The BLT at the Reef Dog Deli in Capitola.
(Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: ‘Upgraded Santa Barbara’ hotel plan, Eaters Digest & an apple mainstay

Hey hey, Lookouters! It is Friday, Aug. 26, and stop me if you’re heard this one before, but there’ll be morning fog for many around Santa Cruz County, giving way to sunny skies and highs from the 60s to near 90.

Skip over to Lookout for the latest? If that’s your thing, do it!
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Before we get to the day’s highlights, we’re looking for stories on how President Joe Biden’s landmark plan to forgive student debt might affect you or someone you know:

I’ve got a packed menu for you as we head toward the weekend:

  • Wallace Baine talked with an executive at the company behind the new luxury hotel going up on Beach Street blocks from the Boardwalk about the vision for the property. “Upgraded Santa Barbara” is what he heard.
  • Lily Belli is back with another heaping helping of Eaters Digest, including her long-awaited verdict on Santa Cruz County’s best BLT.
  • Our Farmers Market Fridays series continues (complementing our definitive guide to the county’s markets), with Thomas Sawano checking in on Prevedelli Farms and its wealth of apples.
  • Ahead of sentencing Friday afternoon for Steven Carrillo for the 2020 murder of Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputy Damon Gutzwiller, we’ve republished an investigation by ProPublica and FRONTLINE into the Boogaloo Bois, a decentralized militia with ties to white supremacists — a group with which Carrillo was associated.\
  • We’re also spotlighting another of our interviews with residents of the Benchlands homeless encampment, as Jody K. Biehl and Kevin Painchaud talked with Nick Marquez, who grew up in Santa Cruz and has been homeless off and on since childhood. He has stage 5 kidney disease and needs a transplant. Without it, he will die. He says if he had received medical care sooner, he might have been better off, but being homeless, it is hard to get services.

So let’s dig in.

‘Upgraded Santa Barbara’ vision for La Bahia luxury hotel, aiming for 2024 opening across from Boardwalk

A 2019 rendering of the La Bahia Hotel project along Beach Street in Santa Cruz.
(Via Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects)

Ensemble Real Estate Investments exec Michael Moskowitz says his company plans to steer away from heavy-handed Spanish Colonial design on the planned 155-room hotel and attempt to “thread the needle” between modern amenities and honoring the site’s history and Santa Cruz’s unique character. Read more from Wallace Baine and weigh in on naming the development.

LOOKING FORWARD: As market revival continues, Santa Cruz hospitality industry expects boost from new La Bahia, Cruz hotels (Lookout)

The BLT verdict is in, a summer dinner at Bedda Mia and Sugar Bakery opens

Sugar Bakery, which specializes in macarons, opens a storefront inside the Capitola Mall this week.
(Via Facebook)

Lily Belli’s exhaustive search for Santa Cruz County’s best BLT has yielded not one but two winners, classics from Sicily and Genoa play well on Water Street, a sweet local bakery lands in the Capitola Mall and a tasty reason to head to Skypark are all on the menu in the latest Eaters Digest. Consume!

MORE FROM LILY: Find all of Lookout’s food & drink coverage in one place

A full Friday indeed. We’ll have coverage later in the day of the Steven Carrillo sentencing hearing, so bookmark Lookout and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay current.

As we head into the weekend, please consider becoming a Lookout member if you’re not already — our content isn’t possible without community support. And if you like what we’re doing, tell a friend!

Have an excellent Friday and a safe, relaxing weekend!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz