Cafe Underwood

Oakland, CA

When Dominick Scala was working from home, he could never find that “quite right” place in his neighborhood where he could work, eat, drink, and play.  When he opened the doors to Cafe Underwood in August 2014 he realized his vision for a great neighborhood hang-out spot.


Cafe Underwood is more than just your typical coffee shop.  Located at 308 41st Street in Oakland (at Broadway), they have a beautiful space with both inside and outside seating, ample parking, and it’s easily accessible to folks that live in the neighborhood.  Staffed by 13 employees, they offer a full menu, including beer, wine, and cocktails.  The food is delicious and made with high-quality ingredients.  


Cafe Underwood just opened up their mezzanine level with a second bar, offering more space for their customers coming to enjoy the cocktails and tapas menus.  Dominick reflects, “After two years, we’re realizing the full vision that we started with.  It’s incredibly rewarding to see it all come together.”


Dominick used his loan from Main Street Launch for working capital and to purchase some equipment.  “Having the working capital was so important for us as we were opening.  The cushion makes it possible to stay open when there’s always a bill or a vendor to pay,” says Dominick.  “For us it was more than a loan.  I know I can always to go to Scott or anyone at Main Street Launch with questions and get good advice from knowledgeable people who care about the success of my business.”


“Starting a small business is a huge undertaking and is really difficult work,” advises Dominick.  “There are taxes and fees for everything, and new business owners need to be prepared to pay extra costs that you don’t always know to anticipate.”
Drop by Cafe Underwood and enjoy their friendly service, beautiful space, and great menu.  Bring your laptop to work for a while or take a meeting, then stay for a drink and a meal.