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Morris Park café hopes to attract families

Two Morris Park family men weren’t big fans of their local café. So they opened up their own instead.

Tony Signorile and his newphew, Pino Guida, celebrated a grand opening of their new business, Cafe Serata, on Friday, July 30. The café is at 1808 Hone Avenue, where a similar business called Bobby’s Lounge had been located.

“Our place is not the same as any other cafes,” explained Signorile. “We wanted to make a difference in this community.” Signorile said that Serata will have a welcoming, neighborhood atmosphere and will offer up coffee and ice cream, as well as various pastries.

He and Guida, both specifically mentioned the previous business that occupied the space as a disappointment to them.

“Bobby’s Lounge was not for the people really, it was private,” said Guida. “We wanted there to be a place for everyone to come to, a friendly place where you can come sit outside. More family-oriented.”

After being quietly open for business for a couple of months, the management held a big opening with Senator Jeff Klein and friends there to cut the ribbon. “The neighborhood needed a place like this,” said Guida. “It’s a place for everybody, we did this grand opening to tell people ‘Hey, bring your spouse, bring your kids, come get a cappuccino, or espresso, and have an ice cream’.”

Both men are especially excited about the café’s imported gelati, which, along with certain breads and pastries, is imported from Italy.

The café also has a liquor license, which Signorile admitted was a challenge to obtain, so they’ll be able to offer beer and spirits.

But perhaps most appealing of all, to any students or heavy e-mailers, is that the café will have a wireless Internet signal for customers to use.

Signorile said that one important value to him was hiring local staff.

“I’m a firm believer in bringing in kids who are going to school,” he said. “We’ve got four nice young ladies working here for us, and all are from the community.”

But those aren’t the only four ladies who will work at Serata. Guida was happy to reveal the plan to bring in another local woman to help out: “I’m going to have my mother in there working a couple days a week,” he said. “She’ll be making traditional foods from Italy, because she grew up there, in Bari.”

Finally, the managers and family guys are excited about not just the beverage and snack offerings, but the physical space of their new joint. The front of the café is forty-feet of glass that opens up to the sidewalk so that everyone inside can see out easily, and watch the sidewalk from their table. “It’s just like traditional cafes in Italy,” beamed Guida.

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group