David Kinch
Dining Reviews

Last Call for Seabright Brewery; Plus a David Kinch update

David Kinch has a big event upcoming at Manresa as he prepares to open Mentone in Aptos

Charlie Meehan emailed to tell me that Seabright Brewery, which he started 30 years ago, is in the midst of a pending sale. “My partner and I were no longer able to spend much time at the pub. It wasn’t working to not be around, so we have decided to retire.” Meehan said that while he couldn’t reveal their names just yet, a “couple from Aptos with restaurant experience are currently interested.” Bottom’s up.

Mentone Coming Up

Update from David Kinch about his new Mentone restaurant in Aptos Village. Kinch told us he “hopes to take possession of the building on or around the 15th of this month and open after a couple of weeks of training.” That sounds like somewhere around March 1 to me. 

Kinch, best known for his Los Gatos restaurant Manresa, also just announced the first of Manresa’s four-hand dinners for 2020. The one-night, multi-course event unfolds on Feb. 27, with Kinch joined by superstar chef Mauro Colagreco of the three-Michelin-starred Mirazur. The event continues the chefs’ tradition of cooking together, and the pair have cultivated a steady exchange of ideas and inspiration over the years. 

Each chef has earned three Michelin stars for restaurants that explore the flavor depths of the Mediterranean climate—one in California, one on the French-Italian Mediterranean Sea. A Santa Cruz local, Kinch is an acknowledged fan of Colagreco and Mirazur, situated in Menton, where the Cote d’Azur merges with the Ligurian coast. “Menton is a place I find myself returning to again and again,” says Kinch “and it represents the foundation for my upcoming restaurant, Mentone.” 

So if you want to experience a once-in-a-lifetime gastronomic experience—and are prepared to pay for it—see if there are any reservations left for the Manresa and Mirazur Four-Hand Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 27. You’ll pay $395 per person, with optional wine pairings for $285. manresarestaurant.com. Tickets available via Tock.

New Year’s Milestones

Veteran Santa Cruz restaurateur Germaine Akin has sold the Red Restaurant and Bar to Terry Bryant, who (we’ve heard) has no plans to change the cozy, laid-back vibe of the historic upstairs watering hole. 

The Wienerschnitzel building, closed for many years on Soquel Avenue, is also set to become a beer garden and restaurant, thanks to the owners of Beer Thirty Bottle Shop & Pour House in Soquel. Look for a June 1 opening for the as-yet-unnamed eatery, which aims to focus on craft beer and foods to go with it, according to Kym DeWitt, who co-owns the local beer empire with husband Shawn DeWitt, Craig Renfroe and Olive Moredock.

And congratulations to the Homeless Garden Project in its successful fundraising efforts for the new Pogonip Farm. Looks like the $3.5 million Pogonip Campaign goal has been met. Construction is expected to start in the spring for the proposed 9.5-acre farm’s barn, greenhouse and combined kitchen and administrative building. The long-awaited permanent site will allow the HGP to plant orchards and make a long-term commitment to a farm serving the Santa Cruz community, as well as providing job training for those in need of stable income and housing.

Why We Live Here 

What better way to catch some coastal rays, a killer view and optimism for the new year than with excellent coffee and pastries at Fran Grayson’s Steamer Lane Supply? Watch surfers romance the waves, forget the uncertainty of 2020, and savor the whole point of living in Santa Cruz. Highly recommended as a daily stress-free ritual. Lighthouse Field, open daily 7:30am-sunset. Happy New Year!

Christina Waters was born in Santa Cruz and raised all over the world (thanks to an Air Force dad), with real-world training in painting, music, winetasting, trail running, organic gardening, and teaching. She has a PhD in Philosophy, teaches in the Arts at UCSC and sings with the UCSC Concert Choir. Look for her recent memoir “Inside the Flame” at bookstores everywhere.

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