Located just two doors down from Polk Street’s eternally-busy Brenda’s French Soul Food, Libby Jane Cafe was intended to offer a grab-and-go option for fans of Brenda’s beignets, biscuits, and other Creole-influenced items. But after six years in business, Libby Jane is calling it quits — though the Brenda’s crew says they have other plans for the space.
The Brenda’s empire is the brainchild of wife-and-wife team Brenda Buenviaje and Libby Truesdell, who opened the “mothership” location of Brenda’s back in 2007. Since then, the operation has expanded. Libby Jane opened in 2013, Brenda’s Meat & Three launched on Divisadero Street in Nopa in 2014, and their Oakland spot (which is simply called “Brenda’s”) opened in October. (Buenviaje also considered a Fillmore sandwich shop called Brenda’s Original Po’ Boys but mysteriously canceled the plans in 2015.)
That empire’s now a bit smaller, as according to its website, Libby Jane closed on November 22. It’s unclear why the spot, which has long been described by Brenda’s as its “sister cafe,” shut down — but a rarely-updated social media presence suggests that the effort lost some of its steam over time. (As of publication time, Buenviaje has not responded to an Eater SF inquiry for more details.)
“Check in early 2020 for what’s next at 644 Polk,” Libby Jane’s website now urges visitors. Perhaps a second run at the “Original Po’ Boys” idea? If so, maybe this time it’ll be called Libby Jane’s Original Po’ Boys, instead.