For 15 years, the eastern lawn of the Athenaeum has been home to the Rath Al Fresco, a part of long summer evenings at Caltech. This fall, construction will begin on a permanent home for the Al Fresco on the north side of the Athenaeum.
The Rath Al Fresco began in 2000 as a summer offshoot of the Rathskeller, the Athenaeum’s bar and gastropub. The original menu featured only hot dogs and burgers, but it has since expanded to include a full selection of dinner and drinks. The new space is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016.
The renovations will include adding 1,500 square feet onto the existing kitchen to better serve guests indoors and outdoors and patio seating space. “Not having to set up and tear down the RAF daily will give us much more flexibility with what we can plan and do,” says Marisu Jimenez, the Athenaeum’s general manager. “Additionally, the new kitchen will be available for to-go lunches throughout the year.”
The Athenaeum, which celebrated its 85th anniversary this year, opened with its first formal dinner in 1931. Recently, renovations were completed on the Athenaeum’s main dining hall to restore the carpet and window fixtures.