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Phoenix College Culinary Café to Open with New Name and New Look

August 23, 2013
The new Cafe Oso.

The hidden and delicious gem of Phoenix College is set to unveil a new name and look for the new school year as the remodeled and renamed Café Oso brings a fresh look to an old campus favorite.

Tucked away on Phoenix College’s Osborn campus, located at 3310 N. 10thAve in Phoenix, the café has long offered affordable, gourmet, three-course lunches to the community, showcasing the talents of aspiring chefs taking part in PC’s Culinary Studies program. With the updates to the interior of the café, the surroundings will match the high quality of food being served.

“Over time, the café had become a catchall of colors and styles so the overall appearance was both bland and mismatched,” said Dr. Cynthia Parker, a member of PC’s Interior Design faculty who helped to design the space. “It was of paramount importance to refurbish the café with a color palette that was warm, inviting, and appropriate to enhancing the appetite and the pleasure of dining.”

The space features new furniture throughout, and the design is based around a color palette of rich reds, gold, and black accents. Artwork now adorns the walls, which remind diners of PC’s 93-year history. “We are using old black and white photographs from the PC archives,” said Ken Roberts, program director of PC’s Interior Design program who was also involved in the design process. “Many [of the photos] feature the bear for which the café is named.”

Changing the name from the ambiguous Culinary Café to the new Café Oso strengthens the connection between the café and Phoenix College, which is home to the Bears (“oso” means bear in Spanish).

The café also features a new entrance, which has been moved from the interior of the college’s Osborn site so that diners may now enter from Flower Street, making the café more accessible to the public.

It’s not just the surroundings that have been given an update, as the menu will also feature new flavors. “I’m looking forward to introducing more healthy, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, balanced with classical dishes,” said Chef Joseph Kalfus, chef instructor at PC.

Café Oso will be opened to the public beginning August 27, 2013. Regular business hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 11:00am to 1:00pm for lunch. Reservations can be made by calling 602-285-7764. The full menu for the fall 2013 semester is also available here.


Click on each photo to view full-size images of Cafe Oso under construction.

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