Back in early 2013, when NextFab Studios opened at 2025 Washington Ave., we were super-stoked that the high-tech workshop would also include an in-house cafe and creperie. Sadly, things didn't work for Cafe L'Aube, and the artists, builders, and designers who do their thing at Nextfab were left to fend for themselves in the food department. In a great example of the "do it yourself" attitude of NextFab, Evan Malone, the guy who founded the place, decided to open a restaurant there instead of seeking out another tenant. It should be noted that he's also half of the team behind Rex 1516 and Jet Wine Bar on South Street West along with Jill Weber. Both are involved in the Mexican diner, dubbed Cafe Ynez, which opened its doors this week.
We visited a couple of days ago, and the pair have done a bangup job. The space has been completely reimagined, and a new hood means that cooking is happening on the premises. According to a recent Zagat story, much of the interior work was done by NextFab staff members. They also have some sweet interior photos. In case you're wondering, Ynez will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the week, and for brunch on weekends.
Hopefully, this new restaurant will be able to establish a foothold in the space and a following along Washington Avenue. Not only are we crossing our fingers that contractors and building supply workers will visit, but we're also hoping that folks from the neighborhoods on either side of the corridor will dodge the forklifts and have a nosh there. If Cafe Ynez does make it work as Kermit's has down the street, perhaps some other retail operations will make the determination that Washington Avenue can work for them too. And wouldn't that be super cool?