.Teen Kitchen Project Whips Up Meals for Those in Need

Imagine the effort, creativity, and dedication it takes to whip up 200,000 meals? That’s exactly what the young cooks at the Teen Kitchen Project have done since they started in 2012.

Congratulations to the adult mentor chefs and the teen chef volunteers who have worked together to deliver meals each week to those in crisis. Naturally the pandemic has increased the need for these freshly-cooked and delivered meals, and the workers at the Teen Kitchen Project have answered the call, increasing production by 100% over the past three months. With social distancing requirements, Teen Kitchen Project Director Angela Farley says the staff has been reduced to a small stable group who, following all protocols, continue to serve needy clients. A great and compassionate effort. Based in Soquel, the Teen Kitchen Project now serves 220 clients each week even in these difficult times. Congratulations!


Dine on Deck 

Now that outdoor dining is the most popular restaurant option, make sure you remember the spacious deck of Michael’s on Main, the home of bright cocktails, comforting pastas, and satisfying seafood entrees. There is plenty of room in this history-rich local treasure.  We love the pistachio crusted salmon paired with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. 

Michael’s on Main, 2581 Main St., Soquel. michaelsonmain.info.

Sanctuary for Sipping

Award-winning outdoor tastings, and picnic possibilities, are open every Saturday and Sunday, 12pm until 5pm through August at the beautiful quarry setting of Storrs Winery. Book a reservation through the Storrs website, or call the winery at 831-724-5030. Winemakers Pamela and Steve Storrs continue to garner awards for their panoply of terroir-driven varietals.  

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Storrs Winery at the Quarry, 1560 Pleasant Valley Road, Aptos. storrswine.com.

A Farewell Toast!

After close to four decades the Poet and Patriot has fallen to the painful realities of the current pandemic. Owners of the venerable pub, Tim McCormick (one of the original partners) and Sean Brookins recently announced the closure of the landmark, thanking all of us who hoisted a pint within. Those of us who have lived in Santa Cruz for longer than 15 years will have fond memories, not only of the pub’s gritty ambience and irrepressible live music but of the larger-than-life spirit of its originator. Bob Dylan could have been describing the Poet and Patriot founder Chris Matthews when he titled his new album Rough and Rowdy Ways. Matthews died in 2008, but his larger-than-life footprint remained all over the wee tavern across the alley from Kuumbwa. 

The unpolished gem that was the Poet and Patriot pub may be closing its doors, but the good time memories will never die. A mecca for New Jersey expats as well as anyone who possessed a molecule of Irish blood, the Poet and Patriot was rough, rambunctious, and somehow irresistible all at once. Fashioned as a blue-collar watering hole, the pub welcomed vets, politicians, poets (of course) and anyone given to bursting into spontaneous song after a pint or three of Guinness. 

Matthews had a huge heart, an even bigger smile, and a welcome tuned specifically to every single patron. Chris was a savant of philosophical pugilism, and while everyone loved sparring with him, few could match his extravagant energy. The pub Chris and his investors created was a product of its era, the 1980s golden age of Santa Cruz art, music, cafe culture, politics, and exuberant (i.e. loud!) argumentation. Even if you didn’t actually frequent this maverick joint, you loved knowing that it was here. RIP Poet and Patriot. Sláinte!

Shadowbrook Closes Again

Shadowbrook owner Ted Burke, forced to close down the restaurant’s recently reopened indoor dining, has notified his patrons: “Regrettably, though Shadowbrook does have some outside tables, they are far too few in number to justify opening the entire restaurant for such limited capacity.” Hence he has canceled existing reservations and closed the doors.


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