Hey northeast Fresno, want some avocado toast?
Patio Cafe is still located in Fig Garden Village, where it will celebrate its 20th birthday this April. But it's doing a pop-up inside Vino Grille, the restaurant, bar and wine store at 1440 E. Champlain Drive near Shepherd Avenue.
That means that from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Mondays through Fridays, Vino Grille customers can eat Patio Cafe food from Patio Cafe recipes made by Patio Cafe staff. It's just cooked in Vino's kitchen.
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The menu includes "rustic toast slabs," like the toast with sliced avocado, two poached eggs, local olive oil, garlic, tomato and feta piled on top. There is also a toast with berries, local honey and homemade ricotta and another toast with goat cheese, scrambled eggs and roasted onions and mushrooms.
"That concept of that breakfast toast is very popular," said Patio Cafe owner Robyn Richardson.
Avocado toast worked its way into pop culture recently when an Australian millionaire said young people couldn't afford to buy houses because they're buying avocado toast for $22 a pop. (For the record, Patio Cafe's rustic toasts cost $12).
But there's a lot more on the menu too, including omelets, eggs Benedict, French toast, and what Richardson calls fitness foods. That includes high-protein, gluten-free pancakes and breakfast foods made with egg whites.
Pop-ups aren't common in Fresno, though they are in other cities. It's a way for businesses test out new ideas and locations and share expenses like rent without the risk of opening a new permanent location. In cities with harsher winters, for example, ice cream shops that close for the winter will rent out their space to coffee shops.
Sometimes restaurant pop-ups only last a day, but the arrangement between Patio Cafe and Vino Grille will last 90 days – and maybe much longer if it's successful.
Vino Grille is continuing to serve brunch with mimosas on weekends, along with lunch starting at 11 a.m. on weekdays and dinner (it is closed Mondays).
Vino Grille owner Chuck Van Fleet said he hopes Patio Cafe will bring in some new customers who might return to eat and drink.
"We’re not using the facility for anything. It’s a good time to let somebody else come in," he said of the mornings. "Franklly , I’m there til 11 o' click at night, I don't want to be there at 5 in the morning."
The owners of both restaurants hope to pull in customers working out at the newly constructed GB3 gym at 1460 E Champlain Dr. Vino Grille is a quick walk across the parking lot from the gym.
Vino Grille – previously known as Vino & Friends – got its start in the same shopping center as Orchard Supply Hardware at the corner of Champlain Drive and Shepherd Avenue. Last year it moved two-tenths of a mile north into a newly constructed building. It also added cocktails and spirits like whiskey.
Customers looking for Patio Cafe food should enter the business through Vino Grille's patio.
Back at Fig Garden Village, it's business as usual at Patio Cafe – mostly. The restaurant just spruced up its interior, adding bench seating and a bar with seating facing the window.