Cafe Bolivar in Santa Monica.
Cafe Bolivar in Santa Monica.
Anne Fishbein

Cafe Bolivar Back on Track

When we last checked in with Latin American-tinged Cafe Bolivar back in May, there was trouble. Co-owners Jose Carvajal and Noreen Sakai were at each others' throats, metaphorically speaking.

After much legal wrangling, the two finally reached a settlement. Carvajal tells us that in late July he bought out Sakai for $50,000 to become the cafe's sole owner. Carvajal says he has found a new coffee roaster, a new baker and plans to put the popular arepas back on the cafe's menu.

Carvajal, who grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and came to the United States in 1986 when he was 17, tells us he met Sakai in a photography class at Cal State Long Beach in 2000. The two opened Cafe Bolivar in 2001, but by 2008 the partnership had soured. Sakai have been wrangling over control of the establishment since then.

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[@elinashatkin / eshatkin@laweekly.com]


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