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Fambrini's Cafe to reopen in Palo Alto

Uploaded: Jul 24, 2017
Palo Alto's Fambrini's Cafe, which left its longtime location in April due to an impending redevelopment of the El Camino Real building, is reopening just steps away this week.

Fambrini's will open on Wednesday, July 26, at 2500 El Camino Real, the site of a new affordable housing complex called Mayfield Place. The building officially opened in June.

The new Fambrini's space, above, is next door to its longtime El Camino Real location. Photo by Elena Kadvany.

Fambrini's, which has served sandwiches, salads and other lunch fare since 1993, will reopen with the same menu but with some additions, co-owners Nick Penchev and Galia Raeva wrote in an email. Look out for new breakfast options like a steak and egg sandwich made with grilled tri tip and a homemade "jerknaisse" sauce on ciabatta and a smoked salmon plate with an everything bagel, cream cheese, cucumber, tomato, capers, egg and dill.

Fambrini's will also now serve "healthy bowls," the owners said, like a spicy sesame bento bowl with quinoa, kale, cilantro, cabbage, red peppers, snow peas, portobello mushrooms and broccoli in a soy-ginger sauce or a curry bowl with roasted vegetables, chicken, brown rice, ginger, garlic and coconut milk.

Check out the menu here.

Fambrini's co-owner Nikolay Penchev, left, serves customers at the cafe's former location in 2016. Photo by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Weekly.

One of Fambrini's draws at its former location was a large rooftop terrace. The new space will still have al fresco dining with a ground-floor patio that can seat about 85 people.

The new Fambrini's will be initially open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Down the line, Penchev and Raeva said they plan to stay open later (until 8 or 9 p.m.) and on weekends.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Gary R., a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 24, 2017 at 11:45 am

Yaaaayyyyy!!!! :)

Posted by JLN, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Jul 24, 2017 at 2:34 pm

JLN is a registered user.

The best lunch place in town!! Glad their sun is rising again, and that they're extending their hours.

Posted by Not more traffic?, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jul 24, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Are they providing housing for all their employees so that we do not have additional traffic problems? What about code enforcement? Is everything according to the rules. That is a big issue these days. I hope that winter will check and make sure

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jul 25, 2017 at 10:09 am

@Not more traffic? (a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland)

The business owner is not required to provide housing for their employees.

Also, note that this is the reopening of a previously existing business (next door to the original location) so staffing should be quite similar.

The city of Palo Alto would give the final sign off on the building construction.

As a restaurant, the business is required to follow food handling and sanitation regulations as determined and inspected by the county. They will not be allowed to open unless they pass all of these inspections.

If you are doubtful of that the business is operating under regulation, I suggest you contact the owner about seeing the city and county documentation that shows that the business is operating under code. You may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in local restaurant law to make sure you ask for the appropriate documentation. As regulations change from time to time, you will probably need to consult this lawyer every time you suspect a business might not be operating under code.

Now if you suspect that code enforcement is not being applied evenly, that is a separate issue that you must take up with the city and county officials. Again, you are recommended to consult an attorney so you are aware of the current regulations.

Palo Alto and neighboring cities have many new business openings every year and the existing code should be fairly and evenly applied.

I don't know what leads you to suspect this particular business over another (like Nobu, Fast Tony's Chicken, Kali Greek Kitchen, etc.).

Anyhow, good luck in your quest to find the truth.

Posted by Not more traffic, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jul 25, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Reader-- sarcasm is hard to convey in writing.

Stanford is constantly told that they need to provide housing for all it';s employees (same for Facebook)--so why
shouldn't a small business also have to provide housing. After all, we have heard that each additional car trip into Palo Alto is a big deal.
What is good for the goose is good for the gander

As for code enforcement--nothing specific about this place. However there have been articles in the weekly about a push for code enforcement on el camino (pushed by winter dellanbach) and at a local baptist church that leases space for suicde prevention and children's music programs.
I am saying that places like the above and buena vista, as another example, need to be looked at as well by the code enforcement people. After all, that would only be fair)

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jul 25, 2017 at 3:18 pm

@Not more traffic, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,

"sarcasm is hard to convey in writing."

That's why the standard /s abbreviation has been adopted on the Internet to indicate sarcasm

Or throw in a wink smiley ;-)

Thank you!


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