Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Dinner is now being served!"

In the continuing evolution of Loreto Bay one aspect of the lifestyle that has been absent is the availability of places to eat within the community. During the past week this has changed.

I have written in these pages several times about Baja Onsite, the convenience store run by Evan and Julie
 over the last year and a half. When they opened their new larger location last Fall they had plans to offer Deli selections as well as the packaged and frozen foods they sell for home preparation. After a busy winter and managing several other business ventures, along with growing the inventory of their store, they launched the long awaited Deli side of their business in the last week.

Now you can order fresh sandwiches and salads made to order at the store and enjoy them on the patio outside or take them away – no need to interrupt that lazy morning around the community pool to go back to your Casa and make lunch! This adds another feature to the Baja Onsite patio, which has become an unofficial meeting place for many Homeowners this winter. There are often people relaxing at the tables and chairs in front of the store, enjoying a coffee in the morning sun or a cold drink in the afternoon shade, perhaps checking their email on the free WiFi, or just visiting with each other after picking up a few groceries, a bottle of wine for dinner or their mid-afternoon ice cream snack.

Anyone who has been in Loreto Bay this winter knows how convenient having access to this store has made living here in Loreto Bay – no longer is it necessary to drive the 15 km each way to town every time you run out of something, if Evan and Julie don’t have it you can probably get by without it! But it is not just the staples they stock, often they carry specialty items from the US that cannot be found in any store in town, as well as a small but carefully selected inventory of household goods and small appliances brought back from the big stores in Cabo and La Paz.

With the addition of their new take-out Deli foods, this hard-working couple have added one more convenience to our lives here in Loreto Bay and many of us appreciate the contribution they continue to made to the way we now are Living Loreto!

But wait – there’s more!

Throughout the reconstruction and development of the Golf Course one important aspect has been missing, the Clubhouse has only served as the start and stopping place of a round, with no services other than a place to pick up or drop off a cart or rent a set of clubs, oh yes, and the Banos, of course. That was the case, until this week, with the addition of a 19th Hole!

For many years, one of the most popular restaurants in town has been Mita Gourmet, run by Juan Carlos and his wife in a charming open air patio on the town square. This restaurant was in fact named for their daughter, Mita, who has grown into a beautiful young mother, married to Carlos and the proud parents of a bouncing baby boy.

Following several months of rumour and speculation (this is Loreto Bay after all) it was recently announced that Juan Carlos had succeeded in securing the food concession at the Clubhouse and was going to open a restaurant to be run by his daughter Mita and her husband Carlos.

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and with a full bar service available, this new venture, appropriately called “The 19th Hole” fills a major gap in the social life surrounding the game of Golf. Now, the early risers, who want to get their game in during the relatively cool mornings, can start their day with a hearty breakfast of omelettes or other egg dishes or Mexican Desayuno specialties. Following the game, or before an afternoon round, there is a selection of sandwiches and salads as well as a hearty cheeseburger available for lunch and there is a full dinner menu available as well as some specials every evening, finally giving Loreto Bay an option for dining out, without facing the drive home again from town in the dark.

In addition to the full day menu, The 19th Hole is running a beverage cart on the Golf Course, stocked with ice cold beverages snacks and sandwiches, bringing welcome relief to the parched and hungry players mid-game. Definitely a civilized touch that has been sorely missed by all of us concerned about maintaining our “hydration” during the long stretches between holes on hot afternoons!

Mita explained that these menus are still a work in progress, as they gauge the tastes and preferences of the diners in Loreto Bay and in fact they had planned a “soft opening” to get their staff up and running before starting to promote the new restaurant. But, in a place like Loreto Bay good news travels fast, and they have been busier than they expected since their first days. They start serving Breakfast at 7:00 am, Lunch at noon and Dinner at 6:00 and the kitchen remains open until 9:00. She also talked about plans for live music and “theme nights” with special menu and entertainment.

I think it is worthwhile noting that this enterprise, under the watchful eye and long experience of Juan Carlos, is being run by another young and ambitious couple who are making their own opportunities for the future by meeting a much anticipated need in advance of the market size that would normally be required by such a venture.

I am also confident, based on the enthusiastic reception both these two new food services have received, that our community appreciates the opportunity to support the contributions being made by these entrepreneurs and the big step they represent in the further development of a more complete experience we can all now share “Living Loreto”!