South Fayette man living his dream as restaurant owner
South Fayette resident Raymond Mikesell, owner of Cafe Raymond in the the Strip District, has had his bread served in the White House during the Bush and Clinton administrations. It has been served in the cafeterias of the Smithsonian’s Natural History and American History museums in Washington, D.C.
Mikesell got his early training in bakeries and restaurants while growing up on Pittsburgh’s North Side, working for many years at Breadworks and knowing that someday he wanted to own his own place. He studied the art of baking in France and then moved to Maryland, where he served as president of Stone Mill Bakery, two cafes and a commissary kitchen.
He also catered many events for Cal Ripken Jr., an infielder for the Baltimore Orioles. As their friendship developed, Mikesell was fortunate to be a guest when Ripken was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Upon his return to Pittsburgh in 2008 with his wife and three children, he opened Cafe Raymond at 2009 Penn Avenue. He buys and serves as much local seasonal produce as possible, and all freshly baked goods are made from scratch daily. He participates in many fundraisers, such as those for the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank and the Light of Life Mission.
He has an event space on the second floor that seats 80 to 90 guests, and they cater all types of events and parties.
“I love making people happy through food,” Mikesell said.
His menu ingredients are a prime example of his passion, where signature choices range from a muffaletta sandwich of ham, capicola, Genoa salami, mortadella, provolone, basil pesto and olive salad on focaccia, to a Nicoise salad of tuna, spring mix, French beans, red onion, roasted tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, capers and lemon vinaigrette. And his blueberry ricotta pancakes are always a crowd favorite as breakfast is served all day.
The restaurant’s hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays; and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.
Call 412-281-4670 or visit caferaymond.com for more information.