The Cambrian

Cambria Pub scores with cioppino in Paso Robles competition

Businesses continue to make news on the North Coast.

Cioppino win

The Cambria Pub and Steakhouse has new bragging rights: Having the best cioppino, according to judges, at the sixth annual Paso Robles Children’s Museum fundraiser, “Cioppino and Vino,” held Saturday, Nov. 7.

The restaurant will start serving its award-winning cioppino Friday, Nov. 13, according to co-owner Monica Soto Raethke, with plans to offer the Portuguese-style seafood, fish and tomato entrée special every Friday.

Cindy Sassaman was chef/creator for the competition. Co-owner John Raethke and Sassaman also collaborated on the restaurant’s menu.

What’s next? The Pub is launching an entertainment series, with Louie Ortego on the “deck” lounge at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14.

Chicken pies

Linn’s, a Cambria business with several restaurants, a gift shop, farm and wholesale pie-jam-and-specialties business, has stopped providing its chicken pot pies to other commercial outlets.

According to co-owner John Linn, the USDA’s increasingly stringent licensing requirements for the entrée pies made it too expensive and complicated to continue wholesaling to other states any pies with more than 2 percent protein in them.

Chicken and beef pot pies (the latter were never licensed for out-of-state wholesaling, Linn said) will continue to be offered at Linn’s own facilities in Cambria. Those pies are made at Linn’s Village Lane commissary; the wholesale pies are made at a licensed facility in Morgan Hill.

Grill opens

After months of revamping the menu, remodeling and redecorating the structure and getting and training their staff, Lisa Molnar and Greg Donnahoo opened last month in their new/old Route 1 California Grill (the former Pine Tree Inn, 841 Main St.).

Molnar is carrying on a 34-year family restaurant tradition at the site, not to mention six generations of Cayucos ranching. Her parents, Mike Molnar Sr. and Eleanore Biaggini Molnar, built the Pine Tree in 1981, and then sons James and Mike took over and ran the place.

The eatery’s tradition of family dining at breakfast, lunch and dinner will continue, but with an updated concept and new barbecue and smoker equipment.

Bluebird sold

As noted in The Cambrian’s Nov. 5 story about damage done to some vehicles by a falling tree trunk, The Bluebird Inn has new owners. Kiran and Falguni “Fal” Patel bought the historic lodging on Aug. 26 from Ken and Gisela Cooper, who had owned and operated the Main Street property for 27 years.

He told The Cambrian the day after the sale closed that the couple plans to continue living in the Pine Knolls home they’ve occupied for about eight years, since they finished renovating it.

“We plan to stay here, chill out a little and maybe do some traveling,” he said. “I’ve never seen much of the U.S. I’ve always been interested in seeing the national parks,” and has long been fascinated by Native American history and territories.

Cooper said son Erik Cooper “will work part time at the motel and part time as a real estate agent for Barnes & Associates.”

The Patels were in business in San Luis Obispo for four years, and are “still in the process of transferring here, still moving in,” she told The Cambrian on Monday, Nov. 2.