June 30, 2020 – Santa Cruz’s beloved Penny Ice Creamery quietly opened its third location yesterday, this one in the new Aptos Village development. The opening completes the retail portion of the complex—which also includes Ser Wine Tasting, Cat & Cloud Coffee, Sockshop and Shoe Company, Sante Arcangeli Wine Tasting, Mentone restaurant and New Leaf Community Market. A single empty space remains next door to the ice cream shop destined for another restaurant or brew pub, but no tenant has been announced for that location yet.
Penny Ice Creamery co-owner Zachary Davis said they first signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the new location back in 2013, when the development was still in the planning stages. But good things come to those with patience and yesterday happy customers lined up for their cones and cups at a temporary to-go window right on the Aptos Village Green.
Davis, who owns the business with Santa Cruz chef Kendra Baker, says he is really happy to be in the company of the other business owners in the complex and said that pre-covid they had been planning joint events, like live music and community activities on the green, things that will take place eventually.
The Aptos location is much more spacious than Penny’s other shops on Cedar St. in downtown Santa Cruz and at Pleasure Point. Davis says once it is safe, they plan to install indoor seating and have some surprise menu items in the works.
But for now it’s a welcoming walk up window offering handcrafted ice cream and sorbets made in the downtown shop using locally-sourced ingredients, including flavors like Ball Park Peanut Brittle, Strawberry Pink Peppercorn, Raspberry Rose and Cardamom Pluot.
The shop will be open daily from noon to 9pm.
Meantime nearby Mentone restaurant, owned by renowned chef David Kinch, has ended its take out service to put all its energy into a parking lot dining experience next to the restaurant they call “Little Beach.” The umbrella-decked outdoor dining room features three pizza options, wine, beer and cocktails. Each week the chef will also be preparing a few other appetizers and desserts.
Specials last week included roasted cauliflower bagna cauda, fried capers and lemon, grilled calamari over crispy fingerling potatoes and housemade Fior di Latte gelato. Mentone’s Little Beach is open Wednesday to Friday from 3pm to 7pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6pm.