Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Extended hours, new chef at Coffee Mill

The Forde Files No. 205

Tehachapi native Louis Tolentino, new owner of The Coffee Mill restaurant at 120 S. Mill St., plans to offer extended hours and an expanded menu. He has added a new chef to partner with the current chef to give the enterprise culinary distinction.

He announced the changes at the Jan. 8 meeting of the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council.

The chef will focus on vegan and vegetarian dishes while offering some meat dishes as well.

"His flavors are out of this world," Tolentino said of the chef, who is from the Philippines by way of Bakersfield, and who specializes in Asian cuisine.

The new Coffee Mill owner brings a global perspective to the table. "I have been exposed to exotic flavors during my travels all over the world in my profession of data management," he said. "We will start off with a few introductory dishes while we work to expand the kitchen"

He is installing a new kitchen in the building next door to the cozy, ranch-style restaurant. "We will build a deck for outdoor seating with an arbor," he said. "We'll have open mic and a stage in the back. We will offer a Chef's Table, RSVP only, on special occasions. They will be five- to ten- course meals, each one a surprise."

Tolentino, the Tehachapi High School class of 1990, served in the Navy, where his job was in ordnance.

The Coffee Mill will be more than a restaurant.

"The coffee shop is ancillary to our ranch that will provide support to our community of disabled kids and adults," he said. The ranch, now going through the state's highly regulated licensing and certification process, will provide supportive employment, housing and a day program to physically and developmentally impaired youngsters and adults.

Tolentino's adult daughter, he explained, is developmentally disabled.

The extended hours, beginning Feb. 1, will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Until then, it's 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. M-F, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., closed Sunday.

A beer and wine permit is pending.