Tucked between tall waterfront homes, a new café has quietly opened on the Peninsula.
The space has hosted a series of restaurants over the years (Wanda’s, SUP Café, Peninsula Café), but previous tenants found it difficult to stay afloat.
On Dec. 17, a new venture opened its doors, the owners saying they are determined to succeed where others have failed. Located at 76 ½ 62nd Place, halfway between the Bay Shore Walk Marina and the Beverage House, Vibes Café is luring in locals.
Peninsula residents Don and Lucy Crumrine said they like the modern design and think the restaurant will appeal to all ages.
“It has wi-fi and a friendly atmosphere … and the food and drinks are great,” Lucy said.
Lindsey Rogers, who lives on Naples Island, said she discovered the café while scootering around the Peninsula.
“This place has the exact vibe I’ve been looking for,” Rogers said. “And the coffee is fantastic. I’m going to be here all the time!”
“On our first day, a woman showed up in pajamas and slippers and ordered coffees and pastries like we’d been here for years,” said project manager Makenzie Hendrix. “It was perfect!”
Makenzie and her mother, Cindy Hendrix, run the small restaurant together.
“This is a family owned and operated business,” Cindy said. “We’re a mother-daughter team.”
The seating in front of the building is designed to accommodate pets and their owners. Diners without furry friends can congregate inside the restaurant, at Vibes’s custom-built community table, or sit on the back patio beneath string lights and hanging succulents.
Vibes is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., serving coffee, juices, fruit, and pastries. Later in the year, the café’s hours and offerings will expand, the Hendrixes said. Food Network chef Hugo Sanchez is helping curate the menu and train the staff.
“We are just finalizing the details of our menu,” Makenzie said. “Our selections will be coastal California-inspired, with an emphasis on fresh, quality ingredients.”
“For breakfast, we will have traditional options, like avocado toast, eggs, and proteins,” Cindy said, “but we’ll also have some really unique dishes, like bourbon pancakes and brioche French toast. Eventually, our lunches and dinners will include specialty pizzas, sandwiches, wine and beer."
Sanchez spoke proudly of the restaurant’s relationship with local purveyors. Vibes’s suppliers include Common Room Roasters, Rye Goods, Caffeinated Kitchen and Pressed Juicery.
“Getting food from the right source makes all the difference,” Sanchez said. “And that means partnering with the best places.”
“Opening here has been a mission and a love story for us,” Cindy said. “It’s been a two-year process, talking to neighbors and trying to incorporate everyone’s ideas. We wanted to build a place that would draw the community together and it’s heartwarming to see that happening already.”