After 32 years, Randy’s Cafe closes its doors

Daytona Everett

It’s a Palm Desert staple, drawing in celebrities, athletes, and travelers from all around the world; it’s Randy’s Cafe. After 32 years of being in business, the hot spot will soon be transformed into a new bar and eatery.

Randy McWilliams, the owner of Randy’s Cafe, is the definition of a one man band.

“I love the business, I’m a people person,” Randy said with a big grin stretched across his face.

Randy describes himself as a “Type A personality” who thrives off interacting with others.

“Everybody comes in and Randy introduces you to everybody,” Debbie Porch, a customer of almost ten years, said.

Randy is now the longest owner of a restaurant in the original location in the valley. The cafe has brought in artists like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and several U.S. presidents. 

“Great heart, great energy,” Jerome Estes, a customer of over twenty years, said about Randy. Estes came to the cafe fore the first time with his dad. He described the atmosphere as something different than anywhere else.

In addition to the laid-back, classic decor, every inch of the cafe walls are filled with pictures and memorabilia of previous customers, including Estes and Porch.

“If these walls could speak, with all the conversations we’ve had here and the different types of people, it’s chilling to me,” Randy said.

Chilling because the little cafe off Highway 111 will soon be transformed into a bar and eatery by Skip Paige, the former CEO of Goldenvoice, most known for Coachella and Stagecoach.

“I found the right person and he found me, it’s just another chapter of my life,” Randy said. “I’m still young.”

But don’t worry, that playful personality, will still be around. Randy will continue as an employee at the new bar instead of an owner.

“It’ll be different, it’ll be sad but I’ve enjoyed my time here [Randy’s Cafe],” Porch said.

“It’s not just coming in to eat, it’s an experience,” Randy said. “Meaning you leave with a better attitude.” 

A statement that the busy walls of Randy’s Cafe, can justify. Randy’s closest friends and family will celebrate the past 32 years of business on Wednesday at an invitation-only event. The cafe will remain in business through Sunday.

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