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Extended honeymoon

Laid-back local café attempts record sushi roll



ROLL WITH IT, BABY :  Co-owners Christie Rivera and Russell Thomas of the Honeymoon Café in SLO are hoping to set a local record for longest sushi roll. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • ROLL WITH IT, BABY : Co-owners Christie Rivera and Russell Thomas of the Honeymoon Café in SLO are hoping to set a local record for longest sushi roll.
When Russell Thomas, co-owner of the Honeymoon Café in San Luis Obispo, was dreaming up ideas for a little fun that the staff and customers could both enjoy, he set his sights high—a world record seemed about right. In keeping with the local café’s passion for unique organic dishes, he figured, “Why not a record-breaking vegetarian sushi roll?”


“So we looked up the world record and it’s something like a mile long,” Thomas chuckled. “Yeah, we’re not going to get even close to that. But we’re thinking the SLO record; something like eight to 15 feet.”


The record-breaking futomaki roll—roughly translated to fat roll in Japanese—will be loaded with a variety of locally grown produce, as is the entire menu of the popular eatery and coffeehouse.


Because sushi mats that large are tough to come by, Thomas had to get creative. In addition to the massive amounts of ingredients, he bought a couple of bamboo curtains for the team to use to roll the sushi.


“It’s going to be kind of an employee appreciation sort of thing, a fun team-building experience that I think our customers will enjoy watching, too,” Thomas said. Of course, he added those who show up to witness the record attempt will be welcome to share in the end product for free. The day will also be filled with a couple of other added specials and surprises, the details of which are being closely guarded. You’ll just have to witness them for yourself.


The record attempt will be held inside the café starting at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28. According to Thomas, building the enormous sushi roll is just another example of the impulsive things the crewmembers do to enjoy themselves and add some excitement while continuing to serve up their signature healthy organic dishes and fresh- brewed coffee.


Honeymoon Cafe is not your chain coffee shop. It’s truly a local hangout spot with a cool and positive vibe, sporting a lush green interior and spacious patio section overlooking Higuera Street, as well as a menu “with a touch of global influence.”


While continuing to enjoy a popular following at their location in Pismo Beach, owner Christie Rivera opened the San Luis Obispo Honeymoon with Thomas last March. Since the grand opening in the spacious county building at 1074 Higuera, business has been booming as word has quickly spread that the establishment is one of the few places in the downtown area for a filling and nutritious meal with a truly unique menu. The “self-sustainable” café is known for using only the finest locally grown organics.


“Our claim to fame is that we hit the farmers markets really hard,” Thomas said. “Something like 90 percent of our produce comes from the markets and that really fuels the café.


Aside from great coffee, the Honeymoon has gained popularity for healthy and hearty meals, like the vegetarian sandwich, the open-faced pita, and Christie’s platter. A recent addition to their repertoire is their Sunday brunch items like pancakes and pastrami hash.


Next up, keep your eyes peeled for the Honeymoon Café booth at the SLO Farmers Market, coming soon.


Fast facts


Come show your support for a young wife and mother who is suffering from renal failure and in desperate need of a kidney donor. The Benefit for Fairess Dougall will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 18, at Heritage Square Park, at the corner of Nelson and Short streets, in Arroyo Grande. The benefit will feature live music performed by members of Fairess’ family and friends, a barbecue and silent auction. Tickets are $10 and proceeds will assist Dougall in her battle for a transplant. Donations can also be made to the Fairess E. Dougall Benefit Fund at any Rabobank branch. For more information, call 343-1342. …


Hospice of San Luis Obispo County will present two suicide prevention forums; the first on Oct. 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the ABC Church, 6225 Atascadero Mall in Atascadero and the second on Oct. 27 in SLO at 6 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 1515 Fredericks St. SLO author Jay Asher, who wrote Thirteen Reasons Why, will speak. For more information, contact Steve Thayer 544-2266 Ext. 218.


Donate to help people who lack homes. The number of clients at the Prado Day Center and Maxine Lewis Memorial Homeless Shelter is mounting. Food, blankets, everyday basic necessities, and financial donations are critical to sustain clients, many or most of whom resided in their own homes in the county until losing shelter. For more information, contact Homeless Services Director Dee Torres at or call her at 786-0617.


Staff writer Matt Fountain wrote this week’s Strokes&Plugs. Send business and nonprofit news to

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