Penelope is a cafe, bakery, and bar. It is also a worn-in welcome mat, your favorite flip flops, and a hug when you are missing home.
The home cooking is prepared with the best ingredients and a little creativity by a loving kitchen; it is a refreshing take on mom's recipes and is delivered to you here just the same, always with a smile and an encouragement to relax.
Penelope opened its doors in 2003 to a warm and welcoming neighborhood. It is owned and created by Jennifer Potenza and was built with love and a lot of patience by her partner, Michael Tsoumpas.
Penelope is a quilt of all the places Jenny has had the pleasure of working. She has bussed clam shacks in Cape Cod, had flour fights in Bozeman bakeries, made deli sandwiches in Montauk, brewed urns of coffee in Chelsea, has tattooed burns from a West Village kitchen and stained shirts from cocktailing in the east village. She’s poured the best Italian wines at the best Italian sandwich shop on Bedford St., managed a town coffee shop outside of Boston, and has parked it for now at 30th & Lex where she is currently surrounded by a team of managers and hardworking staff that she and Penelope could not live without.
Currently, Penelope is under the operation of Lukus “maneater” Hasenstab who first joined the quilt in 2004 as a server. Over the 20 years he has been with us he has brought a high level of organization, sobriety, and competence to the team that is invaluable. His leadership and his dedication are why Penelope still has its shell. His wing-woman and beverage director, Allison "git ‘er dun” Garskof has also been with us since 2004 and has signed on as a life coach for Jenny and the turtle, to whom her love, creativity, employee direction, and dance moves are invaluable.
We have the support of an amazing neighborhood, to which we are always trying to give our best, and also sparkly regulars who make the heart of Penelope beat. And sparkle. Thank you for giving us purpose.
Penelope is their turtle and is seen by appointment only.
Penelope is a turtle.