Capitol Alert

Officials parting ways with Capitol’s longtime basement cafe, future uncertain

Griselda’s World Cafe in 2011. The Legislature and the cafe’s owner have agreed to part ways as of Feb. 6.
Griselda’s World Cafe in 2011. The Legislature and the cafe’s owner have agreed to part ways as of Feb. 6.

California legislative officials and the operator of Griselda’s World Cafe in the Capitol basement have agreed to part ways, effective Feb. 6, following the cafe’s recent closure by county health inspectors after they found roaches and other health and safety violations.

But when, or whether, the Capitol basement will again present a dining option for the legions of lobbyists, legislative employees, tourists and other Capitol visitors remains unknown. What’s clear is that the Capitol will be a one-cafe building until further notice.

Debra Gravert, the chief administrative officer for the Assembly Rules Committee, said workers will evaluate the cafeteria space after Griselda’s employees finish clearing out. The goal, Gravert said, is to figure out what needs to be overhauled, repaired or replaced in the space, located in one of the oldest parts of the original 140-year-old-plus Capitol building.

“We’ve got to know what’s really down there,” Gravert said.

What officials do next, and when the basement might once again offer a full-service place to eat, “I couldn’t even imagine,” she said.

The Legislature’s Joint Rules Committee has contracted with local restauranteur Griselda Barajas to operate the basement cafeteria since at least 2007. In December, though, county health inspectors closed the cafe after finding living and dead roaches, accumulated grease and other problems.

Capitol visitors can still find something to eat at the O! Deli cafe on the Capitol’s sixth floor. There also is a coffee cart in the Capitol’s basement.

Call Jim Miller, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5521. Follow him on Twitter @jimmiller2.

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