Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 16th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Opening and Closings in 2012

wineWe are now well into 2013 and things should be settling down in our local wining and dining world. Many new restaurants opened last year, but, sadly, a few we loved also closed their doors. Here is a partial list of openings and closings in 2012.

Green Valley Grill, possibly the most popular restaurant in Watsonville, closed its doors in October. Fortunately two new places opened up in the area—the Beach Street Café, and the California Grill in Freedom.

The last day of Le Cigare Volant on the Westside was New Year’s Eve, and as Nuevo Southwest Grill said goodbye, Lago di Como opened up in its place. We welcome this Italian eatery to East Cliff Drive. Suda also opened on Portola Drive.

The very popular Acapulco closed its doors, as did the nearby Aqua Bleu on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz. Both these restaurants were tried-and-true eateries, so it came as a surprise that they shut up shop.

Backstage Lounge gave up the spotlight and Oyunaa’s Mongolian Cuisine opened in its place—right next to the Rio Theatre on Soquel Avenue. It’s always good to have some totally different food to try.

Avanti Restaurant opened in a brand new spot, and started a pizza place in their old quarters—both on Mission Street in Santa Cruz. Tramonti on Seabright Avenue is one of the newest pizza places in town, along with Bantam on the Westside.

Focaccia on Water Street rose like a phoenix out of the ashes of what was Mexitalian—with a much more appealing name and a bona fide Italian owner from Calabria.

Sadly, the Britannia Arms in Aptos abruptly closed, but the Britannia Arms in Capitola Village still rules the waves— always guaranteeing a good pint of ale.

Solaire was one of the most noticeable restaurant openings last year in the new Hotel Paradox on Ocean Street, a great addition to downtown, and with an executive chef who knows his onions. burger. on Mission Street opened a second burger. on Soquel Drive in Aptos. Burger lovers can now get their fix in what used to be the Aptos Lounge.

Ma Maison in Aptos closed abruptly, and so did Peachwood’s in the Inn at Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz. Sad to see both of these places bite the dust.

Although Capitola Coffee Roasters & Patisserie closed its location in Capitola Village, it opened up again in the Capitola Book Cafe on 41st Avenue—giving book lovers and coffee aficionados a chance to browse and sip.

Casablanca Restaurant has closed temporarily, with a notice on their website that they will inform everybody when they’re opening again.

And last, but not least, we have a brand new Italian restaurant in Ben Lomond, Casa Nostra. It opened where Ciao Bella used to be.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.


Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management


Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX


Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.