Station House Cafe overcomes rent increase, pandemic challenges in Point Reyes Station

In May of 2020, Sheryl Cahill received news that would change her life.

The rent for her restaurant, the Station House Cafe in Point Reyes Station, had increased by 300%. In the middle of a pandemic, no less.

“It hit me like a brick,” Cahill said. After breaking the news to her 49 employees, she posted about the rent hike on Facebook. Immediately, there was an “outpouring of love and kindness,” Cahill says, and even anger towards the landlords.

After more than a week of community outrage, the landlords of the property offered a deal with the restaurant. The Station House Cafe would be able to stay open at an affordable price until they could move permanently.

“It was a roller coaster, to be honest,” Cahill said. Around the same time, Osteria Stellina — a restaurant one block away — announced it would be closing. The space had been occupying the Station House Cafe’s original location when it opened in 1964.

“It’s a tumultuous time and very challenging, but it almost feels like a fairytale ending as we move toward this return to our original location, where we were from 1964 to 1989,” said Cahill.

As they renovate and receive permits to move back into the original space, the cafe is raising money through a GoFundMe. Outdoor dining will resume soon, coordinating with pandemic guidelines.

Cahill hopes the new space will be ready to move into by the end of summer.

“Endurance has kind of been the name of the game,” Cahill said. “We are like a community hub. We are a meaningful gathering place and more than just the nuts and bolts and food and beverages ... We are a place that people return to.”

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