Liberty Cafe on Cortland Sold to Owners of Vega (Also of Cortland)

Liberty Cafe

Remember when we told you that the Liberty Cafe on Cortland was up for sale? It’s now been sold… to the owners of Vega, the Italian restaurant that’s also on Cortland (and practically across the street). Our friends at Inside Scoop have the, uh, scoop:

“It’s the pillar of the neighborhood,” [Vega co-owner Vega Freeman-Brady] says. “It really needs some TLC, so we’re going to clean it up, bring it back to life.”

She adds: “We’re keeping it the Liberty Cafe.”

For now, she doesn’t plan on going dark, hoping that they can transition into a new era — revised menu, local ingredients, revised service practices, etc. — over the next few months. She says that the restaurant hasn’t had an on-site operator in years, so everything needs to be refreshed. They’ll make changes slowly, and hopefully, they’ll have an official reopening shindig later this year.

Can’t wait. All in all, a very Bernal, very all-in-the-family resolution, eh? Love that.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

19 thoughts on “Liberty Cafe on Cortland Sold to Owners of Vega (Also of Cortland)

    • Agree Glad new ownership stayed in Bernal but Liberty Cafe didn’t need updating. I’m not crazy about Vega’s food, so I’m disappointed. Liberty had a great bakery! Vega owners have big shoes to fill.

  1. Hoooray!!!

    Herr Dr. Bar Tartine’s latest chef added some/lots super-delicioso hungarian items, I ate there a few months back and thought it was seriously fantastic

  2. I think this is great news and I have to disagree with Laura on this – we went after the last owner died (it had been our fave, along with Vino Rosso, on Cortland for years) and it was pretty bad: lousy service and worse food – really a shadow of what it was. It may have improved since then but they were not getting any more of our money. I really love Vega’s food and they seemed to have worked out their service issues (Vino Rosso, which I love, still has quirky service – but nothing to get uptight about).

    Liberty, though, is different: a different cuisine and a higher level of service. It will not be easy for Vega and Co to manage but let’s do this thing! Between Liberty, Vega and Ichi we’ll never leave the neighborhood…

  3. That seems a bit monopolistic for my taste… But then I really like Liberty, and much prefer it to Vega in terms of both food and service. I agree, I’m not sure what needs ‘updating’. I’m hoping they don’t ‘update’ the quality of the menu too much, and I’m REALLY hoping the service doesn’t change to match Vega.

  4. yay Vega! Love both restaurants, and love the owners. Our hopes are that the Liberty Wine bar stays and really takes off with wine tastings as they had hoped to do more of. The Liberty pot pie has never been the same since Cathy passed and it is the reason my husband bought a house in Bernal way back when. (sad but true! food to soothe the savage beast?!?) Looking very much forward to Vega and Giuseppe working their magic!!

  5. The Hungarian place and its harpsichord was where Vega’s is now -not Liberty Cafe. I miss it too. At the new Libery I hope they keep the origianl hash and eggs and so too of course the chicken pot pie. Pure Bernal!

  6. With all due respect to the owners of Vega …. The Liberty Cafe is the best restaurant in Bernal. Way better than Vega. Yes, the service could use a boost. But the food in impeccable. PLEASE whatever you do – listen to Liberty’s chef. He’s the best we have and his creations are delicious. Liberty has become the “go to” restaurant for everyone I’ve ever taken there. I think half the reason my mom just visited me from NJ is to eat at Liberty. So please. Don’t change it for the sake of change, or to put your stamp on it. Get out of that chef’s way, and LISTEN to the people who eat there regularly. Please don’t mess with the most delicious place on Cortland!

    • I respectfully disagree. The food at Liberty is bland and not the least bit exciting. I’ve taken many everyday folk there and they liken it to a high end diner.

  7. I’m not a fan of Vega’s food or service but I’m glad to see that someone local has purchased the Liberty Cafe. I agree with jj – let the chef do his thing and keep the menu as it!

  8. the best part of liberty is the cafe in the back and the people who run in the back, they always have a very uplifting spirit the 4 days a weeks I go in for my scone and coffee,

  9. Pingback: Sandbox Bakery Opening New Restaurant Just Down the Street | Bernalwood

  10. Pingback: Back of Liberty Cafe to Become Bistro-Style Outdoor Cinema | Bernalwood

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