Community welcomes a friendly new Attitude Café

| October 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

EVERYONE IS WELCOME at the “Cheers”-style diner.

When Melissa Kim and Bill Gordean decided to open a café where Fiddler’s Restaurant used to be on Third Street, neither had any nuts-and-bolts experience running a restaurant. Bill is an antiques dealer who’s owned Villa Melrose Antiques for about 30 years, and Melissa has been running the Park Plaza Lodge, one block away, for as long. “We were neighborhood friends,” says Bill. “We used to see each other at Starbucks every morning.”

While the former Fiddler’s space sat empty, Melissa, who handles her father’s affairs, was badly injured in an accident, and Bill took care of her. As she recovered, she asked Bill if he would be her partner in a new restaurant that sat exactly in between his business and hers on Third Street. “I was busy with my shop and traveling to Europe all the time,” he said. “How was I going to remodel and operate a restaurant?” Bill resisted for a long time, but Melissa was persuasive. “I finally caved in,” he said, laughing. “From the moment I met Melissa and her parents, they felt like old friends.”

This was at the start of the pandemic, and it was difficult to find qualified construction workers. Still, the partners persevered, and soon Attitude was in the midst of its major upgrade and remodel. But first they had to face the pandemic’s reality. “We opened on March 18, 2020,” says Melissa, “and Governor Newsom closed all indoor dining establishments the next day. We could only do take-out and online orders. But the neighborhood and this community made us survive.” Attention-grabbing signs in front of Attitude caught the eyes of people passing by, as well as the residents of Park La Brea across the street. Bill adds, “It was the kindness of our neighbors.”

Attitude reopened in February of this year, and business is thriving. On the weekends there’s usually a line out the door, “which is unusual for a new business that had no experience running a restaurant,” says Bill. “Melissa and I pat each other on the back when people have to wait for a table!” They re-hired one of the former Fiddler’s chefs, and they are constantly adding new dishes to the menu. “I’m half-Mexican and Melissa is Korean, so the possibilities are endless. Kimchee burritos, anyone?” Bill says, smiling.

NEW RESTAURATEURS Bill Gordean and Melissa Kim.

The current menu has all the traditional fare a neighborhood café is known for, but with more flair. Formica tabletops have been replaced with Italian marble, the floors are brand new, and beautiful art — some from Bill’s shop — now adorns the walls. The bathrooms have been completely remodeled; in addition, a handicapped bathroom was installed. “The patio is a work in progress,” says Bill. “We’re adding new landscaping, the trees will have sparkly lights on them, and there are big tile pots filled with fresh herbs.” The patio in front has colorful umbrellas on the tables, and an array of plants and new shrubs replaced the dirt on the parkway in front of Attitude. Also, Attitude bought back the liquor license and now has a full bar, temporarily portable, while the actual bar is under construction. Simultaneously, the adjacent Park Plaza Lodge is being upgraded and remodeled.

Bill and Melissa both have homes in Windsor Square. When asked to describe the style and atmosphere of the new café, Melissa pauses for a moment. “Good food with elegance. Fine dining meets ‘Cheers.’ Everyone is welcome, and we do remember your name!”

Attitude Café, 6009 W. Third St., is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

By Wendy Werris

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Category: Entertainment

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