Zelda’s reopens following significant storm damage

The damaged deck at Zelda's On the Beach in Capitola
January’s storm surge shut down Capitola Village standby Zelda’s on the Beach for more than three months.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

After getting pounded inside and out by storm surge in January, Zelda’s on the Beach is back seven days a week at its oceanfront spot on the Esplanade in Capitola Village. “I’m glad to hang up my nail bags and put my apron back on,” kitchen manager Josh Whitby says. “We’re open and ready to have some fun.”

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After lots of hard work, Zelda’s on the Beach has reopened following the devastating storms in January. As of last week, the restaurant is now back to business seven days a week

The Jan. 5 tidal surge burst the restaurant’s windows, destroyed the deck and took out a back wall. Josh Whitby, the kitchen manager and husband of Zelda’s co-owner Jen Ealy, told Lookout in January that while repairing the damages wasn’t going to be easy, the upside was that it was all fixable. Whitby’s background in construction came in handy, but he’s happy to get back to cooking.

“I’m glad to hang up my nail bags and put my apron back on,” said Whitby. “We’re open and ready to have some fun.”

Zelda’s was just one of several Esplanade restaurants that sustained significant damages from the storms. Most, including Paradise Beach Grille and Pizza My Heart, have since reopened, though My Thai Beach remains closed. No word yet on that restaurant’s timeline for opening.