Al’s Café Good Food Closes After 50 Years In Bernal Heights

Jean Joseph in 2009.
Jean Joseph in 2009. Photo: Candacy A. Taylor

Here’s a bit of shocking news that took a little bit to reach us across town: Al’s Café Good Food (3286 Mission Street), which has been serving up coffee and eggs to Bernal Heights for 50 years, is closed. Presiding over the place for four decades has been 82-year-old Jean Joseph, better known as Mama, and her 80-year-old sister Joanne, and in a Facebook post they call the closing a “bittersweet goodbye.” Jean Joseph was among a dozen Bay Area waitresses profiled in a 2009 book titled Counter Culture: The American Coffee Shop Waitress, compiled by Candacy Taylor. As Taylor told the Chron last year, “You see a 70-year-old waitress and you feel sorry for her. But the point of [the book] was to say that she’s right where she wants to be.” An informant tells Grub Street that the place will open as a new restaurant, under new management, in the near term. [Grub Street]