Rudy’s Can’t Fail

Back from the Dead: Rudy’s Can’t Fail to Reopen Under New Ownership Group

1 min read

Remember when we reported last month that Emeryville-favorite Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café was permanently closed after 20 years? Well, as the saying goes reports of their death “may be greatly exaggerated.”

Reaction to the news of their abrupt closure was met with a barrage of media coverage and nearly universal sadness by their loyal patrons (…aaand a handful of quips pointing out the irony of their name ;).

A sign recently posted on their door announced they had been acquired by a trio of former employees and were actively working to reopen. The new ownership group will be composed of longtime Rudy’s General Manager Doug Smith, Head Chef Lupe Rivera and former Sous-chef Nelson Ortiz.

Rudy’s Can’t Fail

Property-owner Ben Yee confirmed the news through text message and that he was working with them on a new lease that they hoped to finalize this week.


The storied diner is hoping to come back better than ever featuring many of their signature items with some updates. They’re also looking to implement some exterior upgrades including expanding their outdoor patio space with additional picnic bench seating as well as landscaping.

Rudy’s is targeting reopening as early as next month. Follow their instagram account for their latest announcements.

Complete text from their note is published below.



A message to you, our loyal customers:

We are working hard to reopen Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café. Reopening date will be sometime in October. Our menu will feature many of our longtime customer favorites. We look forward to serving you again. We will post on Instagram upcoming news. Rudy’s will be back soon!

Our new ownership group includes: Guadalupe Rivera-Rudy’s longtime chef Nelson Ortiz-Rudy’s Oakland former sous chef Douglas Smith.

– Rudy’s GM

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.


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