In October, Nicole Toyama will be 73 years old and, she says, her family just won’t let her continue.
“When you cook with love from here,” she said pointing to her heart beneath her Broadway Cafe apron. “It’s different.”
“Every dish I sent out was like I was cooking for myself.”
After 18 years on the hill of Broadway between Pine and Pike, Toyama’s Broadway Cafe is celebrating its final week of business. With a menu that can only be described as eclectic and, often, one of a kind, the cafe will shutter Saturday. In other words, this is your last chance to say goodbye and thanks for lunch.
Toyama only wants to say she’s sorry.
“Sorry I have to go,” she said. “I will miss my customers very much.”
Coming next for the space is another restaurant.
Toyama said several offers came in once her cafe was put up for sale. She stuck with the first buyer, she says, even though his bid was not the highest. “He came to me and was very nice. He really wanted my restaurant,” she said.
Toyama said she can’t name names but you can expect the turnaround to be amazingly quick. The new operation is slated to be open by the start of October.
It will join a stretch of Broadway undergoing some important changes. Streetcar construction has reached its section of Broadway and eventually a stop will be just down the hill. The old Blockbuster across the street will soon be reborn as a Mud Bay pet store. Tacos Guaymas will soon fill a vacant space next door. And the new Q nightclub will increase the number of hungry nightlifers looking for a fix in the 2-block-radius.
Toyama says the deal should be enough to get by on in her new world of unemployment at the age of 73.
She won’t be cooking as much. “I cook for two people but my husband is gone,” she said.
She has a daughter and two grandchildren who live nearby to keep her busy. She also said she has a dream for her newfound free time of helping the Salvation Army, the organization that helped her family make the transition to a new country when they moved from Vietnam in 1975. This year, she hopes to give a little bit back by ringing a bell.
A million thanks to L Trane for the tip.