A staple of Capitola's Brown Ranch Marketplace is no more.
Fresh Choice, the healthy food buffet that opened with the shopping center in 1992, is closed for reorganization and will relaunch in the coming weeks with major changes to the interior.
Fresh Choice filed for bankruptcy in 2006, at which point Sandy Boyd, owner of Espresso Roma Corporation, bought a number of the existing Fresh Choice stores, including the one in Capitola. But, according to Brown Ranch Marketplace General Manager Bob Rivers, few of those stores survived the recession unscathed, leading Boyd to close the unsuccessful ones and re-brand "the good ones."
"Ours was one of the good ones and that's why he's keeping it," Rivers said.
The reopened restaurant will have an "a la carte style menu" rather than the buffet of Fresh Choice, Rivers said. It will also have a salad bar where patrons pay by the ounce, a beer and wine bar, a breakfast bar with omelets and updated seating.
According to Rivers, the restaurant will reopen under a new name (yet to be determined) and the remodel will occur "sometime in the next 60 days or so," after the launch of the new restaurant.
Without going into specifics, Rivers said the current closure is due to the legal process of reorganizing the business — changing the name, format, etc.
"They're doing this reorganization right now, which is holding everything up," he said. "But, they're caught in a legal thing right now until they get the paperwork squared away. They'll get going pretty soon hopefully."
Are you sad to see Fresh Choice go after 20 years in Capitola? Excited for a new restaurant? Tell us in the comments!