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Alameda Business Spotlight: Island City Café

Owners of Papa Murphy’s replace former Video Station with light and airy new café.

Last year, when the , it left a void in many loyal customers' hearts and weekly routines. For nearly three decades, Alamedans could pick up a video and a take-and-bake pizza in one convenient location. Now the Dorrance family, which owned both businesses, have replaced the Video Station with the . Both and the new cafe share one building with a common eating area, at 1929 Broadway. Customers can pick up their pizza and eat it too — all in one convenient location.

Owners: Ken and Peggie Dorrance

When did you open? We did a soft opening on Aug. 2. We have a new crew and we want to give them a chance to learn to do the best job possible before we advertise and have the grand opening later in August.

What’s on the menu? We spent a lot of time making sure our ingredients are high quality. Our beef is certified Angus. Our turkey is fresh roasted. The hot dogs are Vienna beef, which we serve with Chicago relish. Our chicken salad is made with almonds, cranberries and apples.

For the sandwiches, we get our bread from Bordenave, a bakery in San Rafael which has been around since 1918. We just developed an Italian Club sandwich with mortadella, salami, provolone, mustard, mayo and our special Island Sauce, which has oil and vinegar and secret spices. You get a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie with your sandwich.

We also have soups. Almost everybody’s favorite is the baked potato soup with cheddar. There’s also a vegetarian minestrone, Ivar’s clam chowder and chili.

For drinks, there’s fresh squeezed lemonade, sodas and beer. We also serve pizza by the slice. We serve cheese and pepperoni every day, and then there’s a special combo. For instance, yesterday we offered barbequed chicken. Today, it’s an Italian combo with a creamy garlic sauce.

You’ve been in business for 30 years. How have people’s tastes in food changed? As far as pizza goes, people like thin to light crust with ingredients like chicken and artichokes as opposed to just a pepperoni pizza. Salads are really popular. There’s about 1,200 in the United States and one week we sold more salad than any of them. Our customers love our salads. It’s very California.

How does the Island City Café side complement your Papa Murphy’s side? Our sandwich people tend to be day people and our pizza people are dinner people. But it’s not either-or. So kids can get a slice of cheese pizza while their moms have something else.

What are your plans for the future? We want to do a movie night. We’re also talking about football night, but we haven’t gotten it organized yet, so stay tuned. This is a work in progress.

In addition to the website, you can get up-to-the-minute information on Island City Cafe on its Facebook page. The Cafe is at 1929 Broadway, between Clement and Blanding. 

Paula August 19, 2011 at 08:29 PM
Are they considering home delivery? I have several disabled friends who love this sort of food, I read them the menu and they all would eat there, but have no way to go there, and rely on pizza and Chinese deliveries and Safeway.com. Maybe they will read this and consider home delivery a couple of days a week, hint, hint?
Diane August 20, 2011 at 02:14 AM
Need the address!
Eve Pearlman August 20, 2011 at 06:10 AM
Hi Diane! It's at 1929 Broadway, between Clement and Blanding.
joel August 20, 2011 at 04:02 PM
Diane: Can't miss it , up on Broadway , last building on the right before Blanding . Hair dresser next door are also very nice and do a good job at a very decent price , Women and Men .
Nikki August 23, 2011 at 11:14 PM
Congrats Dorrance's! So nice to see local businesses re-inventing themselves and thriving... We'll be in soon to taste the goodness!

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