Momi Toby's Closes For Renovations

Attention, patrons of Momi Toby’s Revolution Café & Art Bar (528 Laguna)! Your favorite Hayes Valley bistro will be closed for minimal renovations as of today until (tentatively) Monday, December 17.

This hiatus comes on the heels of a change of ownership at this long-running neighborhood coffee shop.

Shu-ju Lan officially took ownership from now-former owner Ali Chabane on November 20. Ali owned the café for almost two years, he tells us. When Ali took the helm, he made minor improvements to enhance the offerings of the café, while keeping the character and ambiance very much the same. Some of Ali’s updates included hosting jazz bands on Sundays and bringing in rotating art.

Ali says patrons were initially concerned when they discovered the bar would have a new owner. But rest assured, Shu-ju doesn't intend to drastically alter the place.

“My husband and I will be giving this place, how do you say, new paint,” Shu-ju says. "Just a bit of sanding, priming and repainting."

She does, however, note that customers can expect a new coffee source and minor tweaks to the food menu.

“We’ll be making it more seasonal and homemade,” she assures us. "We’ll be bringing in a new coffee vendor, as well."

For those who aren’t familiar with the history of the café and bar, Momi Toby’s was started by Terry Chastain in 1997, and his influence remains prominent. Shu-ju views her taking ownership from Ali as a chance to continue the stewardship of the French saloon-styled, neighborhood haunt.

“This café has a long history and I’m just part of the tradition,” she says.

According to Shu-ju, customers have been clamoring for some of these improvements for a long time, so she hopes they will be pleased with the finished product. In the meantime, she offers her condolences about the temporary closure.

“We’re very sorry about the inconvenience on the regulars and where they’re going to go when we close,” Shu-ju says.

While she plans on reopening the café on December 17, she emphasizes to us that the date is tentative, so stay tuned for any updates.