With both the John Stanford International School and the Hamilton International Middle School sporting a Spanish immersion program for their students, Wallingford has a strong connection to Spanish. Amanda Reichert, owner of the the Vámonos Spanish Center at 45th St and Bagley, wants to dial that up.
Perhaps taking a cue from Wallingford’s cat cafe, Amanda envisions a Spanish café:
Imagine walking into a café in the heart of Madrid during a trip to Spain; you order a café con leche and pan tostado, have a seat next to another patron and strike up a conversation in Spanish, while hearing Manú Chao playing in the background. You think: I wish I could have a place like this to meet others and practice Spanish when I get back home. Now you will, but it will be so much more.
Before entering Olé Café, you’ll notice a sign that says “Spanish only”. You’ll be greeted in Spanish by your barista and excited by the array of Spanish tapas and beverages in front of you: tortilla española, croquetas, pan tostado con tomate y jamón serrano…you’ll sit down with your café and comida and perhaps dust off your Spanish with the person next to you (don’t worry, there will be some handy “phrases” on a sign at your table). You’ll see books and games in Spanish, a separate classroom area, hear authentic tunes en español, check out the events calendar listing nightly happenings such as karaoke or game night and see course offerings by Vámonos Spanish Center.
By the time you leave, you’ll likely have gotten in speaking practice, made a new friend, had Spanish food, listened to a Spanish artist that you now love, signed up for a group class, and made plans to meet your new friend at the trivia night in Spanish on Friday.
That, anyway, is the vision she lays out in her GoFundMe page for the Olé Café. As of this writing, she’s just shy of $2,000 into her $30,000 campaign.
I’ll be honest: I’m generally a bit reluctant to fund GoFundMe campaigns. For one, I prefer the Kickstarter model, where if goal isn’t met, you don’t pay anything. That solves the problem of “what happens if I pledge, but then the goal isn’t met and the project is underfunded and thus unsuccessful”.
But that said, I sure would like to see something like this in Wallingford. Buena suerte, Amanda!