Marianne’s Ice Cream is about as Santa Cruz as you can get; they’ve been scooping ice cream for locals since the ’40s. But have you ever wanted to grab a juicy burger with your two scoops? If you’re in Capitola, you can head over to Beach Break by Marianne’s and do just that. Located in the former Village Grill and Creamery building, Marianne’s has rebranded and reimagined everything inside since March of this year. It’s an ongoing process. Charlie Wilcox, who co-owns the Marianne’s brand with Kelly Dillon, told us what locals can expect from this classic diner-style establishment.
Is this is the first Marianne’s to have a grill?
CHARLIE WILCOX: Yes. That location has been serving either Polar Bear or both Polar Bear and Marianne’s since about 1975 or 1977, somewhere around there. The last owner wanted to get out, and we knew the history of the business. It seemed like a good location for us. We felt like there was a good opportunity for quality, easy take-out beach food there in Capitola. It seemed like there was a demand for a quick take-out kind of operation that wasn’t pizza. We greatly simplified the menu from what it had been previously and concentrated on increasing the quality of the ingredients. This is still 50 percent Polar Bear and 50 percent Marianne’s. We actually own Polar Bear as well; the owner of Polar Bear retired, so we bought her out. It’s two different recipes, two different styles of making ice cream. We respect the history of Polar Bear. It’s not just a brand name. They’re actually different ice creams.
How much did you change Village Grill’s menu?
We narrowed it down a little bit. We added a few things. We kept the burgers, but we added our turkey pesto sandwich. We’ve had fun with a couple different types of grilled cheese sandwiches, like comfort take-out food. We’re going to be introducing homemade potato chips. We’re just experimenting with what kind of flavorings we want to do on the chips. That’s something we’re going to be rolling out soon. We basically got our first summer under our belts. We figured out a little bit about what we’re doing. Now we’re going to be having a little more fun with it. We’re working on a program of chef specials over the winter. The ones that are well received we will keep throughout the summer.