Owners of Unter Biergarten, Fuego Coffee opening new cafe in former Starry Nites space

Food and Drink

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Many in the Neighborhood of the Arts were sad to see Starry Nites Cafe close. It was a neighborhood coffee joint and cafe with a dedicated group of regulars who felt like family.

For Derrick DePorter, chef and partner at Unter Biergarten on East Avenue, it was familial feeling he wanted to keep in his new space, “Matilda Coffee House & Kitchen,” named for his daughter.

“I used to live in that building, actually, back when I helped open the Revelry,” DePorter said over the phone. “I was very familiar with the space and the landlord, Paul Kramer.”

As you might expect from someone living above a coffee shop, he would often frequent the old Starry Nites. As such, the idea for this has been brewing for months, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

“My business partner Tony Colon, who owns Fuego Coffee, he and I were approached by Kramer to see if we interested, since they weren’t renewing the lease for the Starry Nites tenants, and we jumped on the opportunity,” he said.

As the two work to build that space together, DePorter says their focus is to do right by the space. DePorter confesses a love for the unique building nestled on the corner of Atlantic and University Avenue, and is aiming for a full remodel and refresh to update the space.

“Its needs the love and attention we want to give it,” he said.

In addition to a new aesthetic, which DePorter describes as a balance of trendy and homey, he’s also planning on giving the food and drink a remodel.

“Casual and community focused,” DePorter added. “It’s nothing pretentious — in all essence, it’s a cafe.”

All of the coffee will be roasted by Fuego and blended by Matilda, and the cafe counter service will feature an updated menu, something DePorter calls “Australian cafe.”

“Healthy grain bowls, avocado toast, breakfast all day kind of deal,” he said. “There will a food bar, coffee bar, and a lot of outdoor seating.”

DePorter says he’s planning on “taking hammers to walls” this week, and is aiming for an opening no later than September.

If you want a preview of the Matilda menu, Unter Biergarten has been offering pop up brunch on Sundays.

News 8 did reach out to managers from Starry Nites, the former tenant of the space. They only wanted to add that they still have the rights to the “Starry Nites” name.

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