Cafe Revo: A progress report, as we meet the owners


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):

goffssmall.jpgSean 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 We’ll keep you posted on more of their milestones along the way to the grand opening.

31 Replies to "Cafe Revo: A progress report, as we meet the owners"

  • Alvis June 25, 2008 (8:05 pm)

    For what it’s worth, I prefer the green stucco hue in the bottom rendering. The yellowish facade in the top rendering looks to me like a franchise muffler shop instead of an Italian restaurant.

  • Chris June 25, 2008 (8:56 pm)

    Just wondering…did Murphy’s move or go out of business. I’ve had many pieces of furniture recovered there so, where to go now?

  • Venkat June 25, 2008 (9:04 pm)

    I’m excited about Revo, the outdoor seating looks appealing.

  • JanS June 25, 2008 (9:55 pm)

    Chris…they’ve moved to Pioneer Square…314 1st Ave. S.

  • DC June 25, 2008 (11:03 pm)

    Welcome! Checked out the menu at the link. Looks good – and pretty promising for us vegetarians. We will see you soon after you open.

  • Melinda June 25, 2008 (11:03 pm)

    We are sooo excited to be able to walk to a restaurant, and to a Northern Italian restaurant! We look forward to dining with you soon. Benvenuto alla vicinanza!

  • Island Boy June 26, 2008 (7:25 am)

    Two words: “Awesome, baby”!!

  • Chano June 26, 2008 (7:48 am)

    D.C. Thank you for the nice comment! For veggie fans we will always be ready to prepare a wide range of other meatless plates to suit all tastes, as well as other dietary needs!

  • keleeso June 26, 2008 (8:34 am)

    Chano, will you have any vegan options? I know that is an odd request for an Italian restaurant!

  • Miller June 26, 2008 (8:36 am)

    Oh, I can’t say enough about how awesome and needed this restaurant is! Can’t wait to go get my hair done at the Salon and meet up with my friends at the Revo’ Bar for drinks and dinner. West Seattle keeps getting better!

  • Keller June 26, 2008 (8:42 am)

    A note to previous poster, Alvis: I’m sure that once the restaurant is open and complete you’ll agree that rustic yellow looks quite Italian-as it is seen througout Italy. It’s probably the computer image throwing you off a bit.

  • M June 26, 2008 (8:45 am)

    I remember the outboard shop I used to go to with my grandfather in the 70’s – then it was called Seaway Marine. Old outboard parts were everywhere, even hanging from the ceilings. It was great fun and really cool. When asked for a part the owner would say “that’s a scarce item” but rumage in the back and come up with it. Miss those days

  • WSB June 26, 2008 (9:11 am)

    Keller, good point. The color also looks different depending on how your monitor is set – I published this from our MacBook — using an e-mailed image without adjusting its color at all, so it is as I received it — and then later saw it on an older computer/monitor in the house, where it looked a lot more yellowish than the original … Sofia confirmed in e-mail last night that they do plan to start the exterior painting this weekend so soon you should be able to check it out “in person” and see what you think.

  • Amie Newman June 26, 2008 (9:11 am)

    As one of the 30 friends who has had the privilege of a preview menu tasting, I can tell you that the restaurant will be nothing but smashing!! My mouth is watering just thinking about the risotto, the fresh seafood…Sofia and Sean are amazing – our family can’t wait for the opening…nice work, Goffs.

  • Chano June 26, 2008 (9:17 am)

    Hi Keleeso! Vegan Food is not any trouble at all, Fresh grilled produce… Duram wheat pasta… extra virgin oil.. really whatever you like. Now that you mention it I should put Vegan selections on the menu list, hmmm… Thanks for the idea.

  • Be Free June 26, 2008 (9:29 am)

    What about proper parking?

  • sllexxy June 26, 2008 (9:34 am)

    This is so awesome! Hopefully my shop Elementa, Holistic World Treasures will be opened around the same time. Then West Seattle will have two new additions!



  • Sofia June 26, 2008 (9:58 am)

    Hi Be Free. Here is our parking situation at Cafe Revo. Besides the plenty of free street parking on Avalon Way, we also share the parking lot with Ola Salon. During lunch time Tues-Sat we will share the parking lot with Ola’s Customers. But Sunday and Mondays when Ola is closed, Cafe Revo’s customers will have the whole parking lot, as well as in the evenings 7 days a week after Ola’s closes for the day. Thank you for your post!

  • eli June 26, 2008 (12:16 pm)

    Okay, just saw the menu, my mouth is already watering and I don’t know what I want to try first. When is the opening???

  • Sofia June 26, 2008 (12:24 pm)

    Ciao Eli! We hope to be open by the end of September. We look forward to seeing you then :)

  • jett June 26, 2008 (1:25 pm)

    So glad this is all coming together for you both! Won’t it be fun when all those scooters can be lined up out front?

  • Jenny June 26, 2008 (1:28 pm)

    Welcome to the neighborhood! Now, could you please give me the meat & cheese that Keleeso doesn’t want? :-)

    Seriously, hubby & I have avoided Italian restaurants ever since we went low-carb 8 years ago. (Although when we do find one that serves good chicken/etc. salads we get hooked.)

  • Patrick June 26, 2008 (4:19 pm)

    Murphy’s moved (not sure why) but mention West Seattle and they will give you a discount.

  • WSB June 26, 2008 (4:20 pm)

    Here’s what we were told by Marilyn Murphy at the time the impending move was revealed several months back:

  • Sarah June 26, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    I know that Josh and I are thrilled to welcome our new neighbors. You guys will be dangerously close, I don’t know how we’ll resist such delicious smells emanating up to us :-) And I can’t wait to see several scooters gathered around; my Buddy will have buddies!
    As far as parking goes – there’s plenty of street parking on Avalon! And as long as people aren’t taking our limited “reserved” spots, they’ll be fine.

  • Lindsay June 26, 2008 (7:55 pm)

    Great work friends! Can’t wait to bring loved ones to dine with your family!
    Best of Luck!

  • Chano June 26, 2008 (10:06 pm)

    Hi Jenny! Meat and seafood will be well taken care of! If I may ask what is your meat of choice? (I will hand cut all my meat and seafoods) Thank you for your input!

  • acemotel June 26, 2008 (11:33 pm)

    Murphy’s no longer does upholstery in their new location. I found that out when I caught her moving on her last day, as I approached her with ragged sofa cushion in hand. I would like to know who else in WS does upholstery.

  • Chris Richardson June 27, 2008 (8:34 pm)

    Way to go guys. Things are really coming along. Way to follow your dreams. Love to the kids. Devon, Ian and Emma miss you all.

  • Alexia July 4, 2008 (12:56 am)

    Congrats Sofia and Sean!
    I am so proud of you! The menu looks so good and coming from someone who has tasted Sean’s cooking. It is going to be Excellent!

  • Edie July 13, 2008 (5:50 pm)

    Sofia: Wow how exciting. As your cousin, Luciano from Revo would say: “Bene, Bene.”

    Continued good luck to you both.

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