Don Luis Camacho, who heads his family’s wide-ranging restaurant group, plans to open Café de Camacho by fall at “the gateway of Olvera Street.” The long-dormant Bank of America dates to 1959 featuring high ceilings and plenty of natural light.
Camacho restaurants include downtown’s Liberty Grill, Mariasol Restaurant on Santa Monica Pier and El Paseo Inn on Olvera Street. “We’re lucky in that we’ve been on this street for over 20 years,” says Camacho, “so we know the clientele, the guests, the travelers.”
Camacho described plans for the airy high-ceilinged space, including a “robust menu” of coffee drinks and Latin-themed ice blended drinks in flavored with dulce de leche and Mexican hot chocolate. To pair with coffee, expect pan dulce and other Latin pastries. The menu will be progressively ambitious throughout the day. At lunch, you’ll find soups, tortas and salads. For dinner, they’ll have tapas-style finger foods and some more traditional Mexican dishes. “The dinner menu will be an evolution over time depending on the feedback of our guests,” says Camacho. “It won’t be a full three course experience. It’s going to be small plates, convenient, accessible, and it will be in a casual setting.”
Camacho said that no matter the meal, “It’s got to be fresh, it’s got to be good, because when people come to Olvera Street, you’ve got to keep that consistency and authenticity.”
Cafe de Camacho will also feature prominent Latino artists, “not only from Los Angeles, but around the country, who will come and show their works.” Camacho described art exhibitions, poetry readings and book signings. “That’s one of the points that the city has asked us to take on, to be that critical point for artists to have another place to show their work. We find that to be a tremendous opportunity, simply because we’re in the birthplace of Los Angeles. What better place to have people come and partake in Olvera Street. It’s a celebration of Mexican heritage and Mexican culture.”
To learn more about Olvera Street dining and history, please read discoverLA’s story.