Spaces: This Cafe Made its Biggest Comeback Ever with PURIFII™


The food and beverage sector was one of the hardest hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Popular gathering places for families and friends, restaurants, bars, and cafes were forced to adapt to new rules and procedures quickly — from observing strict occupancy limits to meeting PPE requirements. 

Navigating through closures, new capacity guidelines, and sanitation and safety measures hasn’t been an easy task for customers and employees, either. As we work toward a post-pandemic world, restaurants are using their adaptability skills to keep employee turnover low and customer service at all-time highs.

PURIFII AER W removes viruses, bacteria, pathogens, and other microorganisms from the air at California Coffee Bar in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

While health officials continue monitoring new strains of the COVID-19 virus, however, many restaurants, bars, and cafes are still struggling to keep the lights on and their employees paid. They are uncertain what the future might bring.

The CDC suggests using upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation systems as part of a multi-layered safety plan. Installing these systems can strengthen consumer confidence and peace of mind when they want to dine out or spend an afternoon at a local coffee shop. 

Learn How One Coffee Bar is Protecting Guests & Employees with Upper Air Germicidal Systems

Safety matters now more than ever. That’s why cafes like California Coffee Bar are exploring more efficient and flexible ways to offer healthy dining environments to their guests.

Sarah Mendak, owner of California Coffee Bar, installed PURIFII AER W by Luminii in the Pittsburgh coffee shop to protect her team and guests 24/7. The GUV system eliminates 99.98% of germs and viruses like COVID-19 from the air, giving guests the peace of mind they need to enjoy coffee and snacks with family and friends. [1]

The system is 100% safe to use in highly occupied spaces, enabling restaurants and cafes like California Coffee Bar to do what they do best: delivering exceptional dining experiences in safe and comfortable environments.

Read our interview with Mendak to learn how we worked together to install PURIFII AER W throughout the coffee bar and support the business’ reopening efforts. 

What are some features you enjoy most about PURIFII and why?

The best features of PURIFII are peace of mind and the ability to offer a safe environment to our customers and staff. We knew how effective it is in disinfecting a space. The COVID pandemic exposed our safety, health, and financial vulnerabilities, and PURIFII gave us the confidence to know we are doing everything we can to prevent something like this from happening again. 

PURIFII AER W helps restaurants and cafes like California Coffee Bar provide cleaner, disinfected air to customers. 

I was also floored at how compact and unobtrusive the units were. PURIFII AER W is small, attractive, and it doesn’t take up much space or divert attention from the other features of our coffee shop, such as our art galleries or production space. Even with the units, the coffee shop still maintains its homey, cozy feel.  

How has PURIFII supported your reopening efforts during the pandemic?

PURIFII has been instrumental in our reopening efforts. We had been under a mandated service limit, and the state of Pennsylvania had given businesses the option to require more mandates, such as continuing limits in-service dining and mask requirements.

Sleek and minimal, PURIFII AER W complements California Coffee Bar’s interior without taking up space.

With PURIFII, we were able to allow 100% capacity in-service dining, increase our service capabilities to meet demand, and we no longer have to require masks for fully vaccinated patrons. 

However, with increases in infection from the Delta variant, the state is considering the idea of requiring masks indoors again, and perhaps service limitations. We are relieved to have PURIFII installed in the coffee shop. PURIFII helps to safeguard our employees and patrons, and also helps insulate us from another wave of disruptions.

Do you think PURIFII will impact your business in a post-COVID world?

I do think that PURIFII will impact our business in the post-COVID world. Consumers and staff are more sensitive to the dangers of illness, and they demand additional cleaning and more stringent health standards. The safeguard provided by PURIFII will give everyone reassurance. 

How do customers react when they see PURIFII in your coffee bar?

We had numerous customers ask about the units, and we explained to them what PURIFII is and what it does. Customers have been very interested and curious about it, and they have universally expressed that they feel safer and are glad that we have implemented this system to safeguard our space. We’ve even had customers ask about PURIFII for the purposes of finding out how they could implement this system in their own work environments.  

How does installing PURIFII support the California Coffee Bar brand and mission?

PURIFII supports the California Coffee Bar’s mission to create a gathering space for the neighborhood, and a resource for Brighton Heights. This has always been our mission, and during the closures and limits for in-service dining, we were not able to serve as a space for our customers and community to come together.

PURIFII has allowed us to reopen our doors and welcome our community back. We missed the social benefits of having everyone together, and we are so excited to get back to normal! We offer events (open mic nights, artists’ showings, and private events), and we’ve had to cancel all of this over the past year and a half. We are so eager and excited to welcome everyone back and return to our beloved events and activities! 

Disclaimers and References

  1. Independent lab test: Aerosol Upper Air System tests conducted by Innovative Bioanalysis. 99.98% total reduction achieved at 10 minutes (net reduction of 2.42-log).

Independent lab test: Aerosol Upper Air GUV System tests conducted by Innovative Bioanalysis.