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Healthy fare at Terraza Creekside Grille; no friars allowed

Festive affordable outdoor restaurant and its new neighbor have great views, and music

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ON A MISSION :  Local restaurant owners Brett Butterfield (left) and J. Walsh look over plans of the new creekside patio. - PHOTO BY MATT FOUNTAIN
  • PHOTO BY MATT FOUNTAIN
  • ON A MISSION : Local restaurant owners Brett Butterfield (left) and J. Walsh look over plans of the new creekside patio.

When two local business partners who’re former Cal Poly students began scouting locations for a their new restaurant, little did they know they would be serving up Spanish cuisine in the same spot where the friars left the mission to fetch water from the creek more than 300 years ago.

The Terraza Creekside Grille and Mission Pizza are both set to open May 12 in the Network Mall on Higuera Street and, according to owners J. Walsh and Brett Butterfield, will bring much-needed affordable outdoor dining to downtown San Luis Obispo.

 “It’s someplace new, it’s something a little different for this town,” Walsh said. “Many people say they are surprised a Chipotle-style place hasn’t been here before. Now they’ll have it: something new, something different, something a little quicker and the patio hopefully will be reenergized.”

Both restaurants will open simultaneously and offer completely different menus, yet both will be healthy and affordable. According to Walsh and Butterfield, the Terraza Creekside Grille will offer tacos, burritos, salad bowls, and other Spanish favorites custom-made to order. Across the hallway, Mission Pizza will offer fresh pizza, by the slice or whole, and a variety of salad combinations made from local produce.

The big draw, however, will be the creek-side dining on the newly remodeled patio directly across from the Old Mission. Renovations include a rebuilt stage, an outdoor beer and wine bar, wood floors, and the installation of tropical plants to exude a Spanish colonial feel for an inexpensive day or night of healthy food, cool drinks, and relaxing live music.

“There’s so many people where this place was part of their past,” Butterfield said. “For years, this used to be the Spindle, then it was Cisco’s and it’s known for live entertainment. You know, sitting out there in the sun on weekends. … I’m excited to bring that part back.”

Walsh and Butterfield are enthusiastic about the combination of healthy, inexpensive food, live entertainment, and an ideal location to attract a wide range of people, from families with young children strolling downtown, to out-of-towners visiting the mission, to students looking for a mellow night with an inexpensive meal.

The two restaurants have already helped fill another much-needed void in downtown San Luis Obispo—jobs.

“We’ve had just some great people stop in, get referred to us, recommended,” Butterfield said. “There’s just a ton of really good people looking and I feel real fortunate to be able to hire.”

A wide selection of inexpensive healthy meals in a classy patio bar is an appealing combination for people facing a tough economy.“We’re definitely going to try to key in on the economy being like it is and offer an affordable option,” Butterfield said. “If you’re in the mood for sitting outdoors, under the trees, listening to a band, that is the focal point. We’ll have foods that fit that venue.”

Fast facts

The Economic Opportunity Commission of San Luis Obispo County is changing in name to the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County. To honor the change, the agency will hold an open house from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 15, at the headquarters at 1030 Southwood Dr. in San Luis Obispo. They urge county residents to tour the facility, meet the staff and board members, and learn how to become involved. For more information, contact Leslie McKinley at 544-4355, Ext.183. …

 Ever wondered how your canine would fare on a “Best in Show” professional agility course? Kennels of Springdale, located on nine acres in Corbett Canyon, is offering a fully outfitted obstacle course for both professionals and amateur pups and their owners. The boarding facility also offers grooming, training, daycare and playgroups as well as boarding. Drop in for “open gym” and strengthen that dog-owner bond by calling 549-9832 or visit kennelsofspringdale.com. …

Missed out on Inauguration Day? Celebrate President Barack Obama’s first 100 days with the SLO County Democrats from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, at the Los Osos Community Center, 2180 Palisades Ave. The event will feature live music, a beer and wine bar, a chili cook-off, and a silent auction. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at the SLO Democratic Headquarters at 1406 Broad St. in SLO. Call 546-8499 for more info. …

They say some of the greatest things in life are short-lived and this will be the case at the newly opened Granada Bistro. Located at the old Hotel Granada at 1126 Morro Street in downtown SLO, the building is set for demolition in July 2010. That means there is little time to check out the diverse menu of imported beers and wines, artisan cheeses, gourmet paninis, and custom Amy Bakes Cupcakes at the provocative new restaurant-lounge. Call 556-4211 for more information or check them out on Twitter for specials.

Intern Matt Fountain compiled Strokes&Plugs this week.  Send your business and nonprofit news to strokes@newtimesslo.com.

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