Liberty Public Market

Con Pane Bakery to Reopen Later This Year Following Abrupt Closure Due to Immigration Audit

The Point Loma cafe abruptly shuttered its doors early this year after immigration officials determined several of their workers were unauthorized to work in the U.S.

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A beloved San Diego bakery that shut down in January following an immigration audit will reopen later this fall as part of a new deal between the eatery and a restaurant operator.

Those who have been missing Con Pane Rustic Breads & Café’s decadent pastries, sandwiches and other goodies can rejoice since the Liberty Market staple is slated to return by late September 2020. The reopening comes after Con Pane and restaurant operator Cohn Restaurant Group agreed to a deal.

The bakery broke hearts after it abruptly closed earlier this year as a result of an I-9 immigration audit by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Immigration and Naturalization Service. Immigration officials determined a number of the eatery’s workers were unauthorized to work in the U.S.; Con Pane said it was unaware.

“The discovery of a large number of unauthorized workers has so disrupted operations we have had no choice but to close,” the bakery and restaurant said in a statement at the time.

"I do know that that was in the past and that was an unfortunate thing that forced the closure," said Lesley Cohn of the Cohn Restaurant Group. "We use E verify and that is the gold-standard and we comply but we are not policemen you know we are restaurant operators we do our due diligence and move forward."

Under the new acquisition, the restaurant operator said it will “sustain the heart and soul of the original concept,” which was created by baker and founder Catherine Perez. She is set to remain as a consultant through the end of the year.

The Cohn's acknowledged that this isn't the best timing for a restaurant to reopen, considering the pandemic. However, the restaurant group also said it is committed to bringing the bakery back since it's what they called a "great community asset."

Local favorites such as Con Pane’s almost grilled cheese, turkey cobb and of course, its brioche cinnamon roll, will return to the menu along with other old goodies.

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