Cafe Ivéta opens in Quarry Plaza

exterior of cafe iveta on campus
Cafe Ivéta opened for business, Friday, April 15 in the Graduate Student Commons in Quarry Plaza.

Cafe Ivéta is now open on the ground floor of the Graduate Student Commons building at Quarry Plaza.

First day of business was Friday, April 15 after several months of refurbishing and remodeling of the existing restaurant space. The cafe's menu features breakfast, lunch, dinner, espresso, mint spritzers, and fresh squeezed orange juice with a focus on healthy, sustainable ingredients. Beers and wine service is expected soon.

Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; closed on Sunday.

Cafe Ivéta offers two service counters.  A main counter takes orders from the menu as well as beverage orders.  A separate back bar counter provides drinks and pastries.

The restaurant space features new tables, refinished chairs, new signage, new custom cabinets, new counters, and new lighting.  

In an effort to provide more sustainable infrastructure on campus, the Graduate Student Commons applied for and received Carbon Fund grants for energy efficient appliances and lighting.  Graduate Student Commons building manager Rachel Neuman thanked the student Carbon Fund committee that approved $25,000 for energy efficient appliances and $7,500 for energy efficient LED lights and daylight harvesting lighting controls.  

Cafe Ivéta’s owners said they are dedicated to supporting campus sustainability standards by using compostable and recyclable materials and buying local organic produce and sustainable meats. The cafe is established as an approved campus vendor in the UCSC Cruzbuy purchase system so campus organizations and units can coordinate catering via purchase orders. 

The campus Cafe Ivéta is the second in Santa Cruz for the Bilanko family. John and Yvette Bilanko first opened Yvette’s Espresso Bar in 1991 in Barrington, Ill., a Chicago suburb. They also developed a wholesale business manufacturing and distributing scone, muffin, and biscuit mixes. In 1998, with two daughters attending UC Santa Cruz, they sold the café, kept the wholesale business, and moved to Santa Cruz.

In 2010, they opened Cafe Ivéta on Delaware Avenue where they continue making and distributing artisan baking mixes and also operate a catering business.

Bilanko said he wants the campus cafe to be “like what we do at our other place, be welcoming to the community.” His youngest daughter, Danielle, will manage the café, and they expect to hire up to 25 part-time student employees.

“Our goal is to make it a place on campus where people like to hang out,” he said.