Schenectady, N.Y. — November 10, 2011 – On Friday, November 11, the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce officially welcomes a new business to the roster of attractions that are quickly making Downtown Schenectady a destination of choice. The APOSTROPHE CAFÉ at Proctors will benefit from an official ribbon cutting on Friday, Nov. 11 at 11:30 AM.
Members of the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce are invited to attend the ceremonial event along with elected officials, representatives of Metroplex, Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation, students from Schenectady County Community College, area businesses and the general public.
In addition to the ribbon cutting on November 11, the sponsors have planned a mixer at APOSTROPHE for the SCCC faculty at 4:30 pm to ensure that they are aware of the APOSTROPHE and what it has to offer them and students as well. The space is ideal for casual meetings and coaching sessions with students – and is enhanced by internet access and a less institutional setting.
Teamwork for Positive Outcomes
Leesa Perazzo, Proctors Group Sales Manager, spearheaded improvements in the eatery in concert with Dan Sheehan, Proctors Director of Operations and new co-managers of the Café, Jackie Davis and Phil DuBois.
“Proctors CEO Philip Morris wanted the APOSTROPHE to complement the arts and entertainment complex and serve as a real gathering place,” said Ms. Perazzo. “My background in the hospitality business led him to ask me to put my experience to the test to create a more welcoming spot for visitors to Proctors. We quickly set out to improve service, offer a wider array of food options and enhanced the ambiance to attract more people and encourage them to stay – and return.”
The stakes became even higher when Schenectady County Community College became the primary tenant of the former City Center building across from Proctors.
“Students there have no campus center to speak of,” added Ms. Perazzo. “It seemed only natural to work with the college to establish the APOSTROPHE as the unofficial gathering place for students.”
She noted that the APOSTROPHE team even created a special nook within the café, in which students could meet, discuss assignments or work on projects in a relaxed environment.
Dr. Quintin B. Bullock. President of Schenectady County Community College, is pleased about the proximity to the APOSTROPHE CAFÉ at Proctors.
“We are thrilled to have SCCC at Center City and more than 1600 students, along with faculty and staff in downtown Schenectady. The APOSTROPHE Café and Lounge at Proctors is an excellent off-site location for SCCC students, faculty, and staff to engage in myriad campus life activities off the SCCC campus, enjoy delicious beverages and refreshments, as well as a friendly conversation with a colleague or friend. Proctors and SCCC’s collective efforts affirm a true community partnership.”
According to Proctors CEO, the arts and entertainment complex hosts more than 600,000 visitors each year.
“The refurbished APOSTROPHE CAFÉ is a great fit for us, for the college and for anyone working in or visiting Schenectady reenergized downtown area. Downtown,” Morris said.
Building on Success
Proctors acquired the space formerly leased by the Muddy Cup in January 2010.
Co-managers Jackie Davis and Phil DuBois oversee operations at APOSTROPHE.
Davis, who hails from Schenectady, will be recognizable to many café patrons from her prior position as an Education Coordinator at the Honest Weight Food Co-op and as a manager/buyer for an area museum.
Dubois worked at the popular Café Dolce on Lark Street in Albany.
Both are excited by the challenge of overseeing Proctors latest addition.
“We have a new menu, a better streamlined operation, bar service on show nights, the decor has been cleaned, brightened and upgraded with additional improvements in progress,” said Ms. Davis.
Dubois points out that the new menu includes creative breakfast and luncheon sandwiches, fresh salads, gourmet desserts, bagels, muffins, pastries and a wide variety of hot and cold specialty beverages.
“Proctors welcomes everyone that frequents downtown be it related to business, shopping, a trip to the movies or a performance, “ said Perazzo. “We encourage students and faculty from the new SCCC downtown campus use APOSTROPHE as a gathering place and take advantage of its amenities such as free wi-fi.”
According to Dan Sheehan, customers often inquire about the name of the new café. He tells them that when Proctors assumed the lease of Muddy Cup, finding a suitable name was a challenge; Proctors employees were invited to make suggestions.
He reminds them that the original theatre was called Proctor’s — with an apostrophe “s” — since “Dean of Vaudeville” F.F. Proctor built the State Street palace in 1926. As the theatre expanded in new directions, “we reexamined our brand and decided that Proctors – no apostrophe, no s — and without the word ‘theater’ — best reflected all that Proctors was becoming.
“The missing apostrophe from the original brand became an inspiration. For those who missed it, the APOSTROPHE is back!”
The APOSTROPHE CAFÉ is located within the arcade at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305. Hours of operation: 7am – 9 pm, later on show nights.
For more information, contact Leesa L. Perazzo. Group Sales Manager, Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305; 518.382.3884 x 187.