Big Sky Cafe in downtown SLO being sold

Big Sky Cafe in San Luis Obispo.
Big Sky Cafe in San Luis Obispo. The Tribune

Big Sky Cafe in downtown San Luis Obispo is changing ownership after 21 years.

The restaurant's chef, Greg Holt, and his wife, Mirjam, are buying Big Sky from founder, Charles Myers, for an undisclosed amount. With about 50 employees, Big Sky specializes in "fresh market cuisine," using more than 40 different local farms and food suppliers.

"It's been a life-long dream of mine to own and operate my own restaurant," Greg Holt said. "Charles and I have worked together here at the cafe for close to 14 years and together have created a real San Luis Obispo landmark. It's my hope to continue on with the successful formula of personal service, healthy local foods and the best wines of our region."

Holt started work at the cafe in 1994 as the kitchen manager. He was chef at 1865 Restaurant in San Luis Obispo and at various local hotels for a few years, but remained the executive chef of Big Sky Cafe during his tenure. He grew up in the Lompoc area and has an associate's degree in culinary arts from Santa Barbara College.

Myers has operated restaurants for more than 38 years in cities ranging from Cleveland, Ohio, to Los Angeles, and has spent the last 21 years in San Luis Obispo. Big Sky is his fourth restaurant.

“I have a great fondness for what my team built up at Big Sky Cafe," Myers said. "Farm to table dining was a brand new concept when we started creating the vast network of local farms and farmers markets that we use today."

While Myers will not be involved in daily operations, he plans to continue his support of Big Sky.

"Look for Greg and me this summer at the Festival Mozaic benefit dinner on Mission Plaza," he said. It’s an elegant picnic that the restaurant sponsors every year before the Festival’s Mozart concert. We’ll be working together on that event and others, I’m sure.”