After a pair of small fires incited a an extensive overhaul of its infrastructure and systems, the Tam Junction hub reopened this week, and owner Ged Robertson says the place “is ready for another 50 years.”
The Mexican-American diner was closed for just over two weeks to accommodate upgrades of its electrical, plumbing, ventilation and mechanical systems, as well as a new blue floor. “It was time to rebuild the infrastructure of the place,” he says.
While regular customers won’t likely notice much of a gigantic aesthetic shift – “it still looks like a Winnebago from 1971,” Robertson says – the overhaul did provide the ability for the restaurant to increase production, a change that could spur some menu additions.
A new bathroom, improved outdoor landscaping and the addition of a beer and wine license will follow later this year.
Robertson, one of the major investors in the Sweetwater Music Hall whose popular downtown restaurant Small Shed Flatbreads is morphing into Molina from chef Todd Shoberg, bought Shoreline in late 2011 from Tam Valley resident and longtime owner Santiago Ojeda. Along with Luis Lagos, the former executive chef at the Haramara Retreat in Sayulita, Mexico, Robertson shifted the menu with an eye on local and organic ingredients like eggs from Woolly Egg Ranch on Tennessee Valley Road and bread from Green Gulch Farm off Hwy. 1.
Robertson now oversees the menu with help from kitchen stalwart Olga Camacho, who has worked at Shoreline for 16 years. Although longtime waitress Alice Cannistraci passed away last September at the age of 79, her compatriot Bonnie Coleman is celebrating her 34th year at Shoreline this month.
“This place is an important part of the community, and it’s something that we wanted to preserve for the next 50 years,” Robertson says.
The 411: Shoreline Coffee Shop is at 221 Shoreline Highway in Tam Junction (behind Walgreens), (415) 388-9085. It is open from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays; 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekends.