Business Profile: Magnolia’s Café, Patterson

Nestled in a storefront located conveniently across the street from the Patterson train station is Magnolia’s Café, a breakfast and lunch spot with great food and an appealing ambiance, which only is kicked up a notch during the cafe’s Sunday brunch jazz performances.

Chris and Lisa Kelsey of Pawling are the husband and wife team who own and operate Magnolia’s Café, which they opened in 2011.

“The ambiance of the eatery and the area was a big factor,” said Chris of why they chose the location, in addition to the warm disposition of the Patterson community.

Magnolia’s cafe might only serve two meals a day – breakfast and lunch – but the variety of what they offer on their menu is bound to sate any appetite.

There are traditional American breakfast selections, omelets, coffee, cappuccino, espresso, wraps, sandwiches, vegetarian specials, an array of bottled beverages, and home-baked treats that are made right on the premises.

Chris said that customers favorites that have them coming back again and again include the quinoa salad and the homemade quiche.

He described the cold soups and the chilled Gazpacho as, “refreshing and largely appealing during the summer months.

Chocolate cream pies, apple pies, peach pies, key lime pies, cupcakes, muffins and gluten-free brownies are baked in the kitchen throughout the day.

Magnolia’s Cafe likes to use local ingredients and the produce and organic eggs used to make their signature dishes are purchased from local farms and vendors, meaning that patrons know where the food they are eating is grown and the local economy benefits.

Keeping with the local spirit, all of the specialty sandwiches made at the cafe are named after important figures in Putnam County’s history, including “The Tilly Foster,” and “The Ludington.”

Upon entering, one immediately notes the effort the  Kelseys have put into making Magnolia’s Cafe inviting and comfortable. There are vintage signs and advertisements hung on the wall, along with art. Bookshelves are situated throughout the cafe, lined with books and vintage knick-knacks.

While jazz music is piped through the restaurant on a regular day, there is live jazz performed, at no additional cost, on most Sundays during brunch when the cafe’s regular offerings, all at $10 or under, are served.

Performing for the customers is none other than owner, Chris Kelsey on the saxophone, and his fellow musicians, Lewis Porter on piano, and Jack DeSalvo on guitar. Before purchasing Magnolia’s, Kelsey was, and still is, a jazz saxophonist.

“One of the reasons for opening this café was to provide the community with an outlet for art and music,” Chris said.

Chris, who plays the soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone, has recorded for labels such as Cimp Records and Unseen Rain Records. He also belongs to two jazz bands, Happy House, which performs the works of Ornette Coleman, and What I Say, which performs electric versions of Miles Davis songs. Both bands have made appearances at the restaurant’s special Sunday brunches.

Magnolia’s Café is located at 21 Front Street in Patterson, across the street from the Patterson train station. The café is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For additional information, Magnolia Café’s phone number is 845-878-9759 or visit the cafe’s Facebook page, where owners Chris and Lisa Kelsey often give updates on new dishes, specials, and specifics on the Saturday Jazz Brunches.

By Stephen Fragano

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