New cafe opens on parkway

CENTER CITY - September 29, 2008 - It was indeed a grand opening of Capriccio's Café and Espresso Bar at Café Cret on the Parkway.

"I saw them building it in the summer. It's nice to see it up and running," said Rasheen Oliver of West Philadelphia.

"I'm so excited because our café in the building closed. So now we have the beautiful surroundings to come to," said Joyce Jackson of North Philadelphia. "And this open air effect is so wonderful."

The new eatery with indoor and outdoor seating sits at the foot of the parkway, nestled on a Fairmount Park-owned plaza between two square blocks of businesses and residences populated by 10,000 people.

"I love it. Love that it's the entrance to the parkway. My office building is right there," said Eva Gladstein of Andorra.

The café is named after early Philadelphia architect Paul Cret, who designed the plans for the parkway, Rodin Museum and the Ben Franklin Bridge.

The Center City District spent $1.5 million public and private dollars to spruce up the Café Cret plaza and build the Cappriccio-run restaurant.

"It makes Philadelphia such a great place to live, work to come spend time on the plaza any time of year. That's what want to accomplish," said owner David Wagaman.

The creation of this café was no short order in terms of Philadelphia beautification. The rent paid by owner Capriccio will be used to maintain the plaza.

"I didn't know they were going to be helping maintain the plaza. Sounds like a good win-win for the city and the area," said Doug Jones of Malvern.

Café Cret, open 7 days a week, will stock food and information brochures as it seeks to be an ambassador of good taste and tourism on the parkway.

Click here to get the latest Philadelphia news and headlines from across the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.