There is now another option available for students to get their caffeine fix.
On March 5, the Pétrus Ky Café opened on 39th and Chestnut. The shop serves rare coffee from all over the world as well as fresh French pastries including croissants, tarts and other treats.
It is named after a Vietnamese scholar, Petrus Ky, who helped improve social and cultural understandings between Vietnam and Europe through his publications of translating foreign languages to Vietnamese in the 1800s.
“We wanted to come up with a name that pays homage to Petrus Ky,” founder Josh Fenwick said, “And speaks to the scholarly student-based demographic here at Penn.”
Fenwick opened the cafe along with his wife, Tanh, and a few other business partners.
It took around a year and a half to open Pétrus Ky.
“When you are dealing with an old, historic building, it is definitely tough to meet Philadelphia city codes as well as the aesthetic standards and looks you have been setting out to accomplish,” Fenwick stated. “The biggest challenge was obtaining the permits because they took up a lot of time and money.”
Students took the opportunity to try Pétrus Ky Café during their grand opening on March 5, where they served free coffee or allowed customers to make donations to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“I heard about the free coffee at this new cafe through Facebook,” College sophomore Devon Greenwood said. “I went for the coffee and also purchased a chocolate croissant, both of which were delicious.”
College sophomore Matthew Lieber described the ambiance as warm and welcoming. “The staff seems really warm and welcoming which you don’t find at many coffee shops around here,” Lieber said. “I thought the coffee and blueberry tart were really good, and it was definitely worth the trip.”
In the future, Pétrus Ky’s current location in Chestnut Hall — a space it shares with the newly opened William Street Common — may not be its only college campus location.
“We didn’t set out to just open one location,” Fenwick said. “We really want to perfect the process and get the right people involved. It is in our plans to franchise the business to other college campuses.”
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