Only months behind its large-scale launch at the gleaming new Aptos Village, a new Cat and Cloud Coffee just opened last week on the Westside, in the industrial complex in front of ReStore and across the street from Kelly’s prolific Swift Street complex. According to my rough and ready calculations, that makes at least four major coffee pit stops within a one-block radius.
The very spiffy new Cat and Cloud sits across Swift Street from Kelly’s, one block from Verve and 1.5 blocks from Companion Bakeshop. And let’s not forget the excellent coffee served up at the no-frills Westside Coffee one block from Verve. Oh, and a few blocks toward the ocean sits Iveta. There is lots of serious coffee to choose from, and every one of those places do a brisk business, which tells me that coffee glamour continues to stoke our local appetites.
The new coffee house—the fourth in the mini-empire created by entrepreneurs Chris Baca, Jared Truby and Charles Jack—is a welcoming, high-ceilinged space lined with seating, filled with large tables, and ringed by a dog-friendly patio with space for post-workout hang time in the sun. Cat and Cloud’s staff is friendly, helpful, and full of information about coffee options as well as the case full of fresh pastries.
Once again Cat and Cloud has partnered with Companion Bakeshop for pastries, along with Melinda’s for a few choice gluten-free options. There’s no end to the Westside food and drink boom (waiting for the Venus Spirits Kitchen), but let’s not forget who started it all: Kelly and Mark Sanchez, who put everything on the line to dream big and make the block that now houses El Salchichero, Surf City Wineries, and countless retail spaces a booming reality. They were there first and Kelly’s French Pastries with its outdoor space and red umbrellas open wide to kids, tourists, puppies, yogistas, and the rest of us, continues to welcome us every day. They paved the way.
Cat and Cloud Coffee, Ingalls and Swift streets., Santa Cruz. 6am-6pm.
A major shout-out to Ryan Beauregard of Beauregard Vineyards, who just purchased the magnificent Bald Mountain Vineyard. “My family has leased it for 30 years,” the very excited winemaker says. “Now we bought it!” Planted each year and managed by Ryan’s dad, Jim Beauregard, and his grandfather Bud before him, Bald Mountain is a 40-acre plot situated at 1000 ft. elevation. It yields gorgeous mineral-intensive Chardonnays and Pinot Noir from clones of Pommard, 667 and Mt. Eden (for you varietal geeks). “Bald Mountain Vineyard has been the pillar of my winemaking career,” says Ryan Beauregard. “I’ve made 22 consecutive vintages and it has always been my favorite wine that I make. The opportunity is grand, but there is a lot of financial fear involved with the project. All I can do now is look forward and make sure I give it 150% of my energy! I have a lot of confidence.” Needless to say, fans of Beauregard’s choice varietals are thrilled that one of the most coveted Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards will be staying in the family for the indefinite future. “The vineyard is in the winery name: Beauregard Vineyards LLC,” Beauregard adds. “We are all so stoked!”
You still have time to come up with something romantic. Come check out the Posy Pop-Up flowers from Bonny Doon Garden Company available at Buttercup Cakes in the heart of downtown. Great concept. Local, flower-farm raised blooms for your sweetie, partnered by edible sweets in the form of the delectable cupcakes—including sensational gluten-free varieties—from Buttercup. Don’t hesitate.
Buttercup Cakes located at 1411 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz.