Cafe Eleven under new ownership

By Chelsea Walsh |

New owners Chad Cockayne and Carol-Ann Curley are hoping to breath new life into Cafe Eleven. Since November 2012, the new co-owners have absorbed cafe and venue management responsibilities. Cafe Eleven is best known for it’s eclectic decor, organic and vegan-friendly menu and intimate concert setting.

The central Florida couple has a background in auditing, hospitality and retail. The new co-owners conducted a lot of research before purchasing the small restaurant. Their background in the auditing industry made investigating financial and business history easy. After looking through their books and finances Cockayne and Curley decided this would be a profitable investment.Their knowledge of the industry and passion for underground musicians led to their discovery of Cafe Eleven. The Dettra family, former owners, assisted with the transition for six weeks to ensure a smooth start for Cockayne and Curley.

The most appealing part of the purchase is definitely the setting. You can’t find many cafes that double as a music venue with such authentic vibes. Curley shared her first impression and thoughts about the location.”It was an eclectic and memorable setting that attracted underground music enthusiasts and performers. These artists were genuine and ‘not puppets on a string’,” said Curley.

Their family has uprooted from central florida to relocate to beautiful, laid back St. Augustine. The couple was looking to open a new chapter of their professional and personal lives and decided a move and occupation transition would help them get there.
“Yes, definitely a permanent thing. We both left state jobs because we knew that sitting behind a desk wasn’t working for us,” said Curley.

After months of searching they discovered The Original Cafe Eleven and the Dettra family. The Dettra’s even offered their time to successful transition the business over to Cockayne and Curley. “This opportunity fell into their lap in the right place at the right time, St. augustine is a much better place to raise a family. This experience has given us a better quality of life and allowed us to get away from that Disney mentality,” said Curley. There were little changes that needed to be made. Their menu and business model was a success, why reinvent the wheel?”The menu and quality of food has remained the same. The only changes to the menu we anticipate are additional appetizers and happy hour incentives. The Dettras passed on their legacy of a great reputation which allows us contact with the same artist network,” said Curley.

It’s never easy parting ways with a project that required a lot of attention and investment, but former owner Ryan Dettra extended his musical contacts and connections to new owners.”Ryan refers agencies and all musician contacts over to us. We hope to continue to attract a wide range of country, indie, punk, reggae and rock musicians,” said Curley. The Dettra’s generosity has been extremely helpful to them and their involvement continues to contribute to preserving the reputation of CafeEleven.

The packed lineup for this season includes; David Wilcox, Caravan of Thieves, Peter Mulvey and The Cave singers. What are the owners most excited  for? The Aggrolites. The Los Angeles reggae, soul, and grit fusion band produces “feel good music”. Cafe Eleven looks forward to hosting their Dirty Reggae sound on Wednesday February 27, 2013 at 9 p.m. The best part about performances is the intimacy. “Obviously we’re able to offer more of a personal experience for our audience. Like one on one with performers who offer their time to sign autographs and meet fans afterwards without a VIP price tag,” said Curley.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Be the first to comment on "Cafe Eleven under new ownership"

Leave a comment