River Wild Inc. is a community based, Design & Development enterprise

We started as a pop-up cafe art project on the LA River Bike Path in 2014 to see if the Elysian Valley community would support a new commercial corridor accessed by bikes and pedestrians instead of cars.

We are inspired by the Los Angeles River & the people who live nearby

We put on pop-up events to highlight the lack of amenities in underserved communities. This is our form of community & economic development. Test the waters in realtime and get instant feedback.

River Wild Commercial Projects

We love coffee and designing community spaces where people gather to meet in a post-pandemic Los Angeles. Cafes, bakeries and bodegas are our specialty. We've worked primarily in North East Los Angeles, but our reach extends to high desert enclaves, too. In addition to managing Design and Construction phases, we are especially proud of our work in attaining Health Department approvals during different phases of a venture. We can design, permit, construct and close out a punch-list on a project to help open a new business. Our key offering is that we get great results when working with our stable of engineers, consultants and contractors, but are always willing to collaborate with a client's architect and contractors, too.

"Will work for cortado"

-- Damian G. Robledo

Stone Cat Cafe

We have been hired by Red Car Properties to create a special retail gem, converting a utility room into a gleaming sidewalk cafe with counter service that would be pandemic proof. The interior is decked out with state of the art espresso equipment and outfitted in Italian marble. The exterior is adorned with a golden Cat mural designed by the Haas Brothers. Located in the Dolls Kill complex in Highland Park, this cafe was leased as a turn key food and beverage kiosk to Lumen Coffee in May of 2024

Bar Sinizki

We collaborated with the Chef and Owner of Dune and Elf to design a new East European themed bar & all day cafe. It was conceived in the CoVid era and was born of a quarantine time for restaurants, where planning and approvals were done for the first time online and remotely in all cases . River Wild provided full interior architectural design, conducted plan check expediting and was the construction manager for the project. Constructed by Barling Construction, this pierogi bar is one of the most anticipated openings in Summer 2024. This all-day cafe has a full bar with outdoor seating and is located in the heart of Atwater Village on the main boulevard.

Bub & Grandma's Bakery

We enjoyed working with Andy Kadin on expanding his Frogtown bakery to accommodate the production of his artisan bread by adding an oven, a flour lift and a mixing room restrooms and employee lounge and locker rooms. The operation now maximizes the use of a 2 story former sausage factory and River Wild facilitated all aspects of the design and construction.

Canyon Coffee Roasting

River Wild was hired to facilitate getting an 8,000 sf factory warehouse approved by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. We consulted on food processing workflow teaming with both the Architect and head coffee roaster to create a future factory for this company making bold moves in the 3rd wave coffee world

AI Rendered

Kitchen Mouse 3

We had helped rebuild 2 coffee bars for Kitchen Mouse at their cafe and bakery locations. During CoVid we took on the conversion of a 60's donut shop into the third Kitchen Mouse location serving coffee & waffles. We translated their food program into a compact kitchen, drawing up plans, getting LADBS andHealth permits, then managing construction and equipment installations. Opened September 2023.

Cookbook Market

River Wild collaborated with Marta Teegen and Robert Stelzner on their second grocery store location in Highland Park. This was a full design and build to suit project, taking the former swap meet space from dirt floors to a sparkling store. We designed the front of house retail, a beverage bar and two commercial kitchens in the back of house and managed the delivery with Gardner Austin Construction.

Days of Heaven Cafe

We are design and permit consultants for the Owners of Wonderlake Coffee Co. in Twentynine Palms CA. We helped to design and get County approvals for the addition of a full kitchen, a redeveloped bar, seating and outdoor areas and even advised on getting good cocktail ice and walk-in coolers out to this future desert watering hole. Opening Autumn of 2024


River Wild Inc. reworked the dining room of Dune's DTLA location. We used salvaged, old-growth redwood to re-organize their dining room. We have multiple seating arrangements, designed and built credenzas, benches and counters our of salvaged old-grown redwood gleaned from our Dad Pad project. Re-opened after a 1 week holiday break installation in 2023

AI Rendered

Built Inc: client and contractor

Go Get 'Em Tiger

We have advised and attained Health Department permits and licenses for Go Get Em Tiger's coffee roasting facility in Vernon. We've also consulted as an interior designer, a commissary kitchen planner and a Building Department expediter for future cafe concepts since 2019. G&B has been a great client and we can relate to a brand that started as a pop-up. Various locations.

Pulley Collective

River Wild worked with the Mierisch family, a Brooklyn based coffee roasting co-op on their new facility in Vernon California. We provided architectural design, Building & Health Department plan check approvals and was hired to lead project / construction management. We continue to help in facility management at their 6,000 sf coffee roasting facility that toll roasts and custom roasts for cafes and smaller coffee suppliers. Recently we helped move in a second tenant to a once empty building on the complex, upgrading core and shell infrastructure and getting permits and licenses sorted out. 2018 to current.

Bright living room with modern inventory
Bright living room with modern inventory
man in grey t-shirt holding white ceramic plate
man in grey t-shirt holding white ceramic plate

Residential Projects

With experience in building multi-family apartments and retirement communities, we scaled down to focus on single family home development. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU), Master Site Plans, additions and other creative remodels are what we like to do in residential design. Using our commercial kitchen space planning experience we can make a home kitchen into an efficient, multi-use gathering space for your home.

 The Dad Pad (ADU)

Originally conceived to house our aging parents, we loved the idea of transforming a 2 car garage into a ground floor Studio living space with an Exercise room on top. Now it does triple duty as a Pool Cabana, a guest house and a Party Pad.

Come visit our 1,000 SF, 2-story ADU designed & built in 2022.

Boyce Avenue Kitchen

After many walks with our dogs, we offered our help in realizing our friends' vision for a new kitchen and workspace as they were tired of the kitchen they used for the last 24 years. We expanded the kitchen and rearranged key food prep centers to provide maximum storage opportunities. We collaborated well and had fun creating an entertaining gather space in this Atwater Village home.

Vincent Street Addition

This project we worked with a family of two chefs and guided them on their first remodel project. 1200sf 2-story addition. Currently it is a two-story addition to be sold with the house in 2024.

Armour Place Redux

Our friends approached us about their desire to re-think their entire house and site in the foothills of Glendale. We first studied the land, the contours and started sketching potential areas for re-development, for added living space and looking at new uses for the multi level back and side yards. This project is unfolding in Phases as we have outlined rough budgets and pulled bids for each Phase. Phase 1 was a dramatic kitchen remodel that turned a tiny galley kitchen into a family hub for every day use as well as celebrations.

Slow Growth Planning Advocates

Development PROJECTS

If can be useful to have Land Use Letters to help guide families who want to redevelop their property   River Wild Inc. can help find the highest and best use of a property, usually focusing on adaptive re-use methods. We are good at identifying and narrowing the restraints of a site and discovering new opportunities for repositioning an asset. We have a solid team of consultants and engineers to assess buildings and develop pro-forma. Often we start with new owners while they are in escrow on a purchase. Other times we work with families that have owned a building for generations.

We are known for engaging well with community leaders, organizations and local government agencies with respect and rational thought. We believe development should add to a community fabric not detract from it.

Sketch-Up concepts for creating a mixed-use restaurant row in Atwater Village

San Bernardino County

Flamingo BLOSSOM

We were tapped by a development group to envision an Events center complex in a Qualified Opportunity Zone as a chance for investors to park money with tax-free  benefits. The building type was an airplane hangar to reflect the old rural setting in the desert north of Joshua Tree. We helped develop a marketing deck, plans, renderings and received a pre-development review from the County of San Bernardino. This project is currently in fundraising mode.

Automative Adaptive Re-use

Lake Station

Currently we are studying best use scenarios for a future outdoor restaurant complex in Altadena

Highland Park Icon

The Glass Shop

River Wild's A&E team has come up with a master plan and a development strategy for TG Development Co., hired during the pre-purchase phase. This Highland Park site is on the North Figueroa corridor and has a awe-inspiring back yard capable of multi-flex programming.  We are managing a URM retrofit upgrade and have submitted construction drawings for bidding and plan check with LADBS.   Coming Soon!

Adaptive Re-use

The Angelus

We worked with the Harb Family and Utopiad Architects to conceive of a re-development plan for a 4,000 sf car showroom from the 1930's.  We divided the old Angelus Chevrolet car showroom into 4 retail shops with lofts and restrooms.  The corner location is perfect for a cafe and we did CUP entitlements and utility upgrades for the complex.  The building owner chose to act as the general contractor, thereby saving money but doubling the construction schedule. River Wild has also been involved in the curating of tenants and advising on TI projects. The last of the 4 tenants is moving in Summer 2024.

On the banks of the LA River

River Ridge Recreation Club

River Wild presented an initial Land Use study to the Owners of a horse stable who want to create a membership club on the Los Angeles River at the base of the Koretz Bridge in Atwater Village. Some of the amenities proposed are a barn event center, pool, bike shop and cafe.  

Arts District History


In this case, we were hired by Arroyo Hill Development to demonstrate to a building owner that their coffee bag warehouse had the potential for a creative office use that would get them Class A rent as opposed to storage rental rates.  We developed the concept, videos and 3D concepts to prove the redevelopment was viable and marketable.  Our concept worked to provide the lightest intervention on this historic structure. Structural upgrades occurred from within and as of 2022 it is fully occupied.

Collaborate with River Wild Inc.

Currently, we’re looking for partners on FOOD & BEVERAGE and Hospitality Design projects.

In addition to Design & Development we do Health Department consulting, permit expediting, and construction management. We hope to do more custom kitchen remodels and ADU's and design restaurants in 2024.

Damian is always up to talk shop over coffee. Hit him up!