Months after it abruptly shuttered, Dogpatch’s Just for You Cafe is set to reopen.
Co-owner Michael Tufo, who currently owns the Calabria Bros. Italian deli in the Excelsior neighborhood, hopes to open his doors in August, pending final approvals from the city. The name will be tweaked slightly to Giuliana’s Just for You Cafe, after Tufo’s daughter.
The breakfast and brunch spot was a neighborhood favorite for 33 years. But in April, then-owner Reid Hannula suddenly announced that it was closing, to the dismay of locals. Known for its homemade bread and chicken-and-waffles dishes as well as its homey interior, Just for You was the inspiration for the family restaurant in the animated sitcom Bob's Burgers.
Hannula cited rising costs and mounting debt that ultimately meant the business was “unable to overcome the challenges brought on by the pandemic,” as a final note posted on the door stated.
Tufo said the new menu is still in the works, but it will definitely include breakfast basics like pancakes, eggs and bacon while keeping some of the old favorites, like New Orleans-style beignets.
The new cafe will feature a number of renovations, but its diner feel will remain untouched, Tufo said. He also hopes to bring back some members of the former staff.
Dogpatch, an old industrial neighborhood, has become known for its vibrant food scene.
“The neighborhood deserves something good,” Tufo told The Standard. “I just wanna make people happy.”
Vanessa Aquino of the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association said she ate many meals and hosted many meetings at the old Just for You.
“The staff was like family,” she said in a text. "It was the best spot."
Tufo said neighbors seem excited about the reopening. The Excelsior native said that in the face of all the negative national press about drugs and homelessness that’s been showered on the city lately, he wants to show that San Francisco is still a first-class food city.
“That neighborhood deserves it,” he said.
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