Coffee house creates fresh look
Owner offers new bakery items and a streamlined menu
By Willie Kiernan
Common Grounds has been closed for renovations since mid-February. When they open back up, customers will notice a new look to the coffee house. Proprietor Ben Eberhardt said it needed to be done to enable a quicker and more pleasurable dining experience.
"I'm thrilled for what people will see when we open back up," said Eberhardt. "I think a customer will be clear and their expectations will be able to be met when we're finished with what we're doing here."
What they're doing there is actually quite a lot. They have built a half-wall to define the traffic flow and the dining space. Booths will be added behind the wall. The focus will shift from the east wall to the north wall because that's where the registers and the baked goods will be. People will place their orders at the counter on the back wall, the work their way around to pick up their espresso drink or food item.
"With this rearranging, to be able to get in and out in 5 to 10 minutes will be achievable," Eberhardt said. "But also, people can have the traditional business lunch and be comfortable sitting around."
Built onto the east side is another counter behind which there will be a finishing station for baked goods. Along with the expansion of bakery items, the coffee house will have a daily delivery of breads and pastries from The Patisserie in Skaneateles. The new line of baked goods will include such items as stretch breads, foccacia, pies, cookies, fruit tarts, wedding cakes, brownies and a variety of pastries.
The Common Grounds menu will be streamlined in order to lower prices and increase delivery speed. They are even bringing back some of the original sandwiches with new names. The re-opening will most likely take place at the end of March.
"The place needed to be cleaned up and organized for a better dining experience," Eberhardt said. "We've got granite counter tops; it'll be beautiful. But mainly, we want people to be able to get a quick cup of coffee, a pastry or a quick lunch."