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Downtown San Diego Cafe To Benefit Homeless Teens Reopens

The recession forced a lot of business owners in San Diego to close up shop. This week a unique downtown café reopened its doors after closing two years ago.

Evening Edition

Aired 4/4/12 on KPBS News.

The recession forced a lot of business owners in San Diego to close up shop. This week a unique downtown café reopened its doors after closing two years ago.

Pierre Jean Luc is the unofficial greeter for this lunch cafe and is stopping people on the street and encouraging them to come in and eat.

"Good afternoon, I love Pierre's. You love Pierre's. I love it," one person walking by tells him.

All the revenue from Pierre's Cafe benefits a homeless program for San Diego teenagers. It's a promising sign on opening day that some of the cafe's old customers come back.

Ruth Valentino works for the court system downtown. "Oh they have the same stuff as before, good options and the prices are still about the same, so the prices didn't go up," she says laughing.

First timers to the cafe Erica Sanchez and Aaron McIntyre compliment the service and food.

"I had just a regular caesar salad and the cheddar and broccoli soup. And I had the tuscan chicken panini and the southwest black bean vegan soup, delicious," Sanchez says.

Pierre's Café is a partner agency of Father Joe's Villages, a safe haven for many of San Diego's homeless people for decades. The books and art work on the cafe's walls were donated, and like the food and deserts, it's all for sale to benefit Toussaint Academy for homeless teens.

"If we can get kids off the street now, they're not going to end up at our villages downtown," says Sister Patricia Cruise, CEO of Father Joe's Villages.

Peirre's Cafe is also a training ground for Academy students and those in the culinary program.

"We recently placed someone in an internship at the military base and he was hired on at a great wage. So he's working on saving that money and finding a house," says Tessa Maxsimic, food services manager for Father Joe's.

Pierre's Cafe is at 5th and Ash streets downtown and open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Narra10'

Narra10 | April 3, 2012 at 1:24 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Love it!

( | suggest removal )