The era of the bottomless coffee cup and waitresses who call you “hon” may become nothing more than a quaint memory in always-hungry Lamorinda as Orinda’s Village Inn diner joins the list of vanishing community coffee shops to close their doors.
Owners Kurt and Kathy Bellow have deep ties to the area and were able to carve out a successful business in their space at Orinda’s Village Square – returning to Orinda after what they said was an “expensive” foray with another restaurant venture in St. Helena – and to serve loyal customers who came to them for generous servings of Belgian Waffles and Corned Beef Hash.
Reached after another grueling day behind the grill Kurt Bellow remained gracious, said there was no impending disaster behind their decision and that the owners just looked around and decided the time was right.
“It’s time,” he said. “I’m tired.” The diner was put up for sale just yesterday, Wednesday.
Village Inn eschewed the trappings of newer, prissier counterparts (no baristas, just coffee – and lots of it) and concentrated on its core offerings (breakfasts a trucker, time-pressed commuters or coppers coming off the graveyard shift would appreciate) and made a go of it in the space once occupied by Kamian’s Pharmacy.
The restaurant business is a tough, tough business, most know. When they close their doors and shut down their grills for the last time Village Inn will join Lafayette’s Squirrel’s restaurant and Moraga’s Terzettos – both favorite local haunts who have shuttered in recent years. The closure further reduces options for those who have come to appreciate the availability of a hearty breakfast in Orinda, though other local venues (Moraga’s Ranch House, The Hideout and Millies in Lafayette) soldier on.
Have a favorite breakfast hangout in Lamorinda? Name it.