Outer Richmond cafe closing after 2 decades

Bazaar Cafe, a music-oriented neighborhood hangout with a low-key atmosphere and a sprawling back patio, has held the space at 5927 California St. (between 21st and 22nd avenues) for two decades.

But after August 11, owners Owen "Les" Lester and Makiko Wisner are ending their involvement in the business.

In a post earlier this month, Lester wrote, "Our decision has been a year in the making; weighing many factors, business and personal, coming face to face with our emotions, recognizing that a major period of our lives, invested in something we have passionately nurtured for twenty years is coming to an end."

Photo: Camden Avery/Hoodline

Known for its open mic nights, poetry readings, standup comedy, spoken word and musical performances, the cafe's spacious rear garden and wifi make it a popular daytime spot for workers hunched over laptops, along with creatives toiling over manuscripts.

After two decades, the cafe has earned deep support from the community: after its owners faced a financial emergency in December 2011 and sought $7,000 in contributions to stay open, Bazaar Cafe raised more than $21,000, reported Richmond District Blog.

Although the new direction of Bazaar Cafe is uncertain, its current proprietors said it would likely remain a cafe. 

The cafe's last day of business is Saturday, August 11; patrons are invited to stop by from 6pm to midnight to share snacks, reminiscences, and a hosted bar.

Never miss a story.

Subscribe today to get Hoodline delivered straight to your inbox.