The beloved cafe in Watsonville's food packing district has kept us waiting for its grand opening day, but Flavia Ordonez, the new owner, assures us that they're almost ready, and it will be well worth the wait.
"At this point it feels like one step forward, and ten steps backwards," joked Ordonez on Tuesday afternoon. "It looks to me like it will be more like the middle or end of October."
The old sign that estimated a "Septemberish" opening is long gone, and Ordonez stands in the middle of the small diner, which opened back in 1979 and was a local favorite for years. The new owners and her friends, "The Golden Girls," have been busy re-painting, cleaning, finishing, and flooring, and they can't wait to open with an improved menu: "American breakfast and lunch. Comfort food. With a few specials, Italian and Mexican," said Ordonez.
So what's the hold up?
"Even though it's an existing establishment there are a couple things they need to do to update, it's a face lift more than anything else," said Marty Fiorovich, an architect helping the new owners pull the permits they need from the city.
"Updates" like a new walk-in, larger sinks, and a new floor in the food prep area are a few of the improvements Ordonez has been hard at work diong.
Since Patch dropped in last, they've also reupholstered all of their counter stools, and cleaned, stripped and refinished the original benches that run the length of the diner's back wall.
They've also put second coats of paint on the walls—vibrant peach, orange, and greens—and they've installed wifi internet and two brand new TVs. An outdoor seating area is being set up for people to wait and drink coffee on busy mornings.
"I have many people come here to eat and I feel really bad. Sometimes they come all dressed up, and they don't know that we even closed," said Ordonez.
It's proof that the diner has been a fixture in the Pajaro Valley agriculture community for years. The building was built in the 1940s. The late Paul Begley and wife Kathy opened the Beach Street Diner in 1979 and operated it until 2006, when they sold it to Breese and Jen White. The restaurant closed in December when the Whites fell on hard times.
"It will be worth it, it has cost us a lot of physical work," said Ordonez. "But we are getting there," she smiled.
For more background information on the diner, check out the last Patch update.
The Beach Street Diner has a new telephone number too: 831-722-CAFE. Stay tuned for the Grand Opening!