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The New Sidewalk Cafe is ‘Just Keeping Up With the Times’

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR. Photos: Lauren Carol Smith

After closing for renovations in March, the venerable Sidewalk Café reopened its bar yesterday. Tomorrow, its dining room reopens with the spiffy new look that you see here. Helah Kehati, who officially joined the family business in March, can be credited with some of the changes. Her father Amnon Kehati opened the “anti-folk” music fixture in 1985, the year after she was born. “I’ve been pushing him and begging him to revamp it for the last two or three years,” she said today. “I wanted a space that was cleaned up and caught up with the times. It was my dad who made the decision that if we’re going to do this, it has to be done the right way.”

That meant a complete gut renovation that might leave appreciators of shabby chic bristling. But Ms. Kehati is resolved. “I’ve seen drastic changes in the neighborhood,” she said. “The faces are different, for better or worse. You’re getting a lot of college students, younger crowds, higher rents. We’re not trying to change what we’re good at — we’re just trying to evolve with our neighborhood.” Read more…