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JobTrain cafe celebrates grand opening

New cafe is joint venture with CALSO

Menlo Park's JobTrain, a nonprofit that specializes in vocational training and placement, on Wednesday celebrated the opening of Rendezvous Cafe & Catering, a new joint venture with the nonprofit CALSO. The event was held at the cafe, located in the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits at 350 Twin Dolphin Drive in Redwood Shores.

Students from JobTrain's Culinary Arts program work at the cafe, learning restaurant and catering job skills. They will spend a year at the cafe and receive other services, including legal and tax assistance, and financial counseling.

JobTrain, which provides free or low-cost job training services to under-served populations including veterans, the homeless, the long-term unemployed, parolees, people recovering from addictions, the underemployed and at-risk youth, has joined CALSO, which works on environmental and social issues, in a joint venture called WISE SV.

The joint venture is supported by a $600,000 start-up grant from Google.org, the Sobrato Family Foundation, which donated the space for the cafe, the eBay Foundation and Goodwill San Francisco.

The cafe is named after John's Rendezvous Cafe, a longtime San Francisco institution owned and operated by the Sobrato family until the 1950s.

Among those participating in the Rendezvous Cafe's grand opening are Nicolas Hazard, chairperson of WISE SV and president of CALSO; Tamar Pichette, JobTrain board member and WISE SV secretary; Nora Sobolov, JobTrain executive director and treasurer of WISE SV; Brian Walsh, executive director of Liquidnet For Good; Justin Steele of Google.org; and John Sobrato, president of the Sobrato Family Foundation.

The cafe will cater corporate and private events as well as serve breakfast and lunch made with fresh, local, organic ingredients, the organizers said. The menu includes quiches, salads, sandwiches, and personal pizzas.

Call (650) 503-3445 to reach the cafe.

— Barbara Wood

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