Sunday, October 26, 2014

Feliz Cumpleanos Wine Cellar!

As more Homeowners and Visitors arrive in Loreto Bay daily, now that the Season has begun, the social season is beginning here again as well.  This week the Wine Cellar @ Nopolo had an indoor/outdoor concert to mark their fourth anniversary of their operations here in Loreto Bay - my how time flies (especially when there is socializing and alcohol involved).  Over the past four years Will and Cynthia, the Wine Cellar Owners and Loreto Bay Homeowners, have become a cornerstone of the Loreto Bay Community and an important meeting place for long term Residents and short term Visitors.

Along with their staff, headed by Bartender Urbano, Will and Cynthia can almost always be found in the Wine Cellar six days a week (closed Tuesdays) from mid-afternoon usually until the customer rolls out the door well past Baja Midnight (that's anytime after about 9:30pm) and they keep the place open through the hot summer as well, closing in September for a well deserved get-away from Loreto Bay. 

Along with one of the best wine selections for miles around (hence the name) there is a full bar, (Urbano makes a fine margarita) and in the compact efficient kitchen their cook Margarita prepares a good and tasty selection of Tapas ranging from cheese plates to chicken wings - bringing a Mexican flair to typical Bar food.  On special occasions Cynthia brings in her own home made chili and other specialties to tempt the customers.

In addition to a variety of different sports broadcasts on multiple flat screens located around the bar, the Wine Cellar has become an important live music venue on occasion - hosting open mike nights as well as musicians both from town and Loreto Bay itself.  Undoubtedly the most frequent (and probably most popular) of these musicians are the several incarnations of "Los Beach Dogs", originally a pick up group of Homeowners who enjoyed playing classic rock and blues covers together, and who, over the years, have morphed into several combinations of players under a variety of stage names including "Stray Dogs" and most recently "Street Dogs". 

This week it was the "Street Dogs" with two original Beach Dogs and three local Mexican guitarists making their first performance of this new Season at the Wine Cellar anniversary party.  Due to the anticipated numbers of people expected, it was decided to partially block off the traffic circle entrance at the Wine Cellar corner. This allowed the band more room to set up and provided extra tables and seating on the street outside to accommodate  the crowd and enjoy the cooler night air outside. 

Rich, a Homeowner and one of the original "Dogs" had told me that they have added more PA equipment this Season for improved sound and a hot new keyboard that adds some new riffs to their repertoire of classic covers, as well as a growing list of very popular original compositions, mainly focused on the stories and experiences many of us have shared in our discovery of, transition to, and settlement in our new Community here in the Baja.  The band members were setting up when I arrived at the Bar in the late afternoon and then started their first set to a growing crowd of fans mingling in and out of the Wine Cellar.  The sound was improved as promised and the "Street Dog" configuration rocked on - with some great guitar riffs from the newest members who appeared to be in their teens, but played like grizzled veterans!

Although the crowd was mainly from Loreto Bay, there were some "Townies" present, including Jill, a friend of mine who had a display set up and was telling people about an upcoming charity fundraising event, the seventh anniversary and annual dinner and auction of Eco-Alanza, a local group focused on environmental education programs benefiting youth in Loreto to be held at the beautiful Mision Hotel in town on November 8th.  For more information and tickets you can check out their website at:

As the crowd grew in numbers it divided into mainly two groups, those inside the Cellar, many of 
whom were enjoying food selections from the tapas style menu, along with some sports fans who were watching an NFL game on the big screens.  Outside more of the music fans were sitting at the temporary tables that had been set up on the street corner where they enjoyed the Dog's "howling" in the comfortably cool evening air.  There was a third group in between, filling the small patio area at the front of the Cellar with "box seats" for the musical entertainment on the street in front of them - something for everyone!

During the evening I met some early season Visitors who were renting Villas in Loreto Bay, but by far the majority of people here at this time of year are returning Homeowners, so any get together tends to become a sort of Homecoming event, with friends and neighbors seeing each other for the first time in months and catching up on their summer news.  In many ways it is sort of reminiscent of the "back to school" feeling of getting back in touch with people after a summer away and a great atmosphere for a party!

I trust I am not going to be accused of being too "boosterish" when I say, that my impression following this first big get together of the Season, is that there is the most positive air among Homeowners here in Loreto Bay that I have experienced so far in any of the past Seasons.  And, I think, with good reason!  Loreto Bay has never looked better - with the extensive landscaping more established each year, more homes receiving fresh paint and cosmetic maintenance, and with the Posada Buildings continuing to show good progress towards completion.  All of which is being appreciated by more Residents arriving earlier in the Season than I think I have seen in past years, and so it begins!

So Feliz Cumpleanos to the Wine Cellar and many happy returns, you got the new year off to a great start and we look forward to many more memorable (and sometimes not so memorable, whoops!) evenings as we all enjoy "Living Loreto"!