OUR STORY

View from downtown Mendocino overlooking the coastline.
Chef Julian Lopez picking fresh vegetables in the Cafe Beaujolais garden

ABOUT CAFÉ BEAUJOLAIS

Café Beaujolais, a California French restaurant opened in 1968, is located in the historic town of Mendocino on the Northern California Coast. Café Beaujolais gained prominence after the iconic chef Margaret Fox purchased the restaurant in 1977 and began serving breakfast and lunch, turning Café Beaujolais into the culinary destination that it remains today. In the spring of 1984 the restaurant began serving dinner with Executive Chef Christopher Kump. In 1990 the Beaujolais brickery was opened, and the restaurant began serving and selling wood-fired brick oven bread. (please see the History section for more colorful Café Beaujolais history). In September 2016, Peter and Melissa Lopez bought Café Beaujolais with their son Julian, who is the executive chef and contributes to all aspects of the business, overseeing all points of service and quality. The new family owners plan on maintaining the strong legacy of the restaurant.


Executive chef Julian’s passion for food and cooking formed at a young age. At age 18, Julian had the opportunity to intern for Sebastien Chambru at the Michelin star recipient Le Moulin de Mougins restaurant in France. This led to a cooking role at Sante restaurant in Spokane, WA where he worked with celebrated chef Jeremy Hansen. After graduating from Gonzaga University with a business degree in Operations Management, Julian began cooking at Mar’sel restaurant in the beautiful Terrenea resort in Palos Verdes, CA. Most recently, as the executive chef at Il Mattone Trattoria in Claremont, CA he created a highly reviewed Northern Italian menu.  Julian has also traveled Europe and Southeast Asia extensively, most notably working in cucinas of Italy and finding inspiration and flavor in the food and culture of Vietnam.

 

You are invited to experience our classic yet innovative cuisine in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere. Café Beaujolais' cooking concept starts by seeking out the finest ingredients, from organic local produce to diver scallops from Nantucket Bay and olive oil from Spain. We serve humanely raised meats from Niman Ranch, and wild line-caught seafood from local fishermen. We prepare our food in a simple yet innovative style to reveal the natural flavors of the product.

We honor our local Mendocino ranchers, farmers, foragers, and artists, showcasing local photographers and artists in our dining room, local ceramicists from the Mendocino Art Center in our coffee shop, and local produce from Wavelength Farm at our farm stand pop-up in the garden. Our distinguished wine list boasts over 400 offerings with at least 50 by the glass selections, many from local Mendocino wineries, as well as top picks from around the world.

THE HISTORY

1893  

Pete Hanson built the house. He operated a shoemaker shop on Main Street. His wife was Caroline Augusta Hinchelday and their son Ed married Alice C. Wright. 

 

1928

Lewis Anderson and Kate Bannerman bought the house. In conjunction with Dr. Preston, Kate used the house as a maternity home delivering many babies over the next decade. 

 

1940's

Bartley and Florence Swartz bought the house. 

 

1968

The Pitsenbarger family purchased the house and turned part of it into a small café and served dinners on the weekends while living upstairs. They named it "Café Beaujolais" because they liked the way it sounded. Beaujolais is a wine growing region in France.

 

1977

Margaret Fox, at the age of 25, bought the property and began serving breakfast and lunch. She made the café famous and started the Café Beaujolais mail order business.

 

1984

Café Beaujolais began serving dinner with executive chef Christopher Kump. 

 

1990

The Café Beaujolais Brickery was opened and began serving and selling wood-fired brick oven breads. 

 

2000

Loyal Beaujolais customers Steve and Ashley Jenks purchased the restaurant and updated the interior. 

 

2006

Chef David LaMonica, native of Sacramento, purchased the restaurant and expanded the Beaujolais home brand items, such as the famous Beaujolais granola. 

 

2016

Businessman and restaurant owner Peter Lopez along with his wife Melissa and son/Chef Julian Lopez purchased Café Beaujolais in late 2016. They are honored and excited to not only continue the storied near half-century Café Beaujolais legacy but also look forward to slowly adding some exciting new seasonal items to the menu, hosting interactive special events and also lovingly restoring and improving the Café's vintage property and grounds.  

2017

The Lopez's reintroduce wood-fired pizza at the Brickery and revitalize the Beaujolais garden with drought tolerant and flowering plants from the southern hemisphere, creating a pizza garden community vibe for locals and tourists alike.

2020

The Waiting Room opens for coffee, pastries, beer & wine at

the Last Door on Ukiah St.  

 

2022

The Nicholson House joins the Beaujolais Mendocino family, making Cafe Beaujolais an all-in-one destination with luxury accommodation at the House Next Door.

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