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Millersville’s new local cafe offers something new

Cactus Cafe was started in February after the owner, Claudio Avila, purchased it from the previous managers. Avila is using his experience from previous restaurant jobs along with his Mexican heritage to bring new food options to his cafe. Nina Plaksin/Snapper

Jared Hameloth
News Editor

Many students may not remember Javaville, or even realized it existed at all, but it has been replaced by Cactus Cafe. The new coffee shop is just a quick walk down Prince Street, and offers Mexican-American staples for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Cactus Cafe was opened in February of this year by Claudio Avila and his family after seeing that the previous establishment, Javaville, was for sale. The owners of Javaville decided it was time to retire, and Avila saw an opportunity to keep the community business alive.

He said that a friend told him about a listing on Craigslist and worked out a deal to take over the business. Avila said he decided to change the name so that the new sign would catch people’s eyes. “I hoped that people would see a different name and would want to try it. That they would be curious and want to try something.”

He runs the business with his wife Karina Vidal throughout the week, but gets help running it with two Millersville students on the weekends. 

Avila was inspired by the original menu from Javaville, but also wanted to give the community a taste of something different. “I tried to keep the same menu, but add new stuff. I brought in new ideas and different items,” he said. 

Originally from Mexico, he was influenced by the cuisine he grew up eating, but also by some of the local food that he got a chance to experience in Lancaster. “I try to mix the gastronomy of Mexican-American and I try to show my skills I learned because I’ve worked for a couple years around here in different restaurants. And I guessed it was time to start my own business. I discovered it’s my passion.”

One of the items sold at Cactus Cafe is called “The Hangover,” and is the meat lovers dream. The breakfast wrap is filled with ham, sausage, bacon, and cheese and “a specialty sauce that we call a creamy jalapeno sauce”, according to Avila. 

But Avila also wanted to add more traditional items after realizing that the menu was lacking breakfast staples. “I heard that they offered breakfast with no pancakes or frenchtoast . . . I mean those are the typical items for breakfast . . . so that’s why I decided to add those.” They were quickly added and now french toast, pancakes, and crepes are on the menu.