Cafe Reconcile celebrates building’s expansion and renovation

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Reginald Cannon serves a fish entree to a customer at Cafe Reconcile's Central City facility on Thursday afternoon. CafŽ Reconcile works to resolve the deeply ingrained social ills of poverty, violence, and neglect by providing at-risk young people, ages 16 to 22, with the skills and confidence necessary to get and retain career-track jobs in New OrleansÕ thriving hospitality sector.  (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Reginald Cannon serves a fish entree to a customer at Cafe Reconcile’s Central City facility on Thursday afternoon. CafeŽ Reconcile works to resolve the deeply ingrained social ills of poverty, violence, and neglect by providing at-risk young people, ages 16 to 22, with the skills and confidence necessary to get and retain career-track jobs in New Orleans thriving hospitality sector. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

On Thursday morning, Cafe Reconcile celebrated the completion of the renovations and expansion of its building on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard with a dedication and blessing ceremony, attended by the top city officials, the program’s founders, and the at-risk young people who work there.

Ryan Dalton, a 2009 graduate of the Cafe Reconcile job training program, speaks at the building dedication and blessing. Dalton was shot three times his first week in the Cafe Reconcile job training program. Today he serves on the Mayor's team as the NOLA FOR LIFE Midnight Basketball coordinator for the City of New Orleans. "Invest in a young person and see what their potential is," said Dalton. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Ryan Dalton, a 2009 graduate of the Cafe Reconcile job training program, speaks at the building dedication and blessing. Dalton was shot three times his first week in the Cafe Reconcile job training program. Today he serves on the Mayor’s team as the NOLA FOR LIFE Midnight Basketball coordinator for the City of New Orleans. “Invest in a young person and see what their potential is,” said Dalton. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Brandi Addison prepares a pasta dish at Cafe Reconcile Thursday afternoon. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Brandi Addison prepares a pasta dish at Cafe Reconcile Thursday afternoon. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

"We wanted Uptown instead of just driving  through and passing through this neighborhood to get to your downtown jobs, to stop and see whatÕs going on. ThatÕs how we can reconcile," said founder Tim Falcon. "We chose reconciliation as a theme because this city needed reconciliation. We have to cross borders. We have to cross the streets. We have to start seeing what is on the other side."

“We wanted Uptown — instead of just driving through and passing through this neighborhood to get to your downtown jobs — to stop and see what’s going on. That’s how we can reconcile,” said founder Tim Falcon. “We chose reconciliation as a theme because this city needed reconciliation. We have to cross borders. We have to cross the streets. We have to start seeing what is on the other side.” (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Guests enjoy lunch at Cafe Reconcile Thursday afternoon. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Guests enjoy lunch at Cafe Reconcile Thursday afternoon. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

"I was looking for a job and I found a career," said Chris Okorie, a Cafe Reconcile graduate who know is a chef at Borgne Restaurant. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

“I was looking for a job and I found a career,” said Chris Okorie, a Cafe Reconcile graduate who now is a chef at Borgne Restaurant. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Strawberry Shortcake from Cafe Reconcile.(Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Strawberry Shortcake from Cafe Reconcile.(Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Founder Craig Cuccia stands next to CEO R. Glen Armantrout, III as he gets ready to bless a cross with water that he brought back from the Jordan River. The cross was later hung over the Cafe Reconcile doorway. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Founder Craig Cuccia stands next to CEO R. Glen Armantrout, III as he gets ready to bless a cross with water that he brought back from the Jordan River. The cross was later hung over the Cafe Reconcile doorway. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Mayor Mitch Landrieu hangs a cross over the doorway of Cafe Reconcile as guests put up their hands in prayer. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Mayor Mitch Landrieu hangs a cross over the doorway of Cafe Reconcile as guests put up their hands in prayer. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Cafe Reconcile is open for lunch M-F from 11 am to 2:30 pm at 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Cafe Reconcile is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

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