Cafe 21's "Temporarily Closure" Continues In Downtown San Diego

October 12, 2023

The website says the closure is for renovations, but nearly six month in with an asbestos warning on the door of Cafe 21's downtown San Diego location paints an ominous picture for the future of the longtime restaurant. 

Founded by husband-and-wife partners Alex and Chef Leyla Javadov, Cafe 21 is an Azerbaijani, scratch-made restaurant and tapas bar first opened in San Diego's University Heights in 2007. A few years later, the couple opened a location in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, which was eventually moved a block away into the former Croce's space on the corner of 5th Avenue and F Street. 

Cafe 21's Gaslamp location has been closed for most of the year, reportedly for interior renovations. There is no information on the extent of the alleged construction, but asbestos warning signs are now hanging on the building's door. The Yelp page for the business states the restaurant is scheduled to reopen on November 12. We reached out to Cafe 21 for more information but did not receive a response by time of publishing. 

Cafe 21 Gaslamp is located at 802 5th Avenue in downtown San Diego. Visit the original location at 2736 Adams Avenue in University Heights. For more information, visit