Café Mundo is a full-service restaurant and performance venue located at the corner of NW Second Ct. and Coast St. in the Nye Beach area of Newport.
Café Mundo definitely fits the unique restaurant category. Greg and Laurie Card first opened it in 1998 in a mobile kitchen trailer set on the vacant lot; seating was at outdoor tables. Six years later the trailer was replaced with a 12-by-14-foot permanent kitchen and the casual eating area began its transformation into garden dining.
With no indoor seating, however, the restaurant could only provide income for the Cards and their four children during Oregon’s brief summer season. So in late 2005 they decided to leap into building a year-round restaurant. How they accomplished it is as unique as the final product.
Opened in March 2007, the new Café Mundo reflects not only the owners’ community orientation, but their commitment to ecologically sustainable practices. The 2,220-square-foot two-story structure, built right over the old kitchen, is supported by a pre-engineered frame of 70 percent recycled-steel beams. The exterior is composite panels; the interior walls painted plywood and farmed Sitka spruce finish-milled on site.
Redwood driftwood salvaged from the beach was used to create the barn-style doors that open the ground floor to the outdoor garden seating area.
Passive solar heating keeps the interior comfortably warm most days; a natural gas fireplace fills in when needed. A 4-inch-diameter PVC pipe delivers order requests from the upstairs dining room to the kitchen below simply by gravity; a dumbwaiter lifts the filled orders to the second level.
Envisioning the café as a modern equivalent to the old neighborhood soda shop, the atmosphere is warm and casual, and definitely eclectic. Tabletops sport individually painted designs and large-scale works of local artists decorate the walls.
Dining chairs were presents on Laurie’s birthday.
From Café Mundo’s humble beginnings in the trailer, chef Laurie Card has insisted on “green” practices. Menu items are made from scratch with fresh, locally grown or caught ingredients, many organic. Kitchen scraps are composted and recycling is standard procedure. Says Laurie, “We don’t buy corporate products. Supporting local growers is part of giving back to the community.”
Tues-Thrs: 11 am to 10 pm
Fri-Sat: 11 am to Midnight
Sun. 10 am to 4 pm
(Blunch 10 am to 4 pm)