articles, blog, food & drink

Odyssey World Cafe is a Staple in Downtown Paso Robles

Celebrating 20 Years of Great Food & Repeat Customers

Since 1997, the team at Odyssey World Café has been serving up great food in a family-friendly, casual, comfortable atmosphere. Although the original vision of Odyssey was more of an open-market concept rather than a restaurant, it has become one of the most popular dining spots in downtown Paso Robles for locals and visitors alike. Now, after 20 years in the same location, the Odyssey team has plenty to celebrate!

Odyssey World Cafe, Paso Robles
Photo by Meagan Friberg
John Hawley, Wilbert Saucedo, Dawn Gregory, and Jill (Cook) White welcome diners to Odyssey World Cafe.

As owners and business partners, Dawn Gregory and John Hawley said they are thrilled about the success of their restaurant over the years. Thanks to the continued support of locals and out-of-towners, they are happy to “keep a good thing going.” With Dawn overseeing most of the service, advertising, and front of house, and John tending to food, accounting, and back of the house duties, they maintain a good rhythm at the restaurant with the added help of their spouses, Steve Gregory and Shaun Hawley.

“Originally, we did not envision a restaurant, but the customers formed who we are today. At Odyssey, we have become a place where ‘locals’ eat,” said Dawn. “Like the show ‘Cheers’, everyone knows your name. If we don’t know your name, we do know you as the food you eat! Once, a regular dithered on what he was going to order. I told him, ‘when I see you I see a white breast!’ I meant chicken, of course, but I wasn’t sure if my teasing went too far! The following week, he introduced me to his son as ‘a French Dip’!”

It’s the place locals go to relax, share a meal with friends, hold lunch meetings, or enjoy a romantic dinner for two. The owners mingle with the crowd, the servers are on a first-name basis with most diners and, more often than not, you’ll see someone you know when visiting this popular culinary hub.

“We have found a niche that works and we are happy with it,” said John. “What we realize is not everyone has endless money to spend when dining out, so our goal is to serve really good, homemade, authentic food at a great price.”

Specializing in, “comfort food with a touch of an international twist”, the chefs and crew consistently serve customers generous portions of favorites and new additions. They create daily soups and specials, delicious burgers and steaks, salmon, stir-fry, pastas, and more to the delight of their guests.

“We’ve been really lucky with our staff over the years; without them we would not be so successful. We have promoted Jill Cook White and Wilbert Saucedo to General Managers,” said Dawn. “They plan to bring more variety to the menu to keep up with trends in taste. We rely upon these two powerhouses to guide us through the next generations of dining guests.”

“We love our locals; after nearly 20 years here they are our friends,” said John. “We’ve had such a good time and, after 20 years, we have been successful. It’s all because of our loyal customers making Odyssey their place to eat; it’s very rewarding.”

Adds Dawn, “We feel we are survivors. Earthquakes, recessions, employee changes, and the Paso Robles dining scene have had their effect on us, but we have prevailed – an Odyssey indeed!”

Odyssey World Café is located at 1214 Pine St. in Paso Robles.

Stop by and say hi to Dawn, John, Jill, Wilbert, and their amazing team.

And be sure to congratulate them on 20 years of success!

More info at odysseyworldcafe.com and their Facebook page.

*Story originally published in PASO Magazine, pasomagazine.com.

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