New eats in O-Town
A new cafe, a reopened bar/restaurant and an expanded menu in Oroville
I had a rare opportunity to spend a whole day in Oroville last week, acting like a tourist and checking out sites, businesses and museums I’d never been to or hadn’t been to in a while. Having spent a fair amount of time covering news and events in the City of Gold, it’s fun to pop in places and reconnect with people I’ve interviewed. And it’s cool, too, to discover new spots and hidden gems and meet the folks who keep the town ticking.
One of my stops was for lunch at a new eatery, Café One Sixteen (116 Table Mountain Blvd.), opened by Chris and Edna Lightle, who modeled the place after their successful Souper Subs on Oro Dam Boulevard. After ordering at the counter—a French dip panini and bowl of cheddar broccoli soup—Chris and I chatted. Edna, his grandmother (better known as “Nana”), was holding down the Souper Subs fort.
“Our main goal is to serve the Thermalito area of town as well as the county government offices with our healthier than traditional fast-food menu,” Chris told me of the new venture. Indeed, they make it easy to get a good meal fast—there are grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, plus online and phone-in ordering. A drive-thru makes the pickup process even simpler.
Nana’s best known for her soups—in particular the broccoli cheddar (which was awesome) and chili. Both owners celebrate milestone birthdays this year—Chris turns 30 and Nana will soon be 80. Working and chatting with customers keeps her young, Chris said.
The main difference between the two eateries is Café One Sixteen serves breakfast—it’s open 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri. There’s also a full coffee menu, plus infused teas and Red Bulls. Also, grilled paninis are unique to the cafe; Souper Subs serves toasted subs instead. The cafe is holding a grand opening Friday (Aug. 24), with food samples all day and live music from 4-6 p.m.
Downtown updates While in Oroville, I decided to take a little walk downtown to survey the area, which is constantly changing and growing. I saw a sign outside The Exchange advertising it’s now serving lunch and popped in. Owner Jesse Brown, whom I’d interviewed before, was tending bar. I’d already eaten, so I didn’t sample the midday fare, but it was great to hear the place has been hopping.
Brown directed me around the corner to the reopened Copa de Oro, an on-again-off-again nightclub/restaurant since 1990. It was recently purchased by downtown Oroville power couple Sean and Lori Pierce—who also own the building that houses The Exchange, as well as several other buildings and businesses.
I’d never been to the Copa, so I had no expectations. But the place is really neat—very old-timey, from the refinished but comfortably worn-in bar and stools to the expansive wood floors. I ordered a snack—the slider appetizer plate—and they were perfection. I even got a little tour of the second floor bar, which also feels like stepping back in time and is set to open by the end of August. Check the place out at 1445 Myers St.