Home Biz 24-680 Openings & Closings Orinda’s Village Inn To Close Jan. 28 – Where Are You Gonna...

Orinda’s Village Inn To Close Jan. 28 – Where Are You Gonna Go For Breakfast?

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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.

21 COMMENTS

  1. So sorry to see this go – I’ve been frequenting the place since we moved here 4 years ago, and love that Kathy has been on first-name basis with my young kids all the while. It’s a bit perplexing, because it’s always so busy in there (when I’ve been), but who knows what the details are.

    • @GF – We have a call in to Kurt to see if they want to talk about it, but he was busy – cooking!

  2. I went to Campolindo with Mike Chauncey! Very nice guy. Where did he go?
    We do need another good breakfast place.

    • @Elena – Turning into a reunion index around here. Now all we have to do is find a good restaurant and invite all former Cougars to gather again!

    • @Pamela @Elena – Well, apparently he gets/got around ’cause we’ve had two people just contact us offline asking about him! And we guess there is some discrepancy as to his involvement with Village Inn but we’re concentrating on burglars today.

  3. @News 24/680 what is the discrepancy? We were work neighbors and lived on the same street so he gave me a ride home occasionally in the late 70’s when I used to take the bus. Thought he was still there when I left my job early 80’s but could be wrong.

    • @Pamela – We’re not here to chart the work history of locals but it was interesting that you mentioned the name, we remarked on it, and then so did a couple of others in a real-world (offline) environment. They mentioned it may have been a different business but, frankly, we have bigger hash browns to fry today!

  4. The name may have been changed to protect the innocent. Too long ago to remember all the details. Nice guy though, of that I am certain.

  5. The Lafayette park bistro has awesome food!!! Breakfast is delicious. Corned beef hash, eggs Benedict. Huevos ranchero. All incredible. They. Also have the best burgers around. Lunch is scrumptious.

  6. So sad to hear, they have been to go to place for breakfast in Orinda for ages. I have been going there for 20+ years, always great food, my only complaint is I couldn’t finish a children’s portion, so much food….

    • @Perrin – Perhaps a save for next day snack? It’s a forlorn hope, we fear, the owner have had enough and are ready for retirement! We wish them well!

  7. Is the number at the top of this page the number of people who have opened this story????

    • @Alexandra – Correct. So whatever it is plus the 22,000 or so on Facebook and more on Twitter. People around here like their restaurants!

  8. Mike was at another restaurant down further on orinda way.
    Was this the old Kamian’s pharmacy location?

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