Back of Liberty Cafe to Become Bistro-Style Outdoor Cinema

Liberty Cafe

As you may recall, last fall the Liberty Cafe on Cortland was purchased by the owners of Vega, the Italian restaurant across the street. Now that the new owners have had some time to settle in, they’re preparing to make some changes to the bakery zone in the back. The food-obsessed Inside Scoop blog has the details:

The front cafe area isn’t changing. It will still serve the Liberty Cafe lunch, dinner and beloved brunch.

But in the back bakery area, there will be some changes. During the day, Liberty Cafe is working with nearby Sandbox Bakery for the baked goods. The bakery is still open with the same hours, but all the goods coming out there are Sandbox’s. (Sandbox’s Mutsumi Takehara is using the oven there for bread, too.)

During the evenings, the plan is to screen movies and serve thin-crust pizzas — almost like an extension of owner Vega Freeman-Brady’s pizzeria (Vega) across the way. They’re putting in heat lamps and new beer taps.

Innnnnnnnnteresting. Baked good from Sandbox during the day, with a smaller-scale Foreign Cinem-type thing happening after dark. All that sounds like a rather tasty combination.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

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19 Responses to Back of Liberty Cafe to Become Bistro-Style Outdoor Cinema

  1. postrideburrito says:

    This makes me sad – I really liked Liberty’s baked goods, and I’ll really miss the bakery basket in the café

  2. CNG says:

    That must be why we haven’t been able to get Liberty’s tasty bread pudding lately. Bummer!

  3. Tony T. says:

    Vega’s food is, at best, mediocre. Baked goods from Sandbox will better thought. Movie concept very intriguing. Only question is can the owner of Vega up his food game.

  4. VictoryGin says:

    Yay! Now I can enjoy Sandbox goodies minus the side order of grumpy that’s served up each day by the Sandbox Bakery’s scowling staff!!!

    • lm says:

      Funny, I thought the same thing!

      • LL says:

        ditto! re Sandbox. great croissants, tho’.
        re: Liberty, recent menu needs turning up big time, and the staff needs training even more. I live Vega, no pretensions, and fun.

  5. BH lovr says:

    Sandbox baked goods have been disappointing for quite some time now. The only thing which makes up for it is that great big smile you get from the Sandbox staff every time you walk through the door…NOT

  6. Brett Levine says:

    Have to agree with the Litterbox boycott. It’s not just anyone that can make a fluffy croissant wilt with a blase smirk but the staff somehow manage it. But I’ll never forget my one visit to Vega, when they tried to charge me two bucks for olive oil to go with their dry bread. Now that’s a match made in hell!

  7. Chris m says:

    Omg. I am in heaven.

  8. donnabeth says:

    sounds redundant

  9. JP says:

    Love Vega’s food, Sandbox’s baked goods are yummy but uneven as of late, like what happened to the pain au chocolats..no longer as amazing : ( … Love the movie concept, I told Vega they needed to do that for sure!! This is all good!

  10. R says:

    I’m surprised to hear the complaints about staff at Sandbox.. I’ve never had any such problems. They always seem perfectly nice to me.

  11. Judge Crater says:

    Likewise! Sandbox people have always been very friendly to me (non-hipster with dog). And their pastries are the best in Bernal. Love the pizza idea for the back of Liberty. Cathy (the Liberty’s original owner) was very into baking. Now the Vega people should go with what they know best.

  12. Tim Roberts says:

    pizza, beer on tap, heat lamps and movies. how can you complain? that sounds absolutely awesome. psyched that vega is taking things in a new and interesting direction.

  13. ag says:

    I felt so cheated when I popped into Liberty this morning for a sticky bun fix and found they were no longer baking their own pastries (Sandbox is good, but not the same!) that I had to let the new management know. This is an excerpt from my letter:

    “A “bakery” that doesn’t bake? What is the point of hacking a 3-minute-walk-away bakery’s pastries when you have the infrastructure, customer base and tradition of making your own only-found-at-Liberty pastries?

    I support local businesses, not simply because they are local, but because they represent the individuality, diversity and neighborhood-iness that we Bernalites pride ourselves on. I don’t believe what you are doing at The Liberty Cafe and Bakery is in alignment with these ideals and I will boycott your business (and encourage others to do so as well) until you bring back the original sticky bun — or at least until you start baking your own pastries.”

    • Tim Roberts says:

      oh please. liberty isn’t employing child labor or serving fast food – possibly they have just chosen to focus on things they do best and decided that baking isn’t one of them. they are still a local business, supporting other local businesses. if you don’t like the product they provide, don’t go there – but a ‘boycott’ is just silly.

  14. Pamela says:

    AG hits it right on the mark! Went to Liberty Cafe last Saturday. As always service was excellent. Sitting on the patio could not have been more perfect. However, my husband & I were very disappointed with the pastry that is coming out from Sandbox. The so-called morning bun was burnt (had to send it back), the croissant was not that much better. And don’t even get me started on the bread – was like cardboard! – What are they thinking?! The Liberty Cafe bakery was excellent; their pastry chef was one of the best. Very sad to see LC bakery go. Also, there was a bad vibe from how the staff is being treated; hopefully, it was just on that day. Too bad. Almost no reason to go to The Liberty Cafe anymore.

  15. seems pretty boring to be serving the same food as down the street and across the street. we certainly don’t need two sandbox bakeries or vega’s on our tiny strip of fun! would have been great to see something new and original being served in the back.
    glad to hear they are keeping the liberty cafe front menu (always good). and i like the outdoor cinema concept, but it’s just a big let down on the unoriginal food options in the back!!

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