Revamped Cafe McBryde ready for relaunch

Photos by Zach Chouteau

By Zach Chouteau

Fans of fantastic breakfast fare can officially rejoice; Cafe McBryde, the popular little establishment that underwent a forced closure about a year ago, seems ready for relaunch this Saturday.

Shuttered by the Contra Costa County Environmental Health Department, which required updates to the kitchen and the plumbing among other upgrades, the Cafe at 4925 McBryde Ave. has undergone all the required work and more—led by newish owner Denise Ruff, who bought the eatery in 2016.

This reporter dropped by recently and barely recognized the spiffy new interior, which includes handsome hardwood floors, nice little details like blown glass from Murano hanging from the ceiling, and charming photographs Ruff herself took while traveling through Italy and France. Another subtle but important change is the attractive hand-painted window lettering, plus some tinting that adds a little privacy from the street and reduces sunshine glare.

The makeover was spurred when changes were required by the Contra Costa County Environmental Health Department under Ruff’s new ownership that had been ‘grandfathered’ into acceptance under the previous owner. So Denise and her team needed to not only draw up new plans, but have them approved by the City of Richmond—and of course incorporated by various contractors. But judging by the shimmering new look of Cafe McBryde, perhaps it has all been a blessing in disguise to some extent.

The cozy setting offers a big menu that includes all the breakfast standards you’d expect and a whole lot more. In addition to lots of egg and pancake combos, Chef Luis Jarquin will be creating hot and cold sandwiches, burgers, steaks and also French toast and waffles. Soups and salads are also on the menu, as is a small vegetarian section boasting things like avocado toast and veggie wraps.

Ruff has had huge assistance from family, including her husband, father and stepmother, and her daughters, who have all pitched in plenty of time and energy to help keep things on track. And finally, after a year in limbo, the iconic local Cafe with a loyal following is ready to return in style.

Cafe McBryde will be open Monday to Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.