Joan’s Bakery Cafe has been opened for just a few months and is already in its last legs. It’s clear from the offerings that its owners don’t have the capital to keep it running. My bet is that it will close soon, very soon.
The space that Joan’s occupies has been having troubles for years. It seemed fairly successful when it operated as Planet Coffee under its original owners, but a series of new owners and new names were unable to make it succeed. I’m not exactly sure as to why, as before this latest incarnation as Joan’s Bakery, the offerings were both good and well priced.
Joan’s Bakery Cafe, however, is a mess. First of all, it’s not a bakery. I don’t know if it ever was, but right now all they sell are pre-packaged, dried Chinese baked items from a bakery in Oakland and old and stale bagels and doughnuts, I recognized as sold at Grocery Outlet. They do have cafe offerings, though I cannot comment as I didn’t try any. Though I did order a large glass of orange juice, thinking it’d be freshly squeezed (it should have been, for the $4.50 price), but it was not.
The place was empty, both of customer and of stock, and it seemed to me like the owners had run out of money and couldn’t keep with the expenses of daily operations. Indeed, it turns out that the space is up for lease.
The food itself wasn’t bad, though grossly overpriced. I had the lamb shawerma ($8). The tiny sandwich came with lamb, thick slices of cucumber, tomato and sauce. The lamb was nicely spiced, it definitely had some curry powder, but not an overwhelming amount. However, there were no sides (not even chips) and I was nowhere close to full after eating it (the doughnut I bought for dessert must have been a week old).
Mike had the rib-eye blue cheese sandwich ($8) and it was also minute but very tasty.
The whole cafe is in charge of a young girl with limited command of English. She has to attend to customers, answer the phone and prepare and serve the food. That means limited service even if you’re the only ones eating there.
In all, I’m sad this cafe was such a bust – but I look forward to the space being occupied by a good restaurant one day.