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Deer Isle-area students planning teen cafe
December 28, 2005: in_news
Deer Isle-area students planning teen café Bangor Daily News December 28, 2005 ABIGAIL CURTIS, OF THE NEWS STAFF (Copyright 2005 Bangor Daily News)
This article appeared on page B3 in the Final edition.
STONINGTON - The three board members wore jeans, sweat shirts customized with rock star patches and even pigtails - the business suit of high school sophomores.
But their youth and casual attire belied the hardworking attitude shared by the board members of the Big Rock Cafe, who for nearly a year have stuck with their dream of creating a teen-run, relaxed cafe for high school students living on remote Deer Isle and now are busily preparing for a planned February opening. "Everything that we've done, no one has said that we're not going to do it," Kimberley Grindle, 15, said Tuesday. "They've said it will be hard. Well, I like a challenge."
Grindle was taking time out of her Christmas vacation to sign rental contracts for the space in the Island Community Center and to choose paint colors that will brighten the plain white walls of the former elementary school music room that soon will be home to the Big Rock Cafe.
In between selection of paint chips - red for the walls, blue for trim and yellow for the countertop - she and her fellow board members and Deer Isle- Stonington High School classmates talked about their hopes for the student-run endeavor, and about the difficulties of growing up in an environment where the nearest bowling alley is 45 minutes away in Ellsworth.
"Being a teenager around here, if you don't drive, you don't have that many options," said Eliza Kane, 15. Luke Saindon, 15, agreed.
"We were looking around for something the community needed," he said. "We found that a lot of young adults and teenagers around here don't have much to do, so we decided to start this cafe. Hopefully, it will be a really nice place to go on the weekends."
The students and their adult adviser, Linda Nelson of the cafe's nonprofit sponsor, Opera House Arts, soon will advertise for an adult manager to staff the cafe during its planned business hours of 7-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2-6 p.m. Sunday.
The cafe will serve drinks and refreshments, though the group hasn't yet chosen the menu, and aspiring musicians will have the chance to show off their talents on a foot stage in a corner of the cafe.
The manager will provide business acumen and assuage parental concerns that teenagers will run amok in the cafe, but won't be there for "baby-sitting," the group said.
"I think it would be someone that would treat us not as teens but as a colleague or an equal," Grindle said.
For the moment, the cafe exists only as design plans on graph paper and in the imaginations of the students, who conceived the notion last spring in an entrepreneurship course at Deer Isle- Stonington High School.
The group isn't too concerned about making the transition from dream to reality. "Some adults have a stereotype that we're going to run this into the ground and waste money," Grindle said.
"We want to prove them wrong," Kane said. "We really do. We want to show them that people our age can prove them wrong and contribute to the community."
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