Wide Eyes Open Palms, a well-known LGBTQ-run café on Retro Row, will be closing down for two weeks in early June to rebrand as Good Day Cafe.

The last day of service at Wide Eyes Open Palms, which is on Cherry Avenue just north of Fourth Street, will be Sunday, June 2.

Angie Evans, the coffee maestro, and chef Kat McIver decided to pass along ownership of the café to another queer couple, Lindsey Mark and her wife Nikki, in order to spend more time with family and friends.

“I think we were like, ‘OK it’s time to move on,’ and we wanted to pass it on to someone who wanted to continue the energy of being a queer space,” Evans said. “Especially with all the anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ laws that are going on all across the country. Just being visible is scary for a lot of people.”

Angie Evans, co-owner of Wide Eyes Open Palms, works at her restaurant that will be under new management after June 2 in Long Beach, Thursday, May 30, 2024. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The couple met Mark through a broker and Mark said she was “immediately grasped” by the idea because she has always wanted to own and operate a café.

The food and drink offerings will remain largely the same with a prevailing emphasis on farm-to-table cuisine.

The two-week closure will be devoted largely to working with the new owners to ensure the transition is smooth with one of the main goals being to retain as many staff members as possible.

Support Long Beach food coverage

Boost your community’s voice; donate to the Post’s restaurant coverage.

“We kind of wanted it to be a win-win for everybody — like our employees get to stay, customers know that they get to come back, because I think everyone would have been really heartbroken if I was like, ‘Well it’s going to be a sandwich shop,’” Evans said.

At the café, employees always bring out orders to customers rather than calling them out for pickup, and Evans has always emphasized getting customers’ names and the correct pronunciation when they order.

Jennifer Tracy, who has been working at the café for over a year, said she initially decided to work there because she liked the spirit and energy of the place.

“Here, they care as much about the people as they do their coffee beans,” Tracy said.

Baristas Z Kim, left and Tracy Valencia make lattes for customers while working at Wide Eyes Open Palms in Long Beach, Thursday, May 30, 2024. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The aim behind the new name, Good Day Cafe, is to emphasize greeting customers whenever they enter or leave the establishment, Mark said.

“I want to create a place where people can come and kind of take a break, take some time away from busy days to have community and feel welcome,” she said.

Mark has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years and met her wife while working at a restaurant in Long Beach.

She plans to oversee the day-to-day operations with her wife helping run the business from a managerial standpoint.

Evans, who moved from the Bay Area to Long Beach in 2000 to attend Cal State Long Beach, said the plan is for her and McIver to take a three-month break before working on a consulting and organizing business focused on helping new or existing restaurants and coffee shops make the most of their space.

Angie Evans, co-owner of Wide Eyes Open Palms, serves baked goods to Nancy Alpough, left, as she works the counter at her restaurant in Long Beach, Thursday, May 30, 2024. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Organization was at the forefront of success for Wide Eyes Open Palms — known to regulars as WeOp — because the staff had to make the most of the 600 square-foot space, Evans said.

Evans and McIver gained a following by selling coffee and pastries at various farmers’ markets around Long Beach over 10 years ago before opening the café in 2017.

Although the couple will no longer be actively involved at the café, they live nearby and still plan to visit the employees and the new owners after some time away.

One part of Wide Eyes Open Palms will remain irreplaceable. When the couple was initially renovating the space to open in 2017, they held a blessing party during which friends and customers from the farmers market days were invited to leave items in a trench that was dug for plumbing. Those items included feathers, crystals and notes containing positive messages.

When Good Day Cafe opens in late June, the hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. They are located at 416 Cherry Ave.