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Capitola Fresh Choice Closes; New Restaurant Coming Soon

After 20 years in Capitola, Fresh Choice is a thing of the past at Brown Ranch Marketplace.

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! 

Kat January 11, 2013 at 05:39 AM
My family loved Fresh Choice and are sad to see it's gone. :(
AJ January 12, 2013 at 08:52 AM
My family also loved Fresh Choice...It is so unfair that we, the public had very little notice that Fresh Choice was going out of business. Had I known this, I would have used my $50.00 gift card and therefore I could have taken my family out to dinner. My daughter is a Lawyer and she specifically said that since the new owners are using the Fresh Choice contact info. on their new Web page and that since they bought the rights under the bankruptcy law, then the new owners have also "bought the rights" to all gift cards, therefore they will need to honor these gift cards otherwise either the follow will happen: 1. Everyone with gift cards can file class action law suits or 2. People like myself will boycott the new restaurant, California Fresh unless they honor our gift cards...I would hate to see this business "bite the dust!" due to arrogance, greed and materialism....So Please...honor your gift cards!
Bob Rivers January 30, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Fresh Choice to open again at Brown Ranch Marketplace! The new owners (Espresso Roma Corporation) should have the restaurant open in the next week or so. The new name will be “California Fresh”. The restaurant (at this time) will still be all-you-can-eat buffet style salad bar. They will have also have soups, pizza, and muffins, just like Fresh Choice. All of the menu items will be made fresh at the restaurant. We will pass along more details about the restaurant as soon as we have them. Thanks for supporting Brown Ranch Marketplace, locally owned and operated!
Michael Gaither February 08, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Thanks for the update on the gift cards AJ. I tried to use my gift card this week and was told they no longer will be accepting them. Bob, would you please let us gift card holders know what you are planning to do about this?
Marie March 21, 2013 at 08:49 PM
How can we cash out our gift cards?? Bob Rivers, please answer....

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