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Uncle John's Cafe Now a South Park Resident

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, July 06, 2010, at 07:32AM
Hotel Johns Ed Fuentes

The new Uncle John's Cafe is located in the Hotel Stillwell, at 838 S. Grand.

On a recent morning, clatter from the kitchen mixed with chatter from the regulars who followed Uncle John’s Ham & Eggs to its new location at the Hotel Stillwell.

Now called Uncle John's Cafe, the eatery opened May 3rd in the space that was briefly home to Mother Road. The Ng family's menu of American breakfasts and Chinese food has its following, including cops, city workers and pre-renaissance Downtown residents.

The new space, now with equipped with TVs, leaves that frantic counter behind. In one corner, David Ray, a new Downtown resident and technology consultant for attorneys, was reading the New York Times on an iPad. Next to him was a table that had LAFD paramedics reading the L.A. Times. It all happened at a slightly slower pace than the old 8th street location.

"I miss the counter," says Richard Corral, who walks in with a plant welcoming back Uncle John's. "You can watch them cook...they way they wok, and prepare...boom, boom, boom."

It's been a small chore to let regulars know the eatery didn't just close down. Relocation notices kept disappearing at their previous location doors down from Colori Kitchen and the Golden Gopher.

At first, Chun Kwan and Wai Chun Ng, better known as Momma and Pops, planned to open Uncle John's Cafe as a second location. As the paperwork was finalized, the rent at the 8th street location doubled.

One location it is, decided the Ng family, who also share a fondness for the long counter and pure diner atmosphere two blocks away. "The biggest adjustment was not being able to just turn around and pick up a plate," says son Ricky, who with his brothers and sister work the family business with Mom and Pops.

Uncle John’s Café is open from 6:30am to 3pm Monday through Friday, and now open Saturdays from 7am to 3pm. They plan to add items to the menu and test dinner hours sometime during the summer.

Uncle John’s Café / 838 S. Grand / (213) 623-3555

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