Calafia Café, a restaurant known for its farm-to-table approach, has officially closed its doors at its Town and Country Village location in Palo Alto. A note posted on the door of the Palo Alto staple informed customers of the news, reading, “It was a good 9 years. Thank you Palo Alto!”
The owner, Charlie Ayers, former head chef at Google, opened Calafia in 2009. Last year, Calafia was temporarily shut down twice in the span of one month after health inspectors discovered live and deceased rodents and insects on the premises. There was speculation that this might have been the cause for the closure, but these claims have never been proven.
“Money wasn’t coming through the door anymore. The costs were greater than the take. I couldn’t operate that way anymore.
Students and critics alike have praised the restaurant for its fresh and organic cuisine. Many Paly students frequented the restaurant, mostly for the quick, to-go salad portion of the restaurant called “Market A-Go-Go.”
Senior Charlie Williams was disappointed to hear about the closing of the restaurant because of the abundance of healthy options that it offered to customers.
“It is so important to keep a healthy lifestyle. When you’re trying to get in shape, because it’s 10 percent exercise and 90 percent what you put into your body. Calafia made it easy to be able to have quick, healthy lunches. I’m going to miss that.
Williams, like many other students, appreciated the fact that Paly students had healthy food options at such close reach from campus.
For Caroline Morris, a senior vice president for Ellis Partners, the proprietors of Town and Country Village, the closing of Calafia came as a complete surprise to her.
“They were a great tenant, and we were very excited to put them in nearly 10 years ago,” Morris said. “We have high regard for Charlie Ayers and his concept to Calafia, so we were disappointed to [have] that close.”
Ellis Partners is currently looking for a tenant to replace Calafia, but are not worried about the gap that the restaurant left to fill.
“I’m not worried about our shopping center,” Morris said. “I am confident that we will fill it with another restaurant that will be well received by the community.”
Ayers’ future ventures are currently unknown, but the former Grateful Dead chef is currently working as a consultant for restaurants and for a startup called Chowbotics.