Opening night at Liquid Assets outdoor cafe.
By Cathy Jedruczek
Liquid Assets, the first sidewalk cafe facing the World Trade Center site, opened last Friday outside the Millenium Hilton. Around 7 p.m. a small crowd of patrons sipped wine and beer and chatted- quietly. The view of the pit reminded them that this is not a typical New York sidewalk cafe. Nevertheless, they were pleased to see that usual business is slowly making its way back to the neighborhood.
Mike Butteworth, who works as a consultant and comes to the city from Charlotte, North Carolina every few months, was happy to see the new cafe and thought this will revitalize the area.
I work upstairs, pretty much in the same building, he said. I dont think this is disrespectful or anything like that. I think its getting on with your life. Its just continuing with your life. People need to eat and drink and thats what we are doing here.
His colleague, Mike Williams also thought that the idea to open a cafe near the site was definitely a step in the right direction. We live here, we work here, said Williams. Not to desensitize, but this isnt bad. There are a lot of people down here. I think they are going to get a lot of business.
And that s what the management of Liquid Assets is looking for- a prosperous summer. Regena Ford, manager of the cafe was excited to see people come in and sit down even before the doors were officially open.
I think, it is going to have a great, great impact on the Downtown crowd that comes here, especially tourists, she said.
The 44- seat cafe is an extension of an indoor bar situated inside the Millenium hotel on Church St. Following the attacks, the hotel decided to upgrade and improve the plaza on Church St. and introduce a sidewalk cafe, which now sits on a slightly raised platform. Because it involved a change to a plaza, City Planning required the hotel to go through the lengthier Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.
. It will bring much more business for the hotel itself, Ford said. I think we will do extremely well.