Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
May 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Downtown Turnaround

dining1Assembly hits Santa Cruz with a promising menu and a delicious event tie-in to boot

A much-anticipated restaurant on the Santa Cruz dining scene is soon to appear on Pacific Avenue in the space that was formerly Aqua Bleu. Named Assembly by co-owners Kendra Baker and Zach Davis, who rose to fame after opening The Penny Ice Creamery and then The Picnic Basket in Santa Cruz, it promises to be the new go-to hot-spot.

Slated to open by the end of February, Davis says there is no firm date as of yet.

“It’s progressing very well with no major hiccups,” notes Davis, who, along with business partner Baker, is thrilled about their new project.  “For me, it’s one of those situations where I kind of have to strike a balance between just getting giddy and staying focused on the task at hand.”

Davis says the food at Assembly will be very much in keeping with the philosophy that the couple has established at The Picnic Basket. “We have a tremendous respect for the ingredients that are available each season, and we want to create the best food at any given time of year,” he says.

Assembly’s new executive chef, Carlo Espinas, has impressive credentials of working at well-known restaurants in San Francisco, including the historic Comstock Saloon. He and Baker met when they were both working at the bistro Bar Tartine in San Francisco, where Baker was pastry chef. Baker had already realized back then that Espinas was “one to watch” says Davis, so he was contacted about working at Assembly and gladly accepted.

Espinas is excited about direct access to local fresh ingredients and will plan a menu on what is grown in the area, says Davis, with a rustic take on California cuisine and with a “very approachable menu,” including the price point.

dining assemblyKendra Baker (left) and Zach Davis of The Penny Ice Creamery are nearly ready for their new venture, Assembly, to open in Downtown Santa Cruz.The community will get the chance to taste Assembly’s food—before the opening of the restaurant itself—at a very fun event. In collaboration with Ike Jablon, director of marketing and special events at Nickelodeon Theatres, The Glass Jar, the company that incorporates The Penny Ice Creamery, The Picnic Basket and Assembly, will be preparing samples of food before the showing of Spinning Plates (GT’s Greg Archer gives it HHH out of four) “an award-winning film documentary that follows three extraordinary restaurants from around the country and the incredible people who make them what they are.” Steve Principe, co-owner of Vinocruz wine bar in Santa Cruz, is pouring all the wine.

Davis says Espinas loves to get involved with the community, and he embraced the upcoming Spinning Plates event. “It says a lot about who he is, and his passion for the craft and his desire to be involved,” says Davis, adding that Assembly will be about community, too, and people coming together. He adds that Santa Cruz loves to participate in special occasions, pointing out that people embrace all of the sausage fests, brewing events and art and wine happenings that now dot the local scene.

With Assembly’s focus on family dining, children will be offered good choices of food. “The kids menu will be the kind of things I want my kids to eat, but don’t have time to prepare,” says Davis. “Personally, that’s exciting for me.”

As parents themselves, Baker, with a son, Nolan, aged 3, and Davis with two sons, Jack, 3, and Calvin, 2, it’s important that kids eat the right kind of food. Davis laughs when he says the kids menu in its planning stage will be tested by his sons.

“Personally, my piece of it,” says Davis, “is that I’m trying to make Assembly the kind of place where I want to spend time with my family and friends. And part of the appeal of starting a business is to be a good citizen and donate to the community. We want to help Santa Cruz be a better place, and that’s really cool.” 


‘Spinning Plates’ will begin screening at 8 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the Del Mar Theatre, and food will be served from 6:30-8 p.m. Tickets without wine are $18 and with wine $24. For more information visit thenick.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival