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New Jamestown cafe honours Lucy and Desi


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Yet another Lucy attraction in Jamestown has been added to the roster, and it's excellent that it is next door to the Lucille Ball Little Theatre:



The Cuban song Babalu might have been Desi Arnaz's signature song on the television show "I Love Lucy," but in downtown Jamestown it is now a cafe.


The Babalu Cafe, 14. E. Second St., next to Lucille Ball Little Theater, held a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the restaurant. April Pintagro, Babalu Cafe owner, said the business opened its doors on Nov. 18 and so far business has been good.


"Things are going fabulously well," she said. "The cafe gives people a nice location to come and meet."


The full-service coffee house features a full menu of moderately priced comfort foods with a dessert bar, magazines, planned Wi-Fi service and space for live performers. The cafe offers a casual dining and coffeehouse experience for many patrons who frequent the city's entertainment venues.


Being right next to the Little Theater, Mrs. Pintagro and her husband, Sebastian "Busty" Pintagro, :lucyshock: have affiliated the local landmark with their own business. The cafe's normal hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., but when a play is being performed at the theater the business will be open until midnight.


"Babalu was suggested to us as a name for a restaurant downtown," she said. "We finally decided that was the name to go with to help bring more attention to downtown Jamestown. I'm truly a huge Lucy fan."


Anyone who walks into the cafe will immediately see how big a fan of Lucy the Pintagros are from the Lucy Barbies to the framed puzzle picture to the many photos of the Lucy and Desi lining the walls of the cafe. In fact, the restaurant even has sketches of the two stars on the doors of the restroom indicating which one is for men and which one is for ladies.


The Pintagros received support from Chautauqua Opportunities for Development in getting the business started. The cafe owners received a $15,000 loan to provide start-up capital, which allowed for improvements to the building, equipment fixtures and inventory.


"CODI is dedicated to increasing economic development in Chautauqua County," said Greg Lindquist, CODI economic development director. "We strive to help microenterprises and small businesses by offering lending, consulting and training for entrepreneurs throughout Chautauqua County. We are pleased to be able to assist Sebastian and April yet realize their dream of owning and operating a small business."



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