By Paula Ann Solis
A breakfast eatery is closing its doors after just six months.
Sergio’s Café, adjacent to Mexican seafood restaurant Sergio’s, served the last of its patrons Saturday, including several Bearathon participants. Sergio and Sandra Garcia own both the café and restaurant.
Jim Que, the operator and sole cook of Sergio’s Café, said the café was opened in February adjacent to Sergio’s dinner and lunch restaurant after the popularity of Sergio’s food truck at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market.
“I was working the food truck for about a year and then it was just a real cold, nasty day there and when I came back, I was just sitting here thinking, why don’t we bring it inside,” Que said.
Que said he discussed his idea with Sergio Garcia and the two thought the breakfast café would prove very successful because its location, 608 Austin Ave., had no nearby competitors.
The café, according to Que, aspired to attain bygone characteristics of eateries where cooks and customers were friends, much like one from his hometown, Boston. Que said he knew his customers on a personal level, which made Sergio’s Café unlike most places in Waco.
However, the fluctuation of customers from day to day was detrimental to their success.
“One day we’ll do 70 people, the next day we’ll do two people,” Que said. Sergio Garcia called Que on Tuesday to tell him Saturday would be the last day of business.
The news of the closure was a shock for Que, who said six months was not enough time to gauge the potential success of the business.
Que said the café was slowly building up a promising cliental that included members of Cross Fit Waco. Que said after working out, people would cross the street to enjoy his biscuits and sausage gravy plate. “These guys would eat the daylights out of it,” Que said.
The news was also a shock to customers who had already become regulars of the café.
Angela Fenolio, a resident of China Spring, said she visited the café every time she had her hair done two doors down.
“Oh my gosh, it’s so popular,” Fenolio said. “That’s a shame. This place has a funky little ambience to it and it has good service and great coffee. It will be missed.”
Pat James, who lives across the street from Sergio’s, visited the café on its last day with her walking group and learned for the first time about its closure. It was the group’s routine to walk the downtown district and finish at Sergio’s Café for breakfast.
“I live right across the street and we are very sad,” James said. “It’s sad because it’s great breakfast and I loved to listen to his Boston accent. It was great entertainment with your breakfast.
When asked what the group’s plans were now that Sergio’s Café would close, James said, “We’re going to find out where Jim’s going.”
Que said he took great pride in the products the café produced, which included homemade tortillas and freshly prepared meats. He said he hopes after the closure there will be a demand for it that will cause Garcia to consider reopening it.
Que said the main restaurant portion of Sergio’s Restaurant that serves lunch and dinner has no plans to close. Their days and hours of operation can be found on their webpage, sergioswaco.com. Sergio’s food truck will also continue to serve breakfast at the farmer’s market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.