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Surfbird Cafe replaces Bella Espresso in Cannon Beach

Owner and chef also operates Osprey Cafe in Seaside

By Brenna Visser

Coast Weekend

Published on May 23, 2018 4:12PM

Josh Bokish plans to open Surfbird Cafe around Memorial Day weekend where Bella Espresso operated for more than 16 years.

Brenna Visser PHOTO

Josh Bokish plans to open Surfbird Cafe around Memorial Day weekend where Bella Espresso operated for more than 16 years.

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A new internationally-inspired breakfast and lunch spot will be coming to downtown Cannon Beach.

Surfbird Cafe is replacing Bella Espresso, the Italian-style coffee shop that has operated at 231 N. Hemlock St. for more than 16 years, over Memorial Day weekend.

“I have decided to simplify my life, enjoy family and check things off my bucket list,” former owner James Faurentino said in a statement. “It has been a pleasure owning and operating Bella Espresso for the last 16 years and I am looking forward to just focusing on my first business and love in Cannon Beach: Pizza a’ fetta.”

At the helm of Surfbird Cafe is Josh Bokish, who chose the name to keep the seabird theme in line with his other restaurant, Osprey Cafe in Seaside. After four years in Seaside, Bokish saw the opening in Cannon Beach as an opportunity to expand, as well as a way return to his Cannon Beach roots.

For Bokish, running a business in Cannon Beach is a family affair. His parents, John and Elizabeth Bokish, operate the fair trade clothing and goods store West of the Moon across the street, and his sister Natalie runs Geppetto’s Toy Shoppe on the same block.

“Growing up we had a house on Monroe Street,” Bokish said. “I’ve gotten to watch the town grow and change a little bit.”

Like Osprey Cafe, lunch and breakfasts will be inspired by Bokish’s years of international travel with his parents and emulate classic American, Indian, Asian and South American cuisine.

Surfbird Cafe will hold a similar vibe that is found at Osprey Cafe, Bokish said, but with its own twists. Because of limited space, Bokish said the restaurant will start by being counter-service only to encourage both to-go orders and a casual, sit-down atmosphere. There will still be a full-service espresso bar for those who have come to rely on this location for their morning coffee.

While the menu isn’t yet finished, Bokish said to look out for a new clam chowder recipe and a breakfast sandwich made with arepas, a type of South American corn flour patty.

But some classics will carry over from the Seaside cafe.

“We’re definitely going to carry over the avocado toast, because they were so popular at the Osprey,” Bokish said. “But I always like to keep experimenting and challenging myself to come up with new ideas. I would be bored doing the same thing.”


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