After a successful run in at its Poughkeepsie location, co-owner Edward Kowalski decided to expand his business across the river and open a Lola’s Cafe at the corner of Main and North Chestnut Street in New Paltz, replacing the beloved Neko Sushi.
Casual yet stylish, Lola’s Cafe opened its doors on July 10 and New Paltz residents have been enjoying the unique menu ever since, establishing Lola’s as a New Paltz hotspot.
Brandon Brooks, manager of the recently opened cafe, originally worked in the kitchen at the Poughkeepsie location for three and a half years. After years of hard work and long hours, Brooks is glad to be working within the New Paltz community.
“New Paltz is a great little town, we are being well received and I’m happy to be here,” Brooks said.
Brooks noted that this new location is based off the same business model as the Poughkeepsie location, although Lola’s at New Paltz will get to enjoy different features, such as beer and wine.
The menu at Lola’s features a wide selection of wraps, salads, paninis and sandwiches. Brooks said the business prides itself on its fresh ingredients and sauces that are always made in the kitchen.
“It’s all handmade,” Brooks explained. “Nothing comes out of sacks or tubes.”
The interior decoration fits its food choices; rustic with wooden floors and a cabin-like shape, yet also catered to a young audience with its lively staff and selection of mostly 2000’s punk rock music.
Lola’s is fast casual, meaning they do not offer full table service. Customers place the order and prepay at the counter and the meal is brought to the table later. They may also serve their own water.
With a more easygoing format than other restaurants in the area, Lola’s Cafe and Catering is creating its own space and dynamic while providing fresh and flavorful food.
“I think the fact that it’s fast casual changes the whole dynamic of the restaurant,” second-year student Katie Foley said. “It becomes less of a restaurant in my opinion, but the food is honestly good.”
SUNY New Paltz students enjoy having Lola’s as a part of the town and although some have claimed that the meals can have high prices, the quality and quantity of the food makes it worth the experience.
The menu is suitable for the palatte of many, with some rich meat dishes like the short rib grilled cheese, but also containing some savory vegetarian and vegan options such as the black bean burger, a favorite for Foley.
“These are reasonable prices for generally healthy, fresh food,” Foley said. “I was content and satisfied with the burger.
Lola’s Cafe succeeds in providing savory, healthy food as well as juicy meat options. It is apparent that they will carve out a space of their own, catering to the different tastes of the New Paltz student body, residents and tourists.