Among the dozen or so properties acquired for the Xavier Square project, perhaps none holds more nostalgic memories for alumni than the Norwood Café, more commonly known as “The Woods.” Though the white-frame structure at the corner of Cleneay Avenue and Montgomery Road will soon disappear, there’s a good chance its spirit—or spirits, as the case may be—will live on in the new development, says John Kucia, administrative vice president for the University.
“We’ve bought the Norwood Café and all of its contents including a 100-year-old cherryback bar,” Kucia says. “Our plan is to preserve all of the elements of the bar and honor or replicate it in a new development. The owner, Charlie Becker, said he has 200 fake I.D.s that he’s confiscated from Xavier students over the years. We think it’d be good to frame them.” Becker’s father, Charles Sr., who founded the bar, was a military bugler and was famous for blowing his bugle around closing time. The new bar may also incorporate some tribute to that tradition as well. “Memories like that would be good for the bar,” Kucia says.