Frida Café to move into Fresno's historic water tower

Fresno's historic water tower will soon have a new tenant.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno's historic water tower will soon have a new tenant.

Frida Café, which just moved out of the Los Panchos location in downtown Fresno, will soon welcome customers inside the Old Fresno Water Tower.

Owner Albee Sanchez says he is excited to start this next chapter of the business he started amid the pandemic.

"We are certainly not leaving downtown, but rather we are going to harness it in a new light, so I'm working with the city to open up the water tower," Sanchez says.

RELATED: Downtown Fresno's Frida Café moving to a new location

Sanchez says there will be a lot of changes to the building while still preserving its rich history.

Action News got an exclusive walk through the new location led by Sanchez. Watch the video below to see inside:



The Old Fresno Water Tower has stood at the heart of Fresno since 1894. Once its pumping equipment became outdated, it served different roles, most recently as a visitors center.

Now, for the first time, the space will be used for a business.

Sanchez opened Frida Café amid the pandemic and says a simple conversation with city leaders led to this new chapter.

"I brought to his attention that we have an amazing historical jewel that has only been the home of homeless people and squirrels," says Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias.

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Frida Café, which just moved out of the Los Panchos location in downtown Fresno, will soon welcome customers inside the Old Fresno Water Tower.



Arias says revitalizing downtown takes people who are invested and care about the community, and he believes Sanchez embodies all of it.

"We just have to find people who have the vision, passion and love for the city's history."

Sanchez, a Fresno native, is also excited to bring his creativity to the project. The space will be a work in progress for the next couple of months - and its opening will mark a new beginning in more ways than one.

"It's going to be the experience of what downtown Fresno should be. You are not only going to have an amazing vibe but beautiful live music, amazing food options, beautiful coffee, beer, wine. It's going to be phenomenal," he says.

The soft launch of Frida Café will be on May 15th.

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