Cafe Central voted most romantic place in 2015 Pick Awards

Julia Hettiger, Staff Reporter

There are many ideas for a romantic date such as stargazing or going to a movie, but many UTEP students find themselves taking their significant others to Café Central, a swanky downtown restaurant known for its ambience and green chili soup.

After a week of voting, this year’s Pick Award for best romantic

place goes to Café Central. Claudio Melendez, a waiter and bartender at Café Central, said winning this award gives him pride.

“It gives us our pride working for a company this good,” Melendez said.

At this time of year, Café Central puts a lot of effort into coordinating parties, which become highly popular around November and December of each year.

“We’re getting ready to start the party season,” Melendez said.

Although party fever takes place this time of year, Melendez said adding and trying new things is a continuous event at Café Central.

“There’s always new stuff happening here,” Melendez said. “We have wine tasting and we also have a lot of catering.”

According to Melendez, Café Central has become a popular place for many UTEP students to go grab cocktails, chat and unwind after a busy day.

“We do not have too large of a UTEP customer base, but we definitely do get a lot of UTEP students that come in,” Melendez said.

In the past, Café Central has worked with other restaurants to  help them build and expand their UTEP customer base.

“We used to work for Chicago Street Food and that helped,” Melendez said. “Plus, I know some of the people that come here, too, and many of them attended UTEP.”

Melendez said romantics and students alike are most likely drawn to the restaurant because of Café Central’s character.

“The ambience and the quality of the food definitely make it romantic,” Melendez said. “It is also because of the way we treat people when we come in and we serve them, we try to make it really romantic.”

While Café Central is popular for its romanticism and quality, the type of experience a customer has differs depending on if he or she dines there at night or during the day. Melendez said this can have a great impact on any given customer’s visit.

“It definitely changes from the day to the night, where the day is a little bit faster service,” Melendez said. “We sometimes serve in-and-out courses, so their meal does not necessarily have to be the traditional four courses.”

Dining during the day may be a quicker experience, but dining at night is generally more relaxed.

“When you dine at Café Central at night, you can expect to stay here at least from an hour or an hour and a half to anywhere around three hours, so you can get the true experience,” Melendez said.

When dining at Café Central at night, Melendez said customers usually enjoy a traditional four-course meal.

“You start with an appetizer and then you move on to a soup or salad,” Melendez said. “Then you have your entrée and lastly your dessert.”

Although this is the usual for nighttime customers, some expand their four-course meal to a five-course meal.

“We even have some customers come in earlier to start off with cocktails,” Melendez said. “You could always go all the way here.”

Café Central is located at 109 Oregon St. For more information, call 915-545-2233.

Julia Hettiger may be reached at [email protected]