Friday, former owner of Boca Cafe, Pedro Concepcion, announced on Facebook that he sold the restaurant.
Concepcion was diagnosed with stomach cancer about a month ago and has been looking for someone to take over his restaurant. He didn’t want to close it and now he won’t have to.
James Weckerling plans to reopen this Friday.
“I met him while packing up Boca,” said Concepcion. “I like the fact that he is going to continue to keep it Boca — same food, same menu.”
Weckerling has been a fan of Boca and this opportunity basically fell into his lap.
“I have been a nurse for about 10 years and I have just been wanting to have my own business and it just happened that a friend of mine had read a story about Pedro on CJ online and said he was sick with cancer and closing the Boca Cafe and she wanted to know if I would be interested in trying to see if Pedro would sell it to me,” said Weckerling.
Weckerling was interested and decided to seize the opportunity.
“I got in contact with him through the Burger Stand and I came by the cafe one day and he happened to be in there,” said Weckerling. “I mentioned I was interested in buying his cafe and we got into a bidding war — there were three or four other interested buyers — and I just happened to be one of the highest bidders and also it would be a quick buy out.
The cafe will open back up with the same menu, Weckerling promised.
“I promised Pedro I would keep all the same menus and wouldn’t change anything on it, and then that later down the line I would want to add some stuff to the menus from my perspective,” said Weckerling. “I am a Thai American and I have some Thai food knowledge and want to add to the menu. Since it’s already an international menu I figure adding some Asian tastes to it would give it a little more flare.”
Weckerling also has plans to eventually expand.
“[Weckerling] plans to add smoothies and shakes, [get a] liquor license and eventually, maybe, bubble tea,” said Concepcion.
Boca Cafe is located on College Hill at 1414 SW 16th Street in Topeka.