I live in Menlo Park west of I-10, so I was really happy to hear that the YWCA opened a cafe in the lobby of its building at 525 N. Bonita Ave. I can always use a spot to work from that has coffee and nosh, but I need wifi and the YWCA delivers. The cafe is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and there's plenty of seating. Today, I had a cup of hot tea and a bagel with cream cheese, priced right at $5.
Here's what they have: every espresso drink you want and need, a good selection of teas, fruit, pastries, bagels, baguettes, cake pops and more. There's art on the walls now in the gallery space and there are more tables and chairs outside in the courtyard. (Kudos to Liane Hernandez, YWCA's community life director and executive chef.)
The galleries first show, photography by Amy Zuckerman, comes down Jan. 15. The black-and-white photos are big and beautiful, and worth your time. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
But I discovered something even better while blogging and emailing from the YWCA lobby's cafe—a busy community space, exactly what Kelly Fryer told us she was aiming for when she became executive director last year. I saw women coming in to Our Sister's Closet and leave with new professional clothes and huge smiles. I saw people come in to ask about a GED class and schedule. And I even saw a puppy get rescued in the parking lot.