The Inspiration behind Novo: local, wholesome, and globalLY INSPIRED.

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, est. 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, and Mint+ Craft Cafe and Mercantile located across from Luna Red on Monterey Street.  Luna Red opened in 2010 and serves Latin-inspired fare, passionately created cocktails and and hand-selected wines. Mint+Craft is a fast casual breakfast, lunch and dinner cafe and mercantile which, serves the downtown community  Both Luna Red and Mint+Craft, Like Novo and Robin’s, favor local producers, bold flavors and from-scratch, fresh cuisine.


The Stories Behind the Food and Philosophy of Novo

Novo is rich with stories, just waiting to be shared. From the farmers who grow the food, to the chefs who frequent the farmers’ markets to purchase the ingredients, every dish, and every experience, carries meaning.

The Central Coast region, with its mild, Mediterranean climate, has a year-round growing season. Peppers. Lettuces. Beans. Squash. A cornucopia of vegetables. Strawberries. Grapes. Oranges. Avocados. Year-round fruits.

We are fortunate to be located in a region with such a rich and vibrant agricultural industry and history, and as purveyors of fine food, we are proud to support our local farmers. Browse our stories to learn more about the farmers’ markets and the chefs who bring it all together. Perfectly. To learn more about the agriculture in the San Luis Obispo region, we invite you to visit the SLO Grown website.