Café 41 opens with unique “Bread Breaking” ceremony

Midway shook off the COVID blues and kicked off the summer with the grand opening of its new restaurant, Café 41. This new, state-of-the-art eatery was more than three years in the making. 

The museum undertook a complete redesign and rebuild of the original Fantail Café and its kitchen facilities to create a new restaurant, which is not only more visible and accessible to Midway guests, but improves the style and level of service of the dining experience. The Café 41 team will also be able to provide catering support for various special events here on the ship.

“With the opening of Café 41, we’ve enhanced the visitor experience on the Midway even more,” said Mark Berlin, Midway’s director of operations.

First Midway guests visit Café 41.

Midway has partnered with the SSA Group that is managing and operating Café 41. SSA has over 50 years of quality food service experience operating dining facilities at more than 50 museums, aquariums, zoos and other cultural attractions around the United States. 

“The SSA Group is honored to be on board the USS Midway Museum,” said Tim Murphy, Café 41’s general manager. “We strive to provide high-quality food and beverages served with warm hospitality to our guests every day.”

Located beside the Jet Shop giftshop at rear of the hangar deck, diners at Café 41 have the opportunity to choose from three distinct food stations – deli, grill and specials. They can also actually see their meals being freshly prepared.

“I think the food is just awesome,” said Dezaray Hernandez, a Navy veteran who was visiting Midway with her family. “There is a great selection for the kids as well as some healthier options for adults. It’s a really nice menu.”

The early June grand opening festivities moved away from the traditional ‘ribbon cutting’ ceremony. Instead, Midway opted for a more appropriate ‘breaking bread’ ceremony.

Breaking bread, today as in the past, not only shows the importance of food in cultures around the world, but how the sharing food often symbolizes more than simply providing a meal. Breaking bread, or sharing food, is a way to welcome guests to your home. 

“We’re delighted that we can now welcome our guests to our new Café 41,” said Mark.

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