PRINCETON — Bringing the tastes of Puerto Rico to Princeton is the plan for a new shop on the south side of the square.
White Rabbit Cafe opened Dec. 22 at 125 W. Broadway Street and is in its soft-open phase.
The shop, operated by Nitza Miranda and Danny Rivera, has a small menu at the moment, but the end-goal is a full menu Puerto Rican restaurant.
For now, the cafe offers a variety of coffees including a mocha latte, cappuccino, and an Americano. All the coffee is supplied by the Evansville Coffee Company. Food-wise, the shop offers pressed grilled cheeses, guava butter toast, Caribbean bites and other small bite options.
Miranda said she isn't sure of an exact date when the soft-open transitions to a full menu, but she hopes by the end of January to have notice of when. Currently, the shop is waiting on some equipment and finalizing a menu.
The restaurant theme is a take on Alice in Wonderland, and much like Alice is transported out of her world, Miranda wants the food to do the same for customers.
"I want to make people feel like they are transported elsewhere food-wise, because it will be Puerto Rican food," she said. "So if they can't travel there, I'll bring a little piece of home here."
Miranda also wants the shop to feel like a community collaboration by letting local artists use the space to showcase work. "If local artists have something to display or sell, they can use my walls," she said.
This is the first venture of this size for Miranda and Rivera, but both wanted to bring a little bit of Puerto Rico to their home now.
"That's pretty much what started it," Miranda said. "Some of the Puerto Rican community has grown a little bit around here, and they do miss a lot of the stuff we get back home too."
White Rabbit has a Facebook page set up to show what's available and give updates to when its open, but it's been mostly foot traffic bringing people in. Hours right now are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday, but the cafe is closed New Year's Day.
"It's a lot of people passing and wanting to know about the place," Miranda said.
Miranda said people have asked why they didn't try to open a place in Evansville, but she said it's this community she wanted to open something in.
"I like this community," she said. "I like Princeton and I feel like Princeton needs it's own coffee shop too."