Ahh, tapas ... small platillos with delicious foods are coming to a spot at the Los Gatos Shopping Center on North Santa Cruz Avenue between Design 101 Interiors and a new hair blow-dry bar called Dry Walk, which has not yet opened.
owners Michael Guerra and Joe Cannistraci are hoping town officials will give them the green light to open a new tapas bar at 424 N. Santa Cruz Ave., a retail space that's been divided by center owner Jim Zanardi and which was formerly 2 Fabulous Salon.
The new business will be just three doors down fron ELS, next door to and will sell a modest selection of wines, which will be paired with tapas.
Guerra and Cannistraci appeared before the Los Gatos Planning Commission May 23 to seek a conditional-use permit for the business. Planners agreed to let them move forward to the next step, which is to seek Council approval.
"It will be a very small Spanish restaurant and tapas bar," explained Cannistraci of his 900-square-foot location, adding that the partners are bringing chef Agustin Elbert from San Sebastian, Spain who was recently featured in the Wine Spectator and who's worked as a chef at Rekondo, Akelarre, Arzak and El Lagar restaurants in San Sebastian, Spain.
The 20-seat restaurant and wine bar would be open from 3-10 p.m. on Monday and 3-11 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 3-12 midnight Thursday through Saturday and 3-10 p.m. on Sunday. No outdoor seating would be allowed.
The business will offer wine by the glass, beer on tap and small plate food items known as tapas bringing visitors, shoppers and residents to a less frequented area of North Santa Cruz Avenue.
The partners still must get the OK from the Los Gatos Town Council, which will go into its summer recess in July. Cannistraci said he anticipates opening sometime this coming fall.
The establishment will also feature a raw shell fish bar that will include oysters, clams and mussels, based on food served in San Sebastian in Spain where seafood is highly consumed due to its proximity to the ocean. The shell fish bar will also feature Spanish sauces.
Cannistraci said they're working with strategic partner Jorge Bianchi, who's originally from San Sebastian, the culinary mecca of Spain, and who lives in Los Gatos and is married to a woman who's had a civil engineering firm in Los Gatos for 30 years.
Bianchi will be a strategic, not an equity partner, Cannistraci said, meaning he won't own any part of the business, but will offer consulting.
Right now the only other restaurant in town that offers seafood offerings similar to what the new tapas bar will offer is Cannistraci added.
" ... We intend to create an authentic, casual, Spanish-theme tapas bar where people can congregate to enjoy good wine, delicious food and lively conversation," Guerra wrote in his business description submitted to town planners.