule, but on the first day of business, it wasn't there. No one was checking key cards, either. (As a matter a fact, the sales person I asked behind the counter didn't even know what a key card was.)
The interior of this "refreshed" space is, I think, a significant step down from the way Oval Lounge looked. The floor is an ugly dark-gray mess of swirls that look like a sloppy paint job, while the tall white tables are too Ikea-like. The color scheme of dark-grey, white and blazing orange-red (chairs) is not cozy or inviting.
The menu is pretty dismal, with the Kids Menu (Coming Soon) filled with junk food like chicken fingers, hot dogs, mac & cheese and pizza fingers. Of course, the menu will be popular with children, who will be pulling their mommies and nannies inside to buy the stuff. I guess that's why Oval Cafe has decided on such a menu!
I can't really say anything positive about the Oval Cafe. It's not charming or pleasing in any aesthetic manner, and offers a limited menu that makes the food and drink just a presence rather than a favored food/drink destination. So it's just there, breeding.
Older post from 6/29:
I predict this cafe will be a glowing success. Hell, if they put in Wi-fi also, why should I drudge to Starbucks, which will seem a mile away? Why should I even support Lenz's and buy their pizza, when I now have, for my convenience, a mini-deli available in Stuy Town's backyard? I'm already feeling my lazy bones convincing me that Oval Cafe is the way to go.
Monday, July 2nd, opening day. If they're giving freebies away, I may be there.