North Park’s farm-fueled MAKE Cafe will put down new roots in a space that’s launching with weekend brunch on Saturday, November 11, with operating hours expanding to 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekends and the addition of Thursday and Friday dinner service after the new year.
Its umbrella organization, MAKE Projects, is a nonprofit that also encompasses a catering company and an employment training program for new immigrants who learn culinary and hospitality skills in a 12-week program that prepares them with practical job skills. Headed by Anchi Mei, the social enterprise has collaborated with local chefs and restaurant owners including Chelsea Coleman (Mabel’s Gone Fishing), Accursio Lota (Cori Pastificio Trattoria), and Brian Malarkey (Animae, Herb and Wood).
Replacing Crushed North Park on University Avenue, the new restaurant is just two blocks from the urban farm with a CSA and temporary café space that it has been operating out of for the past few years.
At this new location, expect to find established menu favorites like the Persian-spiced grilled burger on housemade milk bread, Afghan chicken, Somali beef kabobs, and East African coconut mandazi (beignets made with coconut milk). Led by chef Andrew Gerdes (French Culinary Institute, Bouchon Bakery), the kitchen serves dishes from 26 countries, including recipes that reflect its staff’s diverse backgrounds. There will also be beer, wine, and cocktails available.
The original MAKE Cafe on 30th Street will have its last day of service on Saturday, November 4, with its urban farm also relocating to the Mission Valley area near SDSU’s Snapdragon Stadium. Planting will begin before Thanksgiving on the new farm, which will be four times larger than the current plot and include a 20-tree fruit orchard and outdoor gathering space.