After months of renovation and redecorating, Renee Livingston has successfully opened Crickets Coffee Company on Main Street, bringing back a much-coveted space for off-campus work and leisure since the closing of Muddy Waters.
The first day of business was Wednesday Feb. 11, and Livingston noted that she is planning an official grand opening for the near future.
“It is so amazing and overwhelming,” she said. “I was here until 3:30 a.m. [today] with some of my employees getting things ready. I want to see everything run smoothly.”
Livingston reported that about a dozen people filtered in during the first few hours, which she found to be the perfect “soft opening,” as she managed to stay in control of everything and work at a comfortable pace.
The newly hired staff includes about 12 employees, many of whom have had previous experience as baristas. Many worked at the Starbucks on campus before accepting a position at Crickets, such as junior Casey Stiller.
Stiller applied for the job hoping to find work off the Geneseo campus. She found it a good opportunity to continue as a barista.
“I have worked a couple of shifts already and it has been absolutely fantastic,” she said.
In regard to the café’s design, the interior has completely changed from that of its predecessor. A sit-down bar lines the window at the front of the restaurant, framing the front portion of the room which incorporates high tables, couches and an antique piano. All the walls are repainted, while two stand out with aluminum siding. Although it has not yet been delivered, a new hand-painted sign on a drumhead will be mounted and lit at the front of the shop.
“There is still some tweaking to do,” Livingston said. “The merchandise area is still empty and artwork needs to go up. We also have some saloon style doors coming in to cover the entrance to the kitchen area.”
Livingston hopes to focus on the merchandise and gift elements of her shop over the next few weeks, featuring products from local businesses and artisans.
“We’re also hoping to put together a nice recipe book,” she said. “We have been experimenting with gluten free and vegan options to provide a wide array for our customers.”
Senior Courtney Kristin ventured into the coffee shop on Wednesday and said she was extremely pleased with her first visit. “I loved the vibe, it was extremely comfortable,” she said. “I ordered a tea and a cheddar and scallion scone, which was really good. Plus, the service was super friendly and enthusiastic.”
Kristin mentioned her love for Muddy Waters, but had no reservations with her excitement for the new coffee shop.
“I think his place is going to do really great things,” she said.