The Inspiration behind Novo: Combining local, wholesome, and global

Robin Covey, Novo’s owner, has been a restaurant proprietor on the Central Coast since the 1980s. With his business partner, Shanny Covey, he opened Robin’s in Cambria, in 1985. The pair, and restaurant, became well-known for serving locally sourced, wholesome, and globally-inspired food—before such cuisine was trendy.

In 2003, Robin opened Novo, in downtown San Luis Obispo, when he had the opportunity to lease the old Cigar Factory Building, perched on San Luis Creek. Robin knew that the setting would be a perfect spot for him to continue his tradition of locally grown, internationally inspired fare.

New blends with the old

The name Novo comes from the Brazilian Portuguese word meaning “new.” For Robin, the expression perfectly describes the eclectic, global, and inspiring atmosphere that he and his staff have created in the iconic Cigar Factory space.

Continuing the tradition

Robin and Shanny also operate Luna Red, on Chorro Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, next to the Mission Plaza. Luna opened in 2010 and serves European-inspired food. Similar to Robin’s and Novo, Luna Red favors local producers, and the chefs serve primarily house-cured and homemade items.