After several years in business, the owners of Caffe Renato have announced their plan to sell the restaurant in Taos' historic district.
Owners Kimberly and Renato Casara said they are tired and want to move on to different adventures in life. They have put their restaurant in the historic Arthur Manby house on the market. The duo started the restaurant in 2004 as a small panini and coffee shop. Caffe Renato has evolved into a sophisticated place for tourists and locals alike to sit down for a quiet meal on the main drag through Taos.
Now the Casaras are hoping someone will come along and grab the historic property and uphold the legacy their establishment has kept up in the house. In the meantime, everything will be sold, "down to the salt and pepper shakers," said Kimberly Casara.
"It's been a great run," she said. "We made a great life out of this."
After moving from Los Angeles, California, the Casaras began the restaurant as a small family endeavor in 1999 across the street from the Manby house. After moving into the current location sometime in 2001, Caffe Renato began to take shape after several years of updates and renovations to the property, which included several home repairs and a brand-new kitchen to turn the small panini shop into a full-fledged restaurant. Caffe Renato then evolved when Kimberly Casara decided to step away from managing the restaurant's front of house staff and took to managing behind the scenes. During this time, the café hired youth from around the town looking for their spot in the service industry in town. Over the years, the menu and faces at the restaurant have changed, but Renato Casara remained in the kitchen cooking up dishes for hungry customers.
Now he's ready to call it quits.
A week after it officially went on the market, Caffe Renato has had several inquiries for the property from within Taos and beyond.
"I think it's time, and competition is getting tight," said Renato Casara. "It's been a life here and spending it with my kids has been my best memory."
Casara said that he will miss the customers and cooking. He is open to getting another job in the restaurant industry, but doesn't have any concrete plans just yet. The Casaras said they will miss their loyal and frequent customers, but are hopeful a new business will be follow quickly on the heels of the café.
Kimberly Casara said her favorite memories at the café have been watching the various generations of employees come through their doors and growing up like a big restaurant family. She said while doing finances and bookkeeping in the back room, she would often even babysit some of the employees' children if they were working a shift. She has watched them grow up over the years.
"We wouldn't have done it for 18 years if we didn't have a great life," Kimberly Casara said. "It has been a wonderful life."
For more information on Caffe Renato, contact Kimberly Casara at (575) 770-6959. The café will remain open for regular hours until the ownership officially changes hands.