SAN LEANDRO -- After eight years of serving up robust coffee brews and hearty breakfast platters, Mon Cafe shuttered its doors last weekend.
Nestled in the Manor Square strip mall on Manor Boulevard near Andover Street in San Leandro, Mon Cafe was an unsuspecting hideout for coffee connoisseurs and those looking for low-cost breakfast and lunch fare.
The eatery ranked among the top coffee shops within city limits on Yelp.com, garnering four out of five stars with the help of reviewers who deemed its husband and wife owners stalwarts in the community who served good grub.
Doyle and Manami Wegner said that like many, business dipped during the recession but began picking up in the last year or two. Still, they decided it was time to retire from the daily grind but hope someone will takeover the cafe before their lease is up at the end of the month.
"The goal was to serve real coffee as opposed to some of the other coffees you might find, and to create a warm community atmosphere, healthy food but nothing too exotic, something the American public likes," Doyle Wegner said, who stayed mostly behind the scenes with his wife, formerly an accountant, at the cafe's helm.
Whether serving eggle sandwiches -- egg, cheese and bacon on a bagel -- or Heath mochas or panini, Mon Cafe sought to be more than a business, Wegner said.
"Several people commented this place has magic, a place to get together, that place away from business and home," he said. "It's good for young people and old people. A place where people can gather, catch up on politics, talk."
Retired Hayward resident Paul Ferreira, a former colleague of Wegner, began visiting the cafe after it opened and said it will be missed.
"It was not in my neighborhood, but it was a convenient spot for folks I know in San Leandro or San Lorenzo area," he said. "What I liked most was it had an easy, comfortable atmosphere. It didn't have the busyness that you find at Starbucks or Peets. It was kind of like going into someone's living room to have a cup coffee."
Looking back on their years in business, Wegner said he remembers music nights and a packed house when they hosted a spaghetti fundraiser benefiting survivors of the 2004 tsunami. About 50 attended, and the event raised $1,600, he said.
"Over the years there would be a continual flow of new faces, but always the steady, loyal regulars. Those are the people I think we will miss the most," Wegner said.
Ashly McGlone covers San Leandro, San Lorenzo and the Washington Township Health Care District. Contact her at 510-293-2463. Follow her at Twitter.com/AshlyReports.