Building owner Buck Kamphausen and longtime Vallejo coffee roaster Fabrice Moschetti each expressed gladness over their partnership that promises to result in a new French-flavored cafe in town, likely by summer 2018.RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN — TIMES-HERALD
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen, Vallejo Times-Herald
POSTED: 04/16/18, 4:03 PM PDT | UPDATED: 1 DAY AGO
By summer, a new cafe with a French twist is expected to give central Vallejo a shot in the arm. Vallejo coffee roaster Fabrice Moschetti and Vallejo building and business owner Buck Kamphausen have partnered to create a new cafe — this one located on the same grounds that once housed the Leaf coffee and tea place. Daniella Barajas and Rayne Whisler opened their cafe/hang-out they christened Leaf in 2015, but despite developing a sizeable and loyal following, wound up closing the place months ago for personal reasons. Its doors were open recently, however, when Moschetti and Kamphausen met to discuss what changes and upgrades would be needed, now that a lease agreement between the two was signed, sealed and delivered. Moschetti said he plans to create his décor around a fairly spectacular circa 1900 wooden bar left behind by the previous owners.
“They did an incredible job in this building,” Moschetti said. “The bathrooms are beautiful. I think we can do something nice, where people can be comfortable and enjoy a cup of coffee.” With a working name of Moschetti’s French Connection Cafe, the new place represents an opportunity for the longtime businessman to add a little flair from his French roots and a cool new hangout for Vallejo. “I’m 54 this year, and I’ve been in the coffee business since 1990,” he said. “This place will showcase what I’ve learned in that time: Good, quality drinks, plus some light fare like crepes, salads, soups, maybe cheese and bread … I’m still working on it. I want to create something a little bit different.” Kamphausen appears to be nearly as excited about what’s going into his building as Moschetti is, quipping that this will be Vallejo’s “second French cafe,” the first being “Monet’s” — a reference to the set for the TV show, “13 Reasons Why” set partially in a Kamphausen-owned Virginia Street building bearing a sign with that name. Unlike Moschetti’s longtime roasting and tasting facility on 6th Street, where on Saturdays free coffee tasting is offered along with wares from local artisan vendors, the new place will have a full kitchen, creating the opportunity for added food offerings. There will also likely be local art and music, Moschetti said. “It will be a similar experience to Moschetti’s, but with a little bit more,” he said. As his wife is a wine maker, Moschetti said he eventually plans to also offer wine and beer. The plans also include a sidewalk cafe element, the men said. “I think it’s a great addition to the neighborhood,” Kamphausen said. Both men said they hope and believe the new cafe will add in a positive way to what they describe as the rebirth and renaissance of downtown Vallejo. The new cafe will likely create at least three new jobs, Moschetti said. “The more stuff is happening downtown, the better things will be,” Moschetti said. “It’s happening now, and it’s spreading,” Kamphausen agreed. Moschetti said he intends to pour his love and reputation into the creation of the new cafe, and Kamphausen said he thinks it’s the right thing going into the right place at the right time. “This is the artist’s area, and this will fit right in,” he said.
Contact Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at (707) 553-6824.