It’s A Cafe, Bar and Workspace For Women All Rolled Into One

By Wendy Liberatore Times Union, Albany, N.Y.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Catherine Hover says "Palette Café" combines all the things she loves -- coffee, cocktails, food, and art in a colorful and comfy setting where visitors can plug in and work.

SARATOGA SPRINGS

A café and art gallery that will cater to women in the mobile workforce is the latest business to open on Broadway.

Owned by Catherine Hover, who helped launch the learn-to-paint-while-drinking-wine craze in the Capital Region at her Saratoga Springs Paint & Sip Studio, Palette Café combines all the things she loves -- coffee, cocktails, food and art in a colorful and comfy setting where visitors can plug in and work.

"I'm doubled down on what I want to be doing, creating a space that is positive and welcoming to anyone," Hover said. "You feel really happy when you are in here. This is what I want to be doing so I'm all in."

The café, which includes an outdoor patio, moved into 493 Broadway where Saratoga Sundress Boutique used to be.

Redesigned as a vibrantly tiled eatery and bar, it will officially open with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5.

At the time of its opening, it will consist of four rooms -- the café bar, a gallery where work by an artist-in-residence (Monica Bill-Hughes is the first) will be displayed, a library where visitors can take or leave a book and a cozy closet-sized room with a cushioned bench and a pink telephone from which visitors can call out to anywhere.

"The phone works and it's just adorable," Hover said.

She said the café, which will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, will eventually expand upstairs where there will be a co-working space that members can access by paying for desk time and "elevated amenities," including a full-time concierge.

While the cafe is open to all, Hover said she wanted a place that was aesthetically pleasing for women. She also wanted a place for them to go.

"Women need a space other than their friends' living rooms," she said. "It was a need I felt that was not being met in the community. Where can girlfriends go that's not their homes?"

The menu includes locally baked scones, biscuits, doberge cake and pop tarts as well as soups and sandwiches. The coffee is from Kru Coffee, another Saratoga Springs business. All the cocktails and mocktails are named after women like Georgia O'Keeffe, Beyonce and Frida Kalho.

"The Arnold Palmer is named the Winnie," Hover said. "That's his wife. You know he never made a drink in his life."

The New Orleans native arrived in Saratoga Springs in 2011 with her husband, a hydrographer who was hired to work on GE's Hudson River dredging project.

At the time of the move, the only thing they knew anything about Saratoga Springs was that Disney World named one of its hotels after the historic resort city. Their plan was to live here five years and return home. That changed after the then 24-year-old Hover opened Paint & Sip, which was an instant hit, selling to capacity night after night.

"I was looking for something to do other than hang out every night on Caroline Street as a bar fly," said Hover, who describes herself as a fearless risk-taker. "My mom suggested Paint & Sip because it's something I always did with her in New Orleans. There weren't any up here. When I first opened it, no one knew what I was trying to do."

She said the café is a much bigger enterprise, including a larger staff, but she hopes that it carries the same kismet of Paint & Sip.

"I love Saratoga and we need creative, innovative spaces," Hover said. "It can't just be another bar or restaurant. We don't want the status quo. We can improve on everything."

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