New Haven will soon have a restaurant that is out of this world. Literally.
The Sci-Fi Cafe at Stargate Enterprises, a restaurant with a unique science fiction atmosphere, is slated to open in mid-November on 51 Crown St. across from Funktion nightclub. With tall alien figures lining the walls and a 12-foot flying saucer suspended from the ceiling, the Sci-Fi Cafe hopes to add another dimension to New Haven’s restaurant selection.
Resembling the inside of an intergalactic spaceship, the Sci-Fi Cafe will feature a diverse menu that includes burgers, deli products, seafood, and homemade bread. In keeping with the science fiction theme, the menu items bear such names as “Double Fajita Star Salad”, “Waxing Gibbous Ribs” (baby-back ribs), and “Neptune Poppers” (jalapeno poppers). The restaurant will also feature a full-size bar.
Owners Anthony and Danielle DelMonaco said they believe the city is ready for such a novel concept.
“New Haven had the first burger, the first pizza. Why not create the first themed restaurant in New Haven as well?” co-owner Danielle DelMonaco said.
With basic entrees starting at $5.95, the owners hope the mid-priced restaurant will fill a niche in a city dominated by upscale, expensive restaurants and low-priced, fast food establishments. In an effort to cater to the needs of Yale students, the Sci-Fi Cafe will stay open until 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends and offer delivery.
Danielle DelMonaco said such themed restaurants exist in Florida, California, and New York, and that this area has no outlet for the science fiction crowd.
“People are into science fiction,” DelMonaco said. “People are into the fictional.”
At their grand opening, the owners would like to have New Haven mayor John DeStefano Jr. and possibly Conn. Governor John Rowland cut the ceremonial ribbon. They said they would like to host conventions at their restaurant where “Trekkies” can come together, and also want to host a formal masquerade ball on New Year’s Eve.
The couple also own DelMonaco’s Market in New Haven, and co-owner Anthony DelMonaco previously owned the restaurant Planet Mars on Forbes Ave.
The Sci-Fi Cafe is the latest addition to a resurgent Crown Street, a downtown thoroughfare that is home to Alchemy, Risk, and Funktion nightclubs.
“It will be good down here,” said New Haven Economic Development Officer Craig Russell. “It’s definitely a sign that New Haven is revitalizing with all the new restaurants and bars that are opening in that one strip.”
Some students expressed interest in the new arrival to New Haven’s restaurant scene.
“Among the sci-fi crowd, it will be a hit, a definite attraction,” Zahra Kanji ’05 said. “Personally, I think I’d try it out, just to settle curiosity.”
Dan Kahn ’05 was also excited by the concept of a sci-fi restaurant.
“I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “It will hopefully add some variety.”
If the restaurant is a success, the owners said, they will consider plans of expansion. Beneath the restaurant is a 5,000-square-foot room that could be renovated to host private parties, local bands, or “’80s fests.” In time, they said, they may consider franchising the Sci-Fi Caf* so that other cities can experience the fantasy of science fiction.
“We don’t see a limit to stopping us,” Danielle DelMonaco said.