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Art Cafe

Art Cafe_Featured ImageThe walls of the Art Cafe celebrate drawing, painting and photography. The building is an exquisite example of the reserved Italianate architectural style. The food gets great reviews from guests. In form and function, Art Cafe lives up to its name.

The eatery on South Broadway is a family business. The owner and manager, Dan Kramer, drew on the experience of his family to launch the business in 2006. Dan’s mother, who was born in Israel to a family that has been in Jerusalem for nine generations, learned the art of cooking and hospitality from her mother, Pnina. Dan developed his business sense from his uncles who run enterprises in Toronto and New York. The menu is based on the health-conscious diet practiced by his entire family.

artcafe__Latte Art_31When they first opened, Art Cafe occupied only half the bottom floor of 65 South Broadway and had barely enough space to hang an exhibit. But visual art was not the creative discipline that inspired the cafe’s name. The canvasses that Dan sought to display were the surfaces of the hot beverages that he served.  Baristas in Israel had been making elaborate designs on the tops of lattes for a decade.  Dan introduced Latte Art to Nyack.

If location is a major factor in the success of a business, Art Cafe is a study in being in the right place at the right time. However, the building had to be relocated for the alignment to be perfect. Originally built in 1871 for Elise Depew Stevenson across the street, this house was moved sometime between 1903 and 1910 to make room for the Post Office. Where it now sits, the building is bracketed between the library and the Post Office, two public institutions that attract constant foot traffic.

The cramped circumstance of their original interior space was vastly improved the business they shared the building with, Klay Gallery, moved, allowing the Art Cafe to expand into the entire ground floor. The location is further blessed from being situated on the path of the great bicycle migration route that runs through the village.

Music and exhibitions are however, the hors d’oeuvres and dessert.  The main course at Art Cafe is the food and drink. The menu is inspired by the all-encompassing Israeli-Kibbutz style breakfast, a meal that includes juices, eggs, bread, salads with cheese dips and olive tapenades and of course, coffee. Art Cafe recently added craft beers and wine to their offering.

Dan thinks that American cafes have become like self-service filling stations, where people are moved through quickly with take-out orders in hand. He has modeled Art Cafe on the European cafe custom where patrons are encouraged to sit unhurried, and savor aromas, flavors and ambiance for hours, not nano-seconds.  The result is a vibrant venue brimming with excellent food, fine art and compelling conversation.

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Bill Batson is an activist, artist and writer who lives in Nyack, NY. “Nyack Sketch Log: Art Cafe” © 2022 Bill Batson. 


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