More Santa Cruz Style
I did an earlier post where I profiled three local hotels that I thought defined Santa Cruz style. Today, I’m picking three additional spots -- 2 restaurants and a winery -- that further exemplify the local aesthetic.
Old World Charm
All photos by Garrick Ramirez
There’s nothing quite like Shadowbrook. A wonderful destination restaurant resting between a lush hillside and the Soquel Creek, it blends multiple styles having continuously morphed since its transition from private home to restaurant in 1947. To access the restaurant, you’ll either descend a petite red cable car or stroll a meandering path through a jungle of palm trees, ferns and waterfalls.
A Craftsman-like entrance and dark wood interiors lend a cabin or chalet feel. A towering stone hearth in the original dining room adds to the aura. Shadowbrook brings the outdoors in, sometimes literally. The creek that meanders through the garden flows into the Rock Room and additional water features are found throughout the restaurant. The Garden Room is built around a giant cypress tree that shoots up through its roof while other tree vines twist and creep along the ceiling. Large scale plants like Split-Leaf Philodendrons are everywhere and stone walls mimic nearby Soquel Creek.
Did you know: A few years before 1989’s Loma Prieta quake, Shadowbrook did a retrofit to minimize potential earthquake damage. When the big quake struck, they suffered only a few broken glasses and $30 worth of wine.
Historic Seaside Abode
A building has stood on the corner where the current Davenport Roadhouse stands since 1906. In 1977, the current building was built as a pottery school with second-story rooms for students. The students’ need for breakfast soon gave way to a restaurant and the rest is history. Given that lineage, owners John and Queenie Fritz wanted the current Roadhouse to blend into its surroundings and maintain its sense of place along the coast. They’ve accomplished this with a menu that honors local produce and seafood served in an unobtrusive space.
The interiors are kept fairly simple. Warm brick walls are interspersed with large picture windows that let the natural surroundings shine through. Striking photographs of the Santa Cruz coastline by local artists dot the walls. Simple decor like rocks and abalone shells are scattered about.
Did you know: Neil Young, who owns a farm further north, is known to pop in on occasion.
Wine Country Modern
You may be familiar with Storrs Winery on River Street, but you will soon know them for their beautiful new locale in Corralitos. The new building will house wine production, storage and a weekend tasting room. It sits on a beautiful plot of land surrounded by oak and eucalyptus trees, with vineyards resting in a cozy valley just beyond.
From the exterior, the large building resembles a modern barn or cathedral. Giant barn doors slide open on tracks. The structure’s thick concrete walls are insulated with Greenblock to maintain a constant cool temperature for the wine’s stability. Interior walls are smooth while exterior walls are made with shotcrete -- concrete literally sprayed from a hose -- lending a rough, textured feel.
Parts of the roof are made from distressed, corrugated metal. The corten steel -- what looks like rusted metal -- also sheaths surface areas like the tasting room bar. Rich, polished fir and pine wood add warmth to the cool concrete.
Did you know: The much-anticipated building is scheduled to open in late summer.
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