The family behind Caffe Roma is saying goodbye to their North Beach business after 20 years, but new owners have emerged for the space at 526 Columbus Avenue and are pledging continuity. Jason and Sirin Talbot say that Caffe Roma won’t miss a beat when the Azzollini family, who cited rising rent and personal reasons for their decision, depart at the end of the month.
Once the Talbots take over at Caffe Roma, the “biggest thing you’ll notice is that Sirin and I are there a lot,” Jason Talbot told Eater. They’ll personally operate from a second story office, he explained to Hoodline. A real estate developer, Talbot is simultaneously pursuing a project to develop the former Big Apple Grocery space with a grocery and food vendor project called the Bazaar.
“The Azzollinis have run a great business for a very long time,” says Talbot. Siblings Irene and Tony Azzollini will now focus on caring for their ailing father, Caffe Roma founder Sergio Azzollini, and the family’s two other operations, Caffe Roma Coffee Roasting on Bryant Street (885 Bryant at 7th) and a Caffe Roma location in Millbrae (143 S. El Camino Real). Mail order and wholesale Caffe Roma coffee will still be available.
As for the new Caffe Roma family, “we want to make an investment in the community by freshening up the space,” Talbot says. That could mean a light remodel as soon as next year, and perhaps a new name. So far, Talbot has floated the idea of Gypset, but it’s not set in stone quite yet.
Stay tuned for more as plans develop.