A Silent Farewell to Al’s Cafe Good Food

Al's Cafe

Al's Cafe

Al's CafeBernalwood has been trying to find out more about the fate of Al’s Cafe Good Food on Mission Street, which closed in late April without any of the local tribute it deserved. In the meantime, Grubstreet brings the basic news:

Here’s a bit of shocking news that took a little bit to reach us across town: Al’s CafĂ© Good Food (3286 Mission Street), which has been serving up coffee and eggs to Bernal Heights for 50 years, is closed. Presiding over the place for four decades has been 82-year-old Jean Joseph, better known as Mama, and her 80-year-old sister Joanne, and in a Facebook post they call the closing a “bittersweet goodbye.” Jean Joseph was among a dozen Bay Area waitresses profiled in a 2009 book titled Counter Culture: The American Coffee Shop Waitress, compiled by Candacy Taylor

As you can see from the snaps above, Al’s looks sad and quiet now, but fortunately there’s a vibrant gallery of photos from the cafe’s last day posted on the Facebook:

There was also this comment:

Thank you to all our customers, who have become more like friends and family over the years… Thanks for the memories and we love you all. Five generations of Al’s Cafe and 50+ years on Mission Street..Definitely a Bittersweet goodbye..

As soon as Bernalwood knows more, we’ll keep you posted on what the “new management” has planned.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics and Al’s Cafe

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13 Responses to A Silent Farewell to Al’s Cafe Good Food

  1. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    I know! I am so sad, I loved that place. I tried to go there with some friends on Saturday, only to see the horrible void it has left in La Lengua and our lives. Truly tragic, Al’s Good Food was a one-of-a-kind establishment and I had a lot of great lunkfasts in their wonderful, kitschy embrace.

  2. aidan says:

    I went in there a few times, and it was horrible. I wish these ladies good luck, but I’m not sad to see it go.

  3. Otto says:

    We walked by there a week or two ago while a cleaning crew was working on the place and the new manager was standing outside talking to someone. After getting over our shock at the place being closed and the front window display being empty, he told us that Jean and her sister had sold the place to someone who worked there, he’d be managing it for the new owner, and they planned to fix it up and clean the space top to bottom. They said they might eventually try to open for dinner and add some new equipment to expand the menu, but mainly they plan to keep it a diner with the same low prices. We’ll see…

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      Oh! That’s good news! I was worried it was going to turn into a yupp-hole. Hopefully they will continue to be successful after the reboot!

    • Todd_Lappin says:

      Good intel. Thanks Otto! That’s what I love about posting mysteries to Bernalwood… someone always seems to know the 411.

  4. Gary says:

    Al’s WAS open for dinner a few years back. They had a friend who at one time was a higher end chef and he was in 3 or 4 nights a week doing dinner. Surprisingly good food, but as a one man operation even my family of 4 (at the time) was overwhelming for him. But we had some amazing food in the short time span he was there. Sadly i do not remember his name. I think Bobby. But the mushroom au gratin he whipped up one night lives on in our memories. We will miss Al’s, hopefully any changes will only be for the better. Good luck to the new owners

  5. friscolex says:

    I know one father of mine who now has one fewer place on his ‘where to eat lunch in the neighborhood list’. RIP.

  6. Bronwyn Ximm says:

    I just hope the new manager keeps up the awesome window decorations. Blew my daughter’s mind over Christmas…

  7. Kerry says:

    Only went in a couple times, but the sisters were so sweet. They gave my son a stuffed animal and gave me one for my then unborn child! I was pregnant at the time. No other restaurant ever did that! ha!

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