The newest restaurant in Yellow Springs is Aleta’s Cafe, which moved into a building at 309 Xenia Ave. that formerly housed the Yellow Springs Arts Council, near a new hotel that is coming to the village.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Matthew Willis and Gregg Pastorelle, a graduate of the Columbus Culinary Institute. Both Willis and Pastorelle have worked in restaurants and restaurant kitchens in the region.
“We both have cooked in Yellow Springs for most of our lives,” Willis said, and both wanted to bring to the village a dining option “focused on healthy, fresh food.”
The 1,700-square-foot Aleta’s Cafe seats 45 inside and another 20-25 on the patio. It has five employees.
Karen Wintrow, head of the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce, said the restaurant will complement the 24,000-square-foot Mills Park Hotel that is in the early stages of construction at 321 Xenia Ave.
Wintrow also said Aleta’s Cafe is a “perfect fit” for its building, which housed a coffee shop and a Mexican restaurant prior to the Yellow Springs Arts Council and art gallery. “It’s a beautiful building,” Wintrow said of the space that has arched-brick windows, doorways and entranceway, along with skylights and stone walkways.
The menu includes salads, sandwiches and pizzas made from naan bread. There are several vegetarian and gluten-free options. Willis said one menu item that has emerged as a customer favorite is a smoked chicken-thigh sandwich with bacon, cheddar cheese,, lettuce, tomato, onion and house-made herb mayonnaise. The restaurant does not have a liquor license.
Willis, who grew up in nearby Cedarville, said the restaurant gets its name from his triplet sister, Melanie Aleta Willis, who died five years ago of complications from Graves’ Disease.
For more information about Aleta’s Cafe, call (937) 319-0066 or go to www.aletascafe.com.