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Cafe Opens at Downtown Library

It is operated by Cafe Pica Deli of Concord at the North Broadway location.

Update 10 p.m. Thursday, interview with Mark Yekta.

A new cafe opened quietly Thursday in a corner of the downtown library.

"We're trying to go after customers looking for breakfast at 7, coffee at 7, maybe a quick lunch with a diverse menu with reasonable pricing," said Mark Yekta of Danville, co-owner with his brothers Michael and Peter of the library cafe and its sister, Cafe Pica Deli of Gateway Boulevard, Concord. "Sandwich, chips and soda — we'll get you out of here for eight dollars. And we have candies and gum for the kids."

The cafe has a separate entrance from the outside to accommodate customers during morning hours before the library opens.

Bob Brittain of Walnut Creek went on a five-mile hike Thursday morning and said the tropical iced tea at the library hit the spot.

Yekta said the cafe is planning to stay open until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and see what the demand is. Yekta was formerly the owner of five Milano restaurants in the Bay Area in the 1990s, including one on Mount Diablo Boulevard in Walnut Creek.

The cafe has a co-branding agreement with Peet's Coffee & Tea, offering their beverages and a full Peet's menu, Yekta said.

Beverages are OK to take out of the cafe into the library proper as long as they're in covered containers. Patrons are not allowed to take food into the library proper and eat it there.

"It's like a new home," said Yekta. "We're learning where everything is. Like the boxes going into a new home."

Liz Summer August 09, 2012 at 08:51 PM
It is about time!
Scott August 09, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Am I the only person who thinks it's odd that, with all the great delis and sandwich shops in town, they bring in a place from CONCORD? No knock on Pica Deli, but...
H Hudson August 09, 2012 at 10:08 PM
your observation sure makes sense to me ! Was the concession offered to WC businesses ?
Bob Brittain August 10, 2012 at 12:00 AM
The City solicited bids for cafe operation and selected a vendor. There were several compllications later that slowed down the process but I'm glad we finally have the cafe open. The variety of offerings and the prices are better than I had hoped.
JM Hogan August 10, 2012 at 12:59 AM
This is the SECOND vendor selected by the City. The first one, Mocha's, flaked out and did not open the cafe. A second vendor had to be selected.
Bob Brittain August 10, 2012 at 02:09 AM
@ JM Hogan, Thanks for noticing my comment that there were complications. So what? The cafe is open. Go there or rain on another parade.
Triple Canopy August 10, 2012 at 04:01 AM
..And if the city did bring in a deli or cafe already in WC then you'd probably comment that the city showed favoritism. You're probably the only person who cannot critically think about the other side of their own opinion. H. Hudson.. it's a bidding process open to all.
Scott August 10, 2012 at 04:21 AM
@Triple Canopy, thank you very much for your ad hominem attack. I was merely asking how they came to pick Cafe Pica Deli. The article itself states "The downtown library quietly opened its new cafe Thursday," which, on the face of it, sounds as if there may have been something less than transparency in the selection process. As a tax-paying resident of Walnut Creek helping to bear the cost of this building, I want to be sure that things are being done properly. Mr. Brittain and Hogan seem to have indicated the process was handled as I would expect without the snarky commentary, for which I am grateful.
Lance Howland (Editor) August 10, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Scott: I'm the one who wrote "quietly opened." I didn't mean to imply "less than transparency," as you say. Rather, I was saying quiet opening to contrast with fanfare and ribbon-cutting and speeches. It's what restaurateurs and retailers call a "soft opening." -- Lance Howland, editor, Walnut Creek Patch
srl99 August 10, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Do they deliver into the library? Or is this another instance of do as I say ... Similar to BART's "no beverages or eating" policy which is NEVER enforced - especially the morning coffee rush. [BART opened Peet's outlets in it's stations, so maybe Peets is exempt from this unenforced rule.)
Scott August 10, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Gotta watch the wording, Lance :) After the parking lot kerfuffle with Neiman-Marcus a couple years ago, I, among others, are less than trusting of some of the "deals" coming from 1666 N. Main Street!
JM Hogan August 10, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Wow, Mr. Brittain. That was quite rude. I'm not raining on anyone's parade. I was merely stating the facts.
Deb wainscott August 10, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I manage the bookstore & am there 5-6 days per week, have waited 2years & am thrilled that the Cafe is open!! Makes no difference where it comes from... Its open, it was busy yesterday & people were sitting in there all day !! WOO HOO
Raffaele August 10, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Wonder why it took over two years to open?. I know a local Walnut Creek restaurant owner who applied at the very beginning of the process and was not given a chance to open the cafe. Not once , but twice.....This cafe would have been open at the same time the library was open ( two + years ago) had this operator been given the contract.....For the record.
Jame Brower August 10, 2012 at 05:59 PM
No, I think half of Walnut Creek thinks this is odd. It will became a place for kid and the homeless people to get free samples and a glass of water. And ... Staying opening till 10pm these guys should talk to Starbucks and Peet's coffee, these companies don't even stay open that long
Lady Sotelo August 11, 2012 at 09:41 AM
I'm looking forward to checking it out!

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