Santa Cruz had plenty of online buzz in March, but it was punctuated by a sad note when the Boulder Creek Brewery and Cafe was destroyed by a fire late in the month.
Two other businesses opened their doors for the first time, both behind the strength of hefty local support through the crowdfunding platform kickstarter. Mobile Ranger offered a peek into some Westside history, while a new peer-to-peer learning space prepares to make its home in the old Wrigley Building in June.
UC Santa Cruz got to work restoring a historical building and the San Jose Mercury published a piece about enjoying Santa Cruz without going to the beach (hint: it isn’t difficult).
All that, plus a look at the best of local social media in this month’s edition of Santa Cruz Connected.
Boulder Creek Brewery & Cafe Burns Down
The end of March came with some unfortunate news as the Boulder Creek Brewery and Cafe suffered a major fire that destroyed the building.
Because of the extensive damages, the Boulder Creek Fire Department said that it would be difficult pinpointing the cause of the blaze, though it is thought that an electrical fire may have been the culprit. Joe’s Bar, also in Boulder Creek, held a fundraiser in the days following the fire that raised over $5,000 to help employees of the brewery. Surfrider Cafe, in downtown Santa Cruz, also chipped in by training employees from the brewery and giving them shifts to help ease the strain of lost hours and wages. You can read more about the fire in this article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
New Bohemia Brewing Company Opens on 41st Ave.
Pleasure Point welcomed a new brewery in March as the New Bohemia Brewing Company opened for business.
The new brewing company, which was partially funded by a kickstarter campaign that raised more than $35,000, specializes in European-style lagers, but will also serve other types of craft beers. You can find more information about the New Bohemia Brewing Company in this article from Edible Monterey Bay.
New “Makerspace” Coming To Wrigley Building In June
The former Wrigley Building will welcome a new guest in June when Idea Fabrication Labs, a new makerspace project, will open in Santa Cruz.
A makerspace, also referred to as a hackerspace, is a community built around do-it-yourself collaborative learning. The idea is to create better access to technology through a joint workspace that fuels innovation through a social environment. Click here to read more information about Idea Fabrication Labs from Santa Cruz Tech Beat.
Will Pacific Ave. Become A One-way Street?
The discussion about altering Pacific Ave. was revisited in March as the Downtown Commission tries to find a way to ease traffic congestion, help retailers, and provide a more pleasant shopping experience.
The previous recommendation by the consultant, which would have made Pacific open to two-way traffic, was shot down because local fire trucks had difficulty navigating the turns. You can read more about the proposed project here.
Photo from Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce
New Downtown Chocolate House In Santa Cruz
Now you can enjoy fresh gourmet hot chocolate in downtown Santa Cruz.
The Mutari Chocolate House and Factory opened in March after raising more than $30,000 through a kickstarter campaign to help fund the venture. The business is located at 1001 Center St., where the owners rent space at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, an incubator kitchen that opened in February. Read more about the Mutari Chocolate House in this article from the Sentinel.
Local History: A Look Back At the Swift St. Courtyard
Mobile Ranger published an article in March that explored the past of the Swift St. courtyard on the Westside. The post includes a look at the history of the area and traces its development from the early days as an industrial center to the current courtyard developed around Kelly’s French Bakery.
Cowell Ranch Hay Barn Restoration Project Underway At UCSC
The Cowell Ranch Hay Barn, just past the main entrance to UC Santa Cruz, is undergoing a restoration that began in March with the raising of the new frame for the historic building. Originally built in the 1860s, the restored barn will be constructed using a combination of modern methods and 19th century building practices to preserve the history of the building. Visit the UC Santa Cruz news center for more information about the project.
USGS Releases Ocean Floor Data
The U.S. Geological Survey, whose Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center is located on the Westside, released a trove of photos and videos of the ocean floor in March.
The data, which includes thousands of photos and videos, covers almost the entire California coast and will be used to better understand the habitats and hazards of the ocean. For more information about the new database, see this article written by Hannah Moore of Hilltromper.
Capitola Village Featured In Weekend Getaway
ABC News released a brief segment about things to do in Capitola Village that includes shopping, dining and activities. The short post also includes a nice 5 minute video tour of the Village and links to the businesses included.
Enjoying Santa Cruz Without the Beach
The San Jose Mercury also offered a glimpse of Santa Cruz life in March with an article about things to do besides going to the beach. Some of the events and activities included are the Grateful Dead exhibit at UCSC (which can be viewed here), the Ebb & Flow River Arts Celebration in June, the Penny Ice Creamery, the Jack O’Neil Lounge at the Dream Inn, and Marini’s on the Boardwalk.
Best of the Month From Santa Cruz Social Media
A spooky awesome photo of Capitola Village on Friday the 13th by John F. Hunter Photography.
The local love extends well into the water in Santa Cruz.
— Liz Kroft, Realtor (@CruzinKroft) March 26, 2015
Nice view of the Boardwalk from the beach side.
— The Mom Reviews (@themomjen) March 8, 2015
And a view from the “snow side” of the Boardwalk in 1976.
James Durbin filmed a video in Downtown Santa Cruz for his new song, “Santa Cruz.” Photo by Ariel Nava.
Sammy Garcia is a great Instagram follow if you like sunsets, Santa Cruz, or surfing.
— Santa Cruz County (@visitsantacruz) March 20, 2015
A classic Westside sunset from @theaumsmama.
Tim Cattera reminds us that Santa Cruz is beautiful even when the sun goes down.
Made it just in time to catch the moon rising over Santa Cruz, Ca. pic.twitter.com/V0TRZridlL
— Tim Cattera Photo (@TimCatteraPhoto) March 6, 2015