The newest addition to the Watsonville Hangar, a South County counterpart to Abbott Square, is Mr. Z’s Crepes and Teas. They make acai bowls, too, but that doesn’t rhyme.
Ru Patel opened the café a month ago with her family, which also owns a Baskin Robbins in Watsonville, in an effort to up the area’s novelty food game with a local outpost for boba, or bubble tea. Crepes and acai bowls also fit the fun theme of the restaurant, and the community’s emerging dining scene.
How did you settle on the name “Mr. Z’s?”
RU PATEL: I really wanted to have an animal be our brand mascot. My father is from East Africa, and I spent a lot of time in Africa on safaris, so it was very nostalgic to me to have an African animal as our mascot. Once we figured out we wanted an animal, we played around with names, and the zebra in particular looks fantastic with the sunglasses and hat that ties in with the airport theme.
What have the best sellers been?
We come up with some unique menu items, like the Cali club crepe and smoked salmon crepe—those have been really popular. Also because they are so fresh. We source our ingredients every day from Watsonville Coast produce and Freedom Meat Locker. For teas, we have a layered matcha-strawberry tea and mango fruit tea with boba.
You’re already a business owner, but what was unique about opening this business, in an airport hangar?
There is no plumbing, lighting or electrical. That was the biggest challenge … But after all the work, it’s so nice to see a building that’s not a traditional strip mall converted into this community space. People can have a crepe from us and a beer from Beer Mule next door. The whole place is inviting people to come out of their homes, stay unplugged from their devices and just hang out.
Mr. Z’s Crepes and Teas, 45 Aviation Way #2, Watsonville. 228-1588, facebook.com/mrzsteas, Instagram: @mrzsteas.
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