The General Deli & Café opened quietly in late June, but every new beginning demands a celebration.

Owners John Barany and Paul Kuharic agree.

The pair hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony earlier today celebrating their opening, but they’re already looking for ways to expand.

“Next needs to be breakfast, and expanding [for] the morning crowd,” said Barany.

The lunch menu is coming into solidly place, according to Kuharic, so he and Barany want to improve in other ways.

Along with breakfast, the pair say they’re looking into getting a liquor license and starting dinner options.

Kuharic also said that there are plans to start bringing more art to the café.

DJ Chuck Fry mixed beats for patrons of The General Deli & Cafe during the grand opening ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (Flavor 574 photo/Joe Kuharic)
DJ Chuck Fry mixed beats for patrons of The General Deli & Cafe during the grand opening ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016.
(Flavor 574 photo/Joe Kuharic)

“We will definitely have music here,” he said. “And I think maybe some smaller art exhibits, but I think, for me, I’d like it to be a collection of local artists.”

On hand for the ribbon cutting were Adam Burck, the new executive director of Downtown South Bend, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, both of whom gave brief speeches. The mayor took his time to discuss the importance of initiatives to beautify parts of downtown and to create positive outlets — such as cafés — with a strong community focus.

Kuharic sees that as vital to the ideals of The General.

A patron listens to music and works on paperwork inside The General Deli & Cafe while others chat outside. (Flavor 574 photo/Joe Kuharic)
A patron listens to music and works on paperwork inside The General Deli & Cafe while others chat outside.
(Flavor 574 photo/Joe Kuharic)

“I think the biggest importance of something like a coffee shop is that it allows people to walk through a door and be in a space where socioeconomics doesn’t play, or race doesn’t play any matter. And people can just be here and freely have this integrated relationship,” he said.

The crowd of about 30 that gathered for the event echoed Kuharic’s ideal as folks from all walks of life stopped for a cup of coffee and a quick snack before lunch.

The General Deli & Café

Address: 609 E. Jefferson Blvd., South Bend
Phone: 574-286-4193
Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
Social Media: Facebook and Instagram

Importantly, folks in the area are starting to take notice of what the two are doing and they’re turning The General into their local haunt.

“There’s a noticeable crowd that’s here regularly… some that are here virtually everyday. There’s definitely some people who are starting to make it part of their routine,” Barany said.

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