Bellowses Sell Orinda’s Village Inn


Angelina Little, Editor in Chief

Sunday, January 28 marked the end of an era for Kurt and Kathy Bellows as they served breakfast to the patrons of the Village Inn Cafe for the last time. After 31 years of service, on Wednesday, January 17, the couple finally put Orinda’s favorite (and only) breakfast spot up for sale. In the days leading up to the final day of service, the bustling restaurant was more packed than ever as regulars, visitors, Miramonte students, and everyone in between filed in line for one last meal.

Luckily for residents already missing the go-to breakfast place, the Orinda community won’t have to say goodbye forever to Village’s corned beef hash or bottomless coffee cups. According to co-owner Kurt Bellows, the couple is currently in contract with a buyer. Village will reopen once the sale is finalized.

Although the sale of Village was a hard pill to swallow for many Lamorinda residents, the choice was clear for the Bellowses. “Kathy and I have been working much too hard for the last couple of years,” Bellows said. “The decision to close came quickly and easily when it became apparent that closing was the only way that we could get some rest.”

For years, Village Inn Cafe’s website has boasted that the restaurant is “not your pretentious, trendy, foodie hangout.” From the classic checkered curtains to the sign boasting milkshakes served “the old fashioned way” in a tin, Village’s atmosphere is unique. According to Bellows, the community may be able to hold on to these elements of the restaurant. “I believe that the current buyer would like the restaurant to remain essentially the same,” Bellows said.

Many Miramonte students lament the loss of the restaurant, however temporary. From middle school “kidnapping” birthday celebrations to post sports practice meals and pre-finals breakfasts, Village has been a hangout for teenagers for years. “I love going to Village with my friends before finals, it’s a great stress reliever and whenever I’m there I feel like there’s a really good homey and friendly vibe,” senior Bayla Jaffe said. The feeling is mutual. “Kathy and I have always enjoyed having the kids of Orinda and Miramonte in our restaurant; watching them grow up has been a real pleasure,” Bellows said.

As a major part of the Orinda community since 1968, the Bellows couple will have to adjust to stepping down. According to her husband, Kathy will most miss Village’s regular customers.  “When we decided to close they were her biggest concern,” Bellows said. “I will miss the feeling of accomplishment that I get every day after having provided a nice place for people to meet, good food to eat, and [a] good place to work for our employees.”