Café adds college town feeling
By Marty Anderson
“ I’d really like to expand the place as business grows and add more to the European feel of the shop,” Veneziano said.
The University Café, a coffee shop at 211 S. Union Chapel Road, opened in February to appeal to college students and bring them together with local residents.
The owner is Sebastian Veneziano, an 11-year-veteran of the Pembroke Police Department.
Veneziano said that he felt a need in Pembroke for a place that had a different atmosphere from other shops in the community.
He said that the shop should draw in both students and faculty and also serve as a way for the college town feeling to progress and expand past the campus.
“We have seen a lot of growth in business due to word of mouth,” Veneziano said. “In the beginning our customers were mostly locals. Now it’s about 50/50.”
The shop also has a very European look to it. The walls are painted red and adorned by lavish gold moldings.
“I want customers to come inside and really be transported to another country,” he said.
UNCP senior and barista Alex Brown has been working at the cafe since May 2006 and enjoys whipping up new creations according to taste. The counter is open so customers can see exactly how their drinks are made, step-by-step.
“We like to get feedback from our customers on how we make their coffee,” Brown said.
“Since customers can see everything, it makes the experience more personal and people understand what they’re drinking,” he said.
A variety of hot beverages are available as well as muffins and cookies.
The cafe holds an Open Mic Night, which showcases local performing artists and students from 7 to 11 p.m. every Wednesday.
University Café is located downtown behind Cyna’s Diamond and Jewelers.