Hard economic times make for a lean dining scene, but by the same token, the seeds of recovery usually take root in the restaurant landscape before they can be seen in other sectors. When people have money to spend again, their hunger for interesting tastes returns as well, and in Santa Cruz, empty spaces are being filled and local favorites are expanding to meet this budding demand. Christina Waters documents these changes in this issue, and local foodies will be happy to see the spaces vacated by Benten and Louie’s Cajun Kitchen opening again with concepts that will add new dimensions to Santa Cruz dining.
An experimental and exciting recent addition to the scene is the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, and Anne-Marie Harrison profiles one of the most interesting entrepreneurs driving its growth, Ty Pearce, owner and chef at Ty’s Eatery. The story of his success is paralleled by his personal story of transitioning from Tanya to Ty, and both are fascinating.
There’s also so much happening in the beverage industry in Santa Cruz, and not just in the ongoing beer boom—although Lily Stoicheff does profile the Sante Adairius Rustic Ales Brewery, which is celebrating its third anniversary. Maria Grusauskas surveys how locals are evolving the probiotic soda craze, June Smith leads us through local wine trails, and Josie Cowden writes about the return of La Vie juices and vegan cuisine. Enjoy!
STEVE PALOPOLI, EDITOR