Opening of new Green Leafe Gourmet delayed

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February 13, 2007

9:00 AM

The Green Leafe Cafe, one point of the “deli triangle” located across the street from the Bryan Complex, is expanding to New Town. The opening of the new Green Leafe Gourmet, originally scheduled for January of this year, has been delayed to mid-April because the county has been inundated with the development of the New Town complex, according to owner Glenn Gormley, ’84, MBA ’89.

p. Although the Gourmet will be affiliated with the popular restaurant and bar known well by students at the College, it will not be the same type of establishment.

p. “The Gourmet will be a more upscale delicatessen than the Cafe across from the College,” Gormley said. “It will have in-house dining where you’ll get served at the counter. We’re also housing a catering endeavor in the new building, and we’ll be able to cater sorority and fraternity events.”

p. In terms of comparison, Gormley said the new restaurant will be an “upscale Panera — we’ll have more dinner items than Panera, and we’ll also serve alcohol.” Gormley estimated that the Gourmet would have a smaller selection of beer than the Cafe, though the variety will still be ample. The current location offers 34 brews on draft and 150 varieties of bottled beer, while the Gourmet will feature around six draft beers and 100 bottled selections. Wine will also be incorporated into the menu.

p. In addition, Gormley said the Gourmet will be open for breakfast, serving coffee, danishes and other assorted breakfast pastries.

p. Gormley graduated from both the College’s undergraduate and graduate business schools and has worked at the Green Leafe since he was a student. “I started working at the Green Leafe as an undergrad,” he said in a Feb. 4 article in the Daily Press. “Some employee quit one day. One of my [wrestling] teammates worked there. He called me up, I showed up, and I haven’t left.” He went on to acquire the business in 1989.

p. Gormley ascribed the desire to expand to a basic lesson he learned in business school. “It’s always better to have a diversified portfolio. With the development of New Town, I’m anticipating a shift in part of the student market to the newer restaurants,” he said.

p. Part of the decision might also be that Gormley is an alumnus of the College and is aware of the current frictions between the city and students. “The city was being non-responsive to the wants, wishes and desires of the students,” he said, “It seems like there is a desire for the city to not be involved with the College — the county is the one helping the College with the development of New Town, not the city. We have a great relationship with the school, and since they have a vested interest in New Town, we decided to get involved, too.”

p. Gormley and the Green Leafe staff hope to have the new restaurant open in time for graduation and the celebration marking the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement. They will have a better idea of a final opening date by Feb. 22.

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