Clouds will soon be Louie’s Cajun Kitchen and Bourbon Bar. Photo by Christina Waters.
Passing Clouds Once upon a time there was Sea Cloud, a dreamy, waterfront restaurant and saloon that helped us all ride the wave of the economic Happy Hour several decades ago. And then there was Clouds, Lou and Kristi Caviglia's gift to downtown diners and cocktail fans. Wow, it's hard to believe that Clouds has been with us for almost two decades, but it has, and the proprietors have decided on a major sea change. A new mural will replace Linde Martin's abstract paintings. And a California Cajun menu will replace the world fusion comfort food list. Can you say "Sazerac?"
Closing this week, Clouds will morph into Louie’s Cajun Kitchen and Bourbon Bar. Look for changes toward the affordable, more casual end of the spectrum. But Lou admits that the makeover is inspired by "the wild side of the Big Easy." Fried chicken, barbecue ribs and brisket, po boys, gumbo and umpteen oyster specialties. Diehards are hoping that the outrageous chicken waffle combo stays on the menu. The bar will showcase artisanal American bourbons and rye whiskeys along with the old Clouds martini specials. Louie told me that he is aiming to be open with the new Louie's Cajun Kitchen for the first Friday in August. "We want to show off the new mural," he added, "which will be a mind blower!"
Gourmet Grazing Pencil this in for Sept. 15: Gourmet Grazing on the Green, the utterly upbeat, annual Food & Wine Festival for the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group.Held at inviting Aptos Village Park on Saturday, Sept. 15, 12 – 5 pm, Grazing on the Green offers an action-packed day of fine wine, food, locally crafted beers and (for some, the vibrant centerpiece) live music! Spend the afternoon sampling signature specialties from dozens of top local restaurants and local wineries as well as breweries. Ticket prices for this 9th annual event include all food, wine and beertastings all day. You got that right. All tastings, all day! By purchasing a $65 ticket to this food and wine festival, attendees are raising funds for the SCCBG while getting to have some serious foodie fun and excellent wine tasting. Local farmers who have donated produce for the Gourmet Grazing event including Coke Farms, Route One, Earthbound Farms, New Natives and Watsonville Coast Produce. For advance tickets to this always popular afternoon, go to sccbg.org. Now you know what you'll be doing on Sept. 15. Wasn't that easy?
Cedar Street Brewing Company 411 Brewmeister Dan Satterthwaite emails to tell me that fundraising continues to move forward for what will become the first local brewery in Santa Cruz focusing on continental lager-style beers. Satterthwaite looks forward to plying us with Viennese lager, beechwood smoked Schwarzbier and Bavarian Hefeweizen, as well as a few American versions of classic IPA, Porter and Stout ales. The Cedar Street biergarten-in-progress plans to offer a menu of California brewery foods created by Satterthwaite's partner Jon DeHarpporte. "Stay tuned for future developments," he adds. "We anticipate being open in the summer of 2013."