Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Feb 07th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Foodie File: Ken Botelho

dn foodieKen Botelho, owner of Caffe Bene, says his coffee shop on Cedar Street has had plenty of ups and downs since it opened in 1988. But he doesn’t mind when it gets slow: in between regular customers, Botelho just picks up a book or newspaper and reads. At this point, Caffe Bene is a local institution. “I still see cars going by—the years change. The models change,” he says. “I’m still serving coffee.”

GOOD TIMES: How have things evolved in 25 years?

KEN BOTELHO: I was much more successful here when I had two schools flanking me, and now they’re gone. The [Santa Cruz] Sentinel’s gone. I think the Sentinel at that time had around 150 employees. There were 100 kids at each school or more. Teachers used to hold their classes in here. When the city went on furlough, that took a bit out of Fridays. It’s been up and downs.

Did this building survive the 1989 earthquake?

Yeah, they came by and looked at it and said, ‘We’re going to have to yellow tag the building.’ I said, ‘What does that mean’ He said, ‘No unauthorized personnel in the building.’ ‘Okay, am I authorized?’ He says, ‘Oh yeah.’ ‘Are my employees authorized?” He says, ‘Oh, yeah.’ ‘Are my customers authorized?’ He says, ‘No.’ ‘Okay, so my employees can come in, but nobody else—I can live with that.’ I moved the entire operation to one counter, put a table up to the door, set up my pastries in the window and had people coming up to the door. I sold like that for two weeks.

What are we listening to? Mozart?

Pandora. Yeah, Thursday is classical day for the mornings. Some people really enjoy it and say, ‘This is the only place in town where you can hear classical music to drink your coffee.’ Monday’s Rat Pack, basically—Frank Sinatra and friends. On Tuesdays it’s French café music because I have a French club that meets here, and they speak conversational French for an hour.

Why do you and former Sentinel editor Tom Honig play dice here at the counter?

For many years, Tom and I roll for the coffee. If he wins, he gets it free. If he loses, he pays me twice.

And how does the house do?

He contends that he wins more than he loses, but I’m thinking it’s probably even. I’m not keeping track.


INFO: 1101 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, 425-0441

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits