South County Beat

Cafe Andreini in Arroyo Grande reopening after flood

Special to The TribuneMay 21, 2013 

Denise and Tessa Andreini


Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled contractor Mike Bogle's last name.

Denise Andreini woke up Easter morning expecting to enjoy the day with her family. Instead she got a call from a passerby that her business, Cafe Andreini on East Branch Street in Arroyo Grande Village, was flooded inside.

Water, water everywhere — a water cylinder had ruptured spurting water first into the kitchen, then behind the bar, and then all over the floor under the tables. Spurred into action, Denise called Richetti Water — they were out to the café in five minutes.

“I was just devastated as a single mom,” she said, not knowing how they were going to manage the cleanup and refurbishing that was needed. Was the insurance really going to come through?

Contractor Mike Bogle “sat me down and said ‘we’re gonna make this work,’ and encouraged me to move forward. All kinds of people stepped up and supported me in getting the café open — they’ve gone above and beyond.”

Denise moved to Arroyo Grande from the Bay Area 17 years ago with her then-husband and three kids (triplets Tessa, Jesse and Tony, age 3 at the time). She had grown up here and graduated from Arroyo Grande High School and Cal Poly.

“I had a vision — I wanted a place for the community to come together. I designed it for all ages, all walks of life,” she emphasized. There were no coffee houses in the Village then. The 1906 Victorian building with its high ceilings seemed like the perfect venue.

They took out the false ceiling to expose the original Victorian design. They kept the cement slab flooring and beautiful original lantern that hangs in the doorway.

After recovering from the initial shock of the recent flood, Denise called her workers to her home (she is paying them during the renovation) for brainstorming. They posted a survey on Facebook to find out what changes the community might want.

The community wanted more healthy options, so Cafe Andreini is going more organic with more local produce. They will be highlighting breakfast, staying open later and serving wine and beer.

Employees, contractors, family and friends all helped create the new Cafe Andreini. They are going “green,” with environmentally safe paint and bringing in a more natural feel.

“I love designing and creating,” Denise enthused. This has given her a chance to bring changes, such as installing leatherized marble countertops, and travertine stone table tops. The bar is redesigned with a new refrigeration system. Comfortable seats, lamps and bookshelves are being added in the back, giving it a home feel.

To add to the new ambiance, burlap coffee sacks from different companies will be hung on the wall behind the bar. Daughter Tessa, one of the triplets and now 20, helps in the café when home from college. Son Jesse, also a triplet and in college, is hauling debris.

Her father, Jim Miller, and brother Doug Miller are hanging lights, with the help of Denise’s 8-year-old son, Dante. Third triplet Tony, at the University of Oregon, helps with marketing from afar.

“I feel so blessed,” Denise said. “I gave to the community in various ways — now it’s come back to me in my need.” She plans to open in time for the Strawberry Festival this weekend.

Reach Cafe Andreini on Facebook or at 481-6117.

Gayle Cuddy’s column is special to The Tribune. She and Cynthia Lambert write the South County Beat column on alternating Wednesdays. Reach Cuddy at 489-1026 or

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