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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 extensively most recently working in kitchens in Italy.

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 meats sourced locally from farmers like Magruder Ranch, and wild line-caught seafood from local fishermen like Bob Askew. We prepare our food in a simple yet innovative style to reveal the natural flavors of the product.

We honor our local ranchers and farmers with our beautiful photographs by local photographer John Birchard displayed in our dining room. Our carefully curated wine and beer list is something which draws high praise from many of our customers! Our wine list boasts over 150 wines including two dozen options by the glass. We are proud to offer the most craft beers on the coast with about 100 unique selections!

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. 

In the 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, 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 purchased the restaurant. A native of Sacramento, David had worked in restaurants his entire life. Prior to buying Café Beaujolais he was executive chef at Scott's Seafood Restaurant in Sacramento. After selling The Beaujolais, David left the coast to open a new restaurant in Kenwood in 2017 called Salt & Stone.

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.