VAZZA Cafe Now Open at Downey Library

The new Vazza Café on the north side of the Downey City Library is not only open for business, it will deliver orders anywhere in the downtown area — between Brookshire and Paramount, and Firestone and Seventh Street.

And with consideration for the environment, deliveries are made using one of two street-legal golf carts parked nearby. The vehicles can travel up to 40 mph.

The café is an attraction for Downey High students heading to the library when school is over. The outdoor seating area has charging stations for electrical devices, free Wi-Fi, and people are allowed to take covered drinks into the library.

Librarian Beatriz Ogranados says it is mostly students after school who bring in drinks, and so far there have been no problems. Canned sodas and other similar drinks are discouraged because the liquid can spill out if the opened container is knocked over.

One of two golf-carts used to deliver orders for the Vazza Cafe.

Although Vazza has a lot to offer students, its hours are designed to serve the larger community as well. Vazza is open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. through 8 p.m.

Owner George Zoumberakis says the café gets walk-up business from Embassy Suites, as well as people from City Hall and the police department. “Our best sellers so far are paninis and breakfast burritos,” he reports. Deliveries are mainly to businesses in the area, and especially the hair salons.

“Vazza is our fifth café,” says Zoumberakis, “ but our first non-medical location.” He has two cafés at PIH facilities, one at Kaiser Hospital in Bellflower, and one at St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood.

Owner George Zoumberakis of the new Vazza Cafe on the north side of the Downey City Library

The library remodel to accommodate the café included a new entrance on the north side of the building. People can enter and exit from the north side, but books can only be checked out at the main desk on the west side of the building.

Library patrons may notice that there is now a very wide aisle between the main check-out desk and the Information desk near the north entrance. In anticipation of different traffic patterns after the remodel, the desks that used to be in this area were moved to other spaces in the reference section. Librarian Linda Rivas reports that the library still has the same seating capacity.

The resulting aisle now seems exceptionally large.

“We’re still trying to figure out what the community needs and would like for this space,” says Rivas. The library staff is open to suggestions for a better use of the space.

“Anything anyone wants to say is valuable input,” says Rivas.