Dining With Denise Neil

Downtown YMCA’s cafe has a new tenant, and it’s open to the public

The cafe inside the Downtown YMCA is back in business and is now A Taste of Times Square at Cafe 402.
The cafe inside the Downtown YMCA is back in business and is now A Taste of Times Square at Cafe 402.

The cafe inside the Downtown YMCA is back in business.

This week, A Taste of Times Square owners Ramy and Melissa Salem opened an outlet of their downtown restaurant inside the gym and are calling it A Taste of Times Square at Cafe 402.

The cafe serves breakfast sandwiches, smoothies, coffee drinks, pita sandwiches and rice bowls, and the owners focused on keeping prices affordable, Melissa Salem said. Sandwiches and rice bowls are $5.99 to $6.99. Breakfast sandwiches are $4.99.

The cafe is open to the public – not just to YMCA members. Its hours are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

The little cafe inside the lobby of Wichita’s has had several operators since the gym opened in 2012.

First it was the Hyatt. Then it was Cafe 402. Then, in August of last year, Mead’s Corner took over but closed down after just six months. The space had been vacant since February.

The Salems’ flagship restaurant, which serves sandwiches, burgers, pita sandwiches and breakfast items named for New York City-area neighborhoods and landmarks, has operated at 217 E. Douglas since last summer. It had been in the Petroleum Building at 221 S. Broadway, but after air conditioning woes, it quickly moved. A Taste of Times square originally opened at 13th and Grove in 2014.

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