Santa Monica breakfast spot OP Cafe permanently closes after 42 years

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- Many restaurants have struggled during the pandemic. On Sunday, the popular breakfast spot OP Cafe in Santa Monica said goodbye to its customers after 42 years.

Through the years, the yellow bungalow on Ocean Avenue has passed to different owners as it nourishes customers.

"The main driver for this concept, because of its location, is the business park across the street and a lot of those businesses have moved out and a lot of them are working remotely," said Matt Spiersch of OP Cafe.

Without the foot traffic from the business park and the economic impact of the pandemic over the past 18 months, the restaurant has been forced to close.

Longtime customer Ross Everly came one last time Sunday to enjoy a breakfast burrito.

"It's kind of sad. It's a good metaphor for the restaurant closures for all the people over the last 18 months. It's pretty sad it shows no sign of stopping," Everly said.

During the Sunday breakfast rush, the remaining employees on staff served customers with the same hospitality as always.

"We're taking our employees and sprinkling them out amongst the other properties. So, it's been bittersweet," Spiersch said.

While the business park was the bread and butter for the cafe, its neighbors were its heart.

"It's sad. We need restaurants, we need businesses," Santa Monica resident Llana Klaz said. "I know it's hard with the business park not being in full operation, a lot of the restaurants up and down Ocean Park have suffered."

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