Café Somos, new restaurant opens in Lyon during the pandemic

Published: 2020/05/30
Café Somos, a new café located in the 6th arrondissement of Lyon, was scheduled to open their doors March 2020, but after COVID hit, co-owners Lorena Colina and Johanna Danreuther, had to drastically change their plans and adjust to the new confinement regulations in France.

Opening a new café during a pandemic

In the making for over two years, Café Somos developed a menu focused on local and seasonal ingredients, curating each dish to offer a well-balanced meal that is GOOD FOR THE BODY AND MIND.

Head Chef Lorena, began her training in Mexico as a cook and instructor. She arrived in Lyon as an Au Pair and started her culinary journey working for various renowned restaurants. Lorena has years of experience as a chef, cook, baker and recipe developer.

Johanna is also a trained chef and entrepreneur from France with a background in marketing. For Johanna, it’s not just about the food, but the people in Lyon and feeling a sense of community.

Lorena and Johanna from Café Somos

Lorena and Johanna at Café Somos Lyon 6.

Like many restaurants and cafés in Lyon, the pandemic has forced many business owners to pivot and adjust their business models.

We recently spoke with Lorena about Café Somos and we discussed the challenges of launching a new business during a pandemic, how they’ve adjusted and what the future holds.

How was Café Somo created?

I’ve always had this project in mind, either a food truck or something similar. It’s called Somos because of the idea of ‘us’ and ‘together’.”

“We always wanted to focus on healthy and alternative food. We have options for everyone and the recipes are tested and taste good.”

Café Somos cake in Lyon

Good cakes at Café Somos

What changes have you made because of the pandemic?

“We’ve always had in mind we were going to be a ‘to-go’ place because we’re surrounded by a lot of offices. We had a bigger menu, but we’ve now had to reduce the menu. For example, we were planning on having a soup du jour, but now, we’ll have a soup of the week.”

Tell us about your menu?

“We’re not a Mexican or Latin café, but the food will have some influences from there, such as empanadas and tres leche desserts. We’re going to use ingredients we can find here and adapt them, but we’ll still have fresh salads, sandwiches and stay local.”

“An upside to the opening after the pandemic, we can start from scratch based on the new conditions.”

How can people get your food?

“We started with a sugar rush weekend – soft opening. We’ll be there for midday for pick up. We’re also looking to organize some deliveries for customers.”

“We’ll have a weekly menu, post on Sundays on Instagram and Facebook, and on our website.”

What keeps you going, motivated and inspired during these times?

“There are ups and downs and thought we’d fail before opening. But now, we’re focused on making the food that sparks joy, food that will make you feel good. I want people to try our food. Our food is down to earth, comfort, family cooking and food for the soul. We want to bring joy during these moments.”

“And when the time comes, we want people to come to our place; our place will always be welcoming.”


Café Somos

84, rue Boileau, Lyon 6
+33 4 72 78 00 33