FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Downtown Fresno’s FAC Water Tower is welcoming a new style of business. The city owns the property, and leaders believe it’s important to preserve the landmark.
“This will be a beautiful indoor and outdoor coffee shop for all Downtown residents to enjoy and for the City of Fresno to really revitalize and bring life back to our historical jewels,” said Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias.
The Fresno Water Tower has been standing tall at 109 feet since 1894 – and was in use until 1963. It was then used as a parking meter repair facility until becoming a visitors center in 2001 until COVID shut it down last year.
“For the last year, has really been home to the homeless residents and to some very active and aggressive squirrels – and the best way to preserve historical assets in a city is to make them active again,” Councilmember Arias said.
The executive director of the Fresno Arts Council, Lilia Chavez, believes the new business moving in will bring new interest.
“I think that’s a new twist for the space. I think it’s going to be fun and certainly will attract a lot of folks who haven’t been to the water tower so it will just give it more exposure.”
Outside of the water tower will become an outdoor patio seating area for the café. Located just across the tower are restrooms the city will renovate and make available for the public.
“It’s gonna be really neat and it’s gonna be one of those things that I anticipate a whole lot of selfies taking place in this great venue. The water tower symbolizes the reopening of Fresno and our economy,” said Councilmember Arias.
The cafe should open in mid-May.