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The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

Coffee shop, club open Sat.

“Club, Lounge, Espresso” goes the motto of the area’s newest
coffee shop Caf� Caf� and it’s adjacent nightclub,
Dante’s. Both are set to open this Saturday in the Old Firehouse
Building, located across from Olive-Compton Parking Garage.

Caf� Caf� will be open Monday through Friday from
2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dante’s will be open Wednesday through Saturday
from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. and one must be 21 years of age to enter. On
Wednesdays through Saturdays when Dante’s is open, the coffee shop
will be open as well, but only to those 21 and up.

Caf� Caf� and Dante’s are both owned and managed
by the same people who own and operate M.P. O’Reilly’s. Gerard
Nyman, who has served as general manager of M.P. O’Reilly’s for six
years, will be serving as general manager over both that bar and

About a year ago, Nyman and Mark O’Reilly began looking for
another venue to open. When the Firehouse became available, they
decided it was the right opportunity.

Upon settling on a location for a new business, Nyman and
O’Reilly worked to determine what was needed in the area in
addition to the planned nightclub. Opening a restaurant was
considered, but Nyman said, “We didn’t want to compete with area
dining places.”

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A coffee house would be popular so close to a college campus,
thought Nyman. He explained, “It works perfectly with the lounge
atmosphere of the nightclub. Caf� Caf� has been
designed with Saint Louis University and the students in mind.”

Nyman believes a coffee shop will help fill a void in Grand
Center, giving patrons of the Fox Theatre and Powell Symphony Hall
a place to go after performances.

Sam Kasle, assistant general manager of the establishment,
helped design Caf� Caf�, which features dark blue,
purple and black tones. With a bar in the center and numerous
tables, benches and couches around the room, the coffee shop will
offer patrons ample seating.

The coffee shop will not only serve an assortment of coffee
drinks but also desserts and alcoholic beverages.

“People can have a beer or a coffee,” Nyman said. “It’s an
environment designed to be comfortable for everyone whether they’re
drinking or not.”

Sophomore Jen Orlando, a frequenter of Coffee Cartel, said,
“Coffee shops are a nice place to sit and relax and meet

Sophomore Joelle Jenkins is excited about the new coffee shop
because the atmosphere of coffee shops are so “calm and relaxing.”
She said, “They are good places for students to get into deep

As for the nightclub, Dante’s has a medieval gothic design,
complete with looming gargoyle statues, a wrought-iron fence
backdrop to the bar, red velvet wall-length curtains and wooden

The idea for the gothic design originated from the building’s
original purpose as a firehouse. That led to the idea of Dante’s
Inferno with a fire and hell-like theme. In addition, the
building’s architecture with high-arched ceilings added to the
gothic feel, Nyman said.

Dante’s also includes several areas designed specifically as a
lounge area, including one area with framed mirrors along one

The nightclub will feature three DJs with the possibility of
guest DJs. On Wednesday nights, Just Jim will DJ. On Thursday
nights, Robbie G will DJ. Both will feature a combination of
techno, hip hop and Top 40 music. On Friday and Saturday nights,
Mike Buhlre will DJ using a primarily house techno mix. At the
moment, live entertainment is not being planned.

As a 21-year-old and up nightclub, Dante’s will employ strict
carding requirements and utilize off-duty police officers for
additional security, Nyman said.

The nightclub will be available to groups for rental on Mondays
and Tuesdays at no cost, provided a sufficient number of guests can
be guaranteed.

A cover charge will be charged on the weekends, but no cover
will be required on Wednesdays and Thursdays with a college ID.

Nyman explained that hours might expand depending on the success
of the place, “We will roll with the punches.”

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