The Range Café has finally arrived somewhere in between the Northeast Heights and Bernalillo. That somewhere, specifically, is the former Lindy's location on Menaul, just east of University. After weeks of renovation that transformed the space with the Range's familiar rustic and colorful theme, the café opened last week. Like its siblings, this one serves three meals a day but will surely be a favorite for breakfast (huevos con queso!). Look for a new and interesting beer and wine list at this location. Call 888-1660 for more information.
Café Riviera (255-2800) is the name of a new coffeehouse across from Lucky Boy near Constitution and Carlisle. Manager Kevin Wright explains that Riviera is a coffeehouse with a little bit of food and a lot of used books. The books, Wright guesses they've got about 1,000 for sale, come from Nob Hill's Book Stop. The food is mostly Mediterranean, prepared by a Jordanian chef who offers up a menu with French pastries and sandwiches in addition to items with Middle Eastern flavors. Red Rocks Roasters provide the coffee, including organic and free-trade blends. The back patio is shaded by a large canopy and inside a different artist will grace the walls every month. The café is open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. every day.
Fourth Street Café (Fourth between Central and Copper) will be closed for the next month or so as they transform the place from a somewhat dated-looking diner into what they hope will become a hip pub. Owner Pete Rallis plans to put in brand new wood floors, a bar and dance floor area while also making space for a private party room that will be available for business functions. The menu will stay pretty much the same, but the place will be open through dinner and have a full liquor license. Interior walls will be lined with 18 television screens that will broadcast everything from sports to music videos. They're also trying to gain approval for a big awning to cover the front patio. Although the bar will have the capability for live music, the owners say they don't have definite plans beyond bringing in DJs a few nights a week. They're hoping for a May opening.
Conrad's of La Posada (125 Second NW) received a breath of fresh air with the recent addition of Executive Chef Randy Pentecost. The Culinary Institute of America graduate and two-time recipient of Oklahoma City's Chef of the Year award has been at the restaurant about six months, where he's been busy updating traditional Conrad's menus with his own "Nuevo Latino" flair. The new menus blend distinctive New Mexican flavors with the regional cooking styles of Latin America. Pentecost says that dishes like his pan-seared duck breast with Thai red chile and dried Mexican apricots are already generating great responses from customers.