In a community constantly battling a franchise-takeover, there lies a hidden gem that is truly of the community; the OB Garden Café. Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market has expanded their cult-crazed deli into a full-fledged restaurant committed to the people it serves and the community it resides in. The values of sustainability and adaptive reuse are similarly reflected in the restaurant as they are in the co-op located next door.
People’s is a staple in the community and has become synonymous with Ocean Beach. OB Garden Café is an extension of this and serves organic, locally-sourced food and drinks with vegetarian and vegan fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In keeping with its context, the restaurant is designed with a laid-back, modern beachy feel with a natural material palette. Legend has it the walls “talk” as the wood cladding that wraps both interior and exterior elements was carefully reclaimed from roof sheathing from previous bar, bringing years of history with it. The oversized peace sign is made of reclaimed wood from a sunken barge in Mission Bay. A rooftop deck is perched atop the garden courtyard creating an oasis in what was once a bleak, gravel parking lot. Locals enjoy weekly rooftop yoga practice and groups gather for yard games over kombucha and beers. Windows and doors retract to create an indoor/outdoor experience allowing the ocean breeze to pass through. The materials and scale of the project fit appropriately in the neighborhood and offer a sense of place for all to enjoy.
OB Garden Café has fully embraces the “Ocean Beach-ness” that natives love and is an emerging favorite in the neighborhood.