New restaurant in Downtown Fresno being run by Fresno County Office of Education

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A few lucky customers were some of the first to try the food and drinks at a new business in Downtown Fresno-- Kids Cafe 2019. (KFSN)

A few lucky customers were some of the first to try the food and drinks at a new business in Downtown Fresno-- Kids Cafe 2019.

The restaurant is run not just by employees, but soon Fresno County special needs students.

"I think they are more excited about opening than we are. I think it's an opportunity for them to the show the world what they're capable of doing," said Jim Yovino, Fresno County School Superintendent.

Yovino is excited about the possibilities for Kids Café 2019, located along the Fulton Mall close to the clock tower.

Students will be a part of the new work experience course.

The county serves 1,700 special needs kids and this experience will give their kids ages 18 to 22 a chance to transition to real life.

"We want to prepare these kids to go on after they leave us to be able to be self-sufficient, to be able to get jobs, and we want to prepare them to enter the workforce and live independently," said Yovino.

They will learn the ins and outs of the restaurant from Manager Paul Romero by working in the dining room and in the kitchen.

"There are always food trends that are coming in and out, so we're trying to stay current with those and really give our students an opportunity to work with new and interesting ingredients; also an opportunity to see where their food comes from."

Speaking of food, the menu is full of items for breakfast and lunch and even offers options for those with special dining needs.

"We offer hot sandwiches like paninis, we offer cold sandwiches, and then our soups are to die for. We have a creamy tomato soup, and a poblano chowder and we make our garden vegetable chowder here in the restaurant every day," said Romero.

Officials said they are also thankful for the many community partners that have donated to the cafe, everything from the tables to their time. They are hoping the diners will now invest in their café and try it out.

"I think it's a gift when you come in here. A gift for the meal, but it's a gift to them that you're willing to stop by and be part of our restaurant," said Yovino.

The Kids Café officially opens to the public Monday, January 9th. You can stop by Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. You can even order online.

Related Topics:
foodspecial needs childrenfresnoFresno - Downtown
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