Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Apr 27th
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

 

We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Dark Magic

40 years on the movie beat in Santa Cruz
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

If you could live in Santa Cruz in any era besides now, which would you choose?

Probably the ’70s, because Santa Cruz is such a fly-your-freak-flag place. That was when free love and hippiness was in vogue. Shane Reber, Santa Cruz, Caretaker

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise