In the heart of the Financial District, a small deli sits on the corner of 30th Street and 9thAvenue. Open 24 hours a day, it provides delicious food around the clock.
Walking into Café Bravo, the sounds, sights and smells overwhelm the senses. Customers stand in line to order a wide variety of foods such as sandwiches, pasta, and pastries. Loud country music plays from the speakers, and it smells like pastries on one end of the store and pasta on the other.
Families with teens and younger children sit around small, square tables. Some other customers sit alone with a drink and enjoy some time on their phone. Mostly tourists, these people bring the crowds that New York City is so well known for right here into the deli.
One of the customers, however, lives nearby in Long Island. He comes to the financial district often, but today was his first time at the Café. “I really like the way it’s set up, and the people here are really nice!” He says with a smile on his face when asked to share his favorite part of Café Bravo.
Of the many delis in the City, Café Bravo stands out from the others with better products, better service and better cleanliness, according to the Café’s owner. When asked how fierce he thought the competition was, the owner responded with, “Not fierce. I’m the most fierce.”
The current owner has owned this Café for five years now. He inherited the responsibility from his father and uncle, who started the business together. He didn’t come to the United States until he was a teenager, before that he lived in Greece. He misses Greece and wishes he was still there. In his opinion, Greece is cleaner and less busy.
At the Café, they serve mostly tourists here in the City for vacation. More hotels are opening in the financial district, which means business is picking up for the little café. It’s been around since 1979, when the current owner’s father came to the United States from Greece.
The Café’s chef came here to the U.S. when he was 12 years old. He’s been with the business from the start. Along with the current owner’s father, he helped get the restaurant up and running. “I’ve only been late 2 times,” He says, “And it was not by much because I’m supposed to come in at 5:00 and I came in at 5:05.”
Since they’re open 24 hours, the chef is responsible for cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Usually, he comes in around five and leaves around eleven, getting very little sleep as a result. Despite all this, he loves his job, and is proud to have worked at the same place since he was 12 years old.
This family has built their legacy in this business, father passing it on to son, and their staff provides a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. It’s refreshing to see in a city full of people too busy to make time for others. But great service is one of the many wonderful things that Café Bravo provides.
By Julia Burks