NEWPORT — Breeze Powell Spivey, the daughter of Laurie and Greg Card, sat at one of the colorful tables on the second floor of Cafe Mundo and looked around at the restaurant’s eclectic artwork.
“My parents have been doing this for 21 years,” Spivey said. “As people know, restaurants take a lot of work. It’s a 24-hour job, seven days a week, pretty much. It’s just time to move on.”
The Cards, owners of the restaurant since its inception, announced earlier this month they are closing the restaurant. The building has been sold, although Spivey doesn’t know who the buyers are.
While the family is ready to let the restaurant go and move on to other business ventures, many in the community who know and love Cafe Mundo are sad to see it go.
Cafe Mundo opened for business on July 4, 1998 and, over the last 21 years, became a place for the community during the late spring to early fall season, when the weather was good enough to provide outdoor seating. Before Cafe Mundo moved into its current building, seating was all outdoors in the front courtyard and the kitchen was in a refurbished trailer, Spivey said. Three or four fireplaces provided warmth to customers, and local artist Rick Bartow would play his guitar and sing.
“We had candlelight and lanterns,” said Spivey. “It was just so magical.”
The Card family hosted weddings, baby showers, wakes, blessing ceremonies and other family events in the restaurant, and displays and accommodates the work of local artists.
Segis Card, the youngest of Spivey’s four siblings, works at the restaurant and together with another employee, Max, will continue to roast and sell Cafe Mundo coffee to other local businesses in the greater Newport area, Spivey said. Plans for the two young men to take over the coffee side of the business and continue the Cafe Mundo name are underway.
“They’ll possibly do online orders and the farmers market,” Spivey said. “Then we’ve always wanted to bottle the salad dressing and distribute that, too, so we have plans for that.”
Spivey and her mother will also work together on a cannabis tincture business, CannaHoney, which they already operate together. The business sells a honey-based tincture, one of several medical cannabis products Spivey describes as fairly potent.
“It’s another passion my mom’s been focused on the last six, seven years,” Spivey said. “So just venturing into that realm and seeing what we can do with that as a business, those are the next steps.”
Spivey and her siblings not only grew up in their parents’ restaurant but, as they got older, worked in various capacities in the restaurant themselves. While Spivey moved on to other work as an adult, she still comes to work at Cafe Mundo from time to time to fill in for sick employees, and said she will miss the restaurant.
“It’s hard to close this place,” Spivey said. “I feel like we’re letting our home go, and a community space. It’s a place that’s held a lot for people over the years.”
Cafe Mundo will close Sunday, Oct. 6 after brunch. Spivey said they’ll close by 4 p.m. that day, as the Cards will have family only for one last meal in the restaurant.
“I really want people to honor my parents,” Spivey said. “I know it’s hard because it feels like we’re taking something away from the community, but everyone can come and celebrate what they’ve given the community all these years.”