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Construction crews remain hard at work inside Green Leafe Café, renovating the old restaurant to prepare for its reopening this semester.
The Café is not quite ready to be reopened, but the new owner is adamant that he will preserve the hot spot’s old traditions.
“One of the reasons I bought the name and everything inside is because it was known for good food and a great pub atmosphere,” said owner George Tsipas.
The Café opened in 1974 and had been a staple of the William and Mary student experience until it closed in April. Tsipas subsequently bought the Green Leafe and added it to his collection of restaurants along Scotland Street, joining Paul’s Deli and the College Delly.
Before he opened Paul’s Deli, Tsipas used to frequent the Green Leafe as a patron in the early 1980s.
“I want to save the history,” said Tsipas. “I purchased College Delly in 2010 and did the same thing. These three restaurants are a part of William and Mary. The school has meant so much to us and I wanted to keep that tradition.”
Tsipas has yet to decide on an exact date for reopening, but he believes it will be early in the semester. He also has a vision for mixing modern elements with the Café’s heritage. The stained-glass window, stone tile floor and original wooden interior siding will remain in the establishment, alongside a new bourbon bar and a completely renovated kitchen.
Tsipas has also reached out to William and Mary alumni on Facebook and asked them to submit photographs of the Green Leafe that date back to the 1980s and '90s. He hopes to print and frame the images and display them on the walls of the restaurant.
“It’s important to the students,” said Tsipas. “I want to bring a lot of the history back.”