That’s how the exterior of Cafe Revo – at the former Murphy’s site on Avalon – will look soon, compared to this:
and if you want to go back further (almost 60 years), here’s a blast from the building’s past:
We got those pictures while talking last week with Chef Sean Goff and wife Sofia Zadra Goff, who are happy to report they now have the liquor license and electrical-work permit – which means work can accelerate on the Italian restaurant they are creating in the space (first reported here on WSB early last month) – Read on to learn more about their plans (and to see a video tour of the space before construction really revs up):
Sean and Sofia (pictured at left) say this has been a dream for at least 15 years, as he continued to refine his art as a chef at others’ restaurants (he left Anthony’s in January). But what they are working on is more than just a place to go eat – they envision “a place where everybody feels welcome – where you feel like you’ve been known forever.”
The Goffs say Cafe Revo will not be a “family restaurant” but will be “family friendly,” as are restaurants in Europe. And much of their family will be involved, from their teenage son who will do some table-busing, to Sofia’s dad, who will be a “welcomer”; she explains that their kids know him as “Nonno,” Italian for grandfather, and they can imagine him becoming “Nonno” to a legion of diners. Sean and Sofia plan to have “a presence” in the restaurant too, aside from his work supervising the kitchen and her work as bookkeeper and running “the front of the house.”
Family is even part of their menu — the cover photo is the same one you see on the home page of the Cafe Revo website; that’s a relative with the Goffs’ daughter, walking to church one Easter morning in the restaurant’s namesake town Revo (map), where Sofia’s family has roots. Right now, family (and friends) are helping test their menu — up to 30 people at a time! — a draft of which has been posted online (as some eagle-eyed WSB’ers noticed quickly) for some time.
And with the planning process so intensive, they say their architect, Daniel Corcoran of DEC, has even become “like family.” They say they will be ready to build out the interior quickly, once the appropriate permits are in. “Everybody’s ready to swoop in,” Sean said, “to move very quickly.” They’re having the carpentry work done offsite, with hand-sawn wood, so that the pieces will be ready to bring in at the right time.
Before we left, we asked for a tour of the space – where they’ve “done as much demolition as we could do without a permit” as of last week – which will include a small “very nice” bar in the northeast corner. As you watch the tour, listen closely as Sean explains what’s going where (rolling up the front garage doors for summertime fresh air sounds particularly promising):
But for now … it’s the many little things that together build the foundation of a business. We checked in with Sofia last night to see if anything was new since we met last week, and she told us, “We have been working this past week on talking to laundry/linen services and warewashing (dishwashing) services to find out who offers the most ‘green’ of services (and who is local) which are very important to us. We are getting closer to start painting the exterior of the building, hopefully maybe this weekend.” Here’s another view of what it will look like after they repaint (they’ll be painting the rear residential unit too):
Sofia continued, “We have also been talking to local distributors for local wines which will be big on our wine list along with wines from Italy (and when from Italy we want to use local distributors.) In fact last week we met Vito Montanarelli, who owns Gioia Wines. He lives in West Seattle and his warehouse is close also.”
Speaking of close — the big question is always, how soon do they hope to open? Certainly this fall – targeting September, the Goffs say. We reply that we know better than to declare that a date, since we’ve seen so many delays happen to people going through those processes. They laugh and say they have some pad time built in – so if everything goes smoothly, perhaps they even will be able to open sooner! They plan to be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner; they don’t expect parking to be a problem, as neighboring business Ola is closed Sunday-Monday and usually by dinnertime too.
And that historic neon sign on the north side of the building will stay, they say – they’re hoping to restore its neon, even.
While you await their opening, they have lots of info online at caferevo.com. We’ll keep you posted on more of their milestones along the way to the grand opening.