Old Monterey District Blog

Everyone is invited to Youth Arts Collective's first-ever virtual Summer Art Show! Hop on over to the show here now through August 31, 2020 to see a fabulous online exhibit featuring new YACster art in a wide range of media, styles, and personalities. There's bound to be something for everyone! Pieces are available for sale.

YAC is a nonprofit, after school art studio and mentorship program for high school and college artists - brilliant and struggling, confident and fringe, multi-ethnic, multi-tempered, and over 30% financially challenged. They learn art, job, and life skills, and gain a healthy dose of self-esteem and gratitude along the way. YACsters learn to believe in themselves, take creative risks, and give back.

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The Library needs your support now more than ever before. As a result of the economic fallout from Covid-19, their funding has been drastically reduced. If you have the ability, you can assist by making a donation to the non-profit Monterey Public Library Friends & Foundation. The Friends & Foundation helps fund new materials, programs, and services that will keep the library a vibrant place to learn and grow.

Historically, the Monterey Public Library has been supported by $3 million each year from the City of Monterey's General Fund. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic's impact on hotel tax, sales tax, and other revenue, the City is projecting a deficit of $31 million over the next two years.

Despite these economic challenges, the City will continue to support the Library's core mission with services such as curbside pickup. However, the City cannot currently afford to fund the Library at the same level that it has provided in the past. Without the help of customers and private partners, library hours, new materials, and programs will remain drastically reduced.

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Sovino's Summer Wine Sale is here! Sovino Wine Bar and Merchant is now closed due to California Public Health Department's most recent restrictions on bars, but we are not idle! We have crazy deals for you at our online store, featuring 25% or more off all bottles of wine. You can choose free local delivery, pick-up by appointment, or shipping.

Not sure what to buy? Don’t hesitate to ask Sovino owner and sommelier Claire Sutton at 831-641-9463. Sovino Wine Bar and Merchant is located at 241 Alvarado Street in Downtown Old Monterey.

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Cult Taco Weekly Dinner

Posted on July 15th, 2020 by Cult Taco

Save yourself the time, hassle, and mess of making dinner on Friday night by ordering the Cult Cares Weekly Dinner! This take-out meal offers a full dinner for 2 adults for only $52. The menu changes each week, so you get the opportunity to try all the Cult Taco favorites and even new menu items.

Orders are accepted online every week, from Tuesday until Thursday at 12pm, and pick-up is on Friday afternoon. (Availability is limited, so we recommend ordering on Tuesday.) Just visit our online menu and scroll down the page to "Weekly Dinner Series" to order.

The first Cult Cares Weekly dinner includes our famous guacamole, the classic Cult Taco salad, the decadent Oaxacan Chocolate Brownie, and more! Cult Taco is located at 481 Alvarado Street in Downtown Old Monterey.

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Outdoor Dining in Old Monterey

Posted on July 15th, 2020 by omba

Want to support small, locally-owned food establishments? All restaurants in Downtown Old Monterey are now offering take-out and/or no-contact curbside pick-up, and many are working with delivery services to bring their delicious cuisine straight to you. But what's remarkable, when you visit Downtown Old Monterey, is the speed with which outdoor dining has developed at many restaurants in the district.

Al fresco dining experiences have just opened and existing patio dining has been greatly expanded at 29 different restaurants and cafes and 2 wine tasting rooms in Downtown Old Monterey. To view the full list, please visit the Old Monterey Dining Guide, and click the "Dine-in" button.

The Old Monterey Business Association would like to thank the City of Monterey for making this possible and quickly processing business applications for expanded sidewalk dining.

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Compare your knowledge of Indiana Jones with other fans and enjoyed a physically distanced social night! Sovino Wine Bar and Merchant is holding a Virtual Trivia Night via Zoom on Wednesday, July 29, 7pm-9pm. We'll use ClassMarker.com as an answer sheet.

To play, visit our online store, purchase Indiana Jones Trivia for $10, and provide your email address. We'll send you all the necessary links. (And you can buy some lovely wine while you're there! We offer free local delivery.)

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Jao Refresher Sanitizer is now back in stock at the Shelley Bennett Skincare online store. Formulated with 65% ethyl alcohol, you can kill germs while feeling refreshed with a blend of essential oils. Chamomile, calendula and aloe vera will keep your over-washed hands feeling hydrated.

The 4oz. spray is $14, and the 8 oz. pump is $18. Limit two of each size per order. You can purchase Jao Refreshers at our online store or by calling 831-324-4611.

Shelley Bennett Skincare, locally owned and operated, is located at 588 Houston Street in Monterey.

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As Golden State Theatre looks to the future, we want to hear from you! At your convenience, please take a few moments to fill out our short survey regarding Covid-19 policies, safety precautions, and patron feedback. Your input matters to us!

As time progresses and COVID-19 restrictions and mandates are lifted in the months to come, we at the Golden State Theatre are committed to offering a safe and comfortable venue for the enjoyment of live performances by both our community based clients and the nationally touring artists that grace our stage. But none of that is possible without the support of you, our beloved theatre patrons!

Thank you again for your time and support. We look forward to sharing with you the experience of live entertainment in the future and look forward to hearing your opinions through our survey today.

The Golden State Theatre is located at 417 Alvarado Street in Downtown Old Monterey.

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Summer is here and at Cafe Lumiere we are trying to make the best out of things during season 5 of “Stay Inside and Wear Your Mask." Our seasonal drink is a sparkling lemonade cold brew. Now doesn't that look good? Call ahead to place your order, 831-920-2451, or order online for a no-contact pick up.

Cafe Lumiere, home of delicious breakfast and lunch dishes, baked goods, and hot and cold drinks, is located at 365 Calle Principal in Downtown Old Monterey.

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On July 13, 2020, the State of California ordered the following businesses to close indoor operations in Monterey County:

Hair Salons and Barbershops
Personal Care Services (nail and skin care, waxing, lashes, tattoo parlors)
Fitness Centers
Offices for Non-Critical Sectors
Places of Worship

For more information, read:
California State Health Officer's Order of July 13
CA Dept. of Public Health's Guidance on Order of July 13...Read More

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Osio Theater is offering new independent films to rent and screen at home! View the list of currently available and upcoming films here. A portion of the proceeds from your rental benefits Osio. For general technical support on how to view your rental on your smart TV or device, please visit Osio's Streaming Support Page.


This documentary examines the life and career of John Lewis, legendary civil rights activist and Democratic Representative from Georgia, spanning 60 years of social activism and legislative action. 10% of proceeds will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. Watch the trailer.

Femi is a British teenage boy of Nigerian descent who, after a happy childhood in rural Lincolnshire with his white foster mother, moves to inner London to live with his Nigerian mum. Struggling with the unfamiliar culture and values of his new environment, Femi has to figure out which path to adulthood he wants to take, and what it means to be a young black man in London. Watch the trailer.

Amateur filmmakers from around the world filmed their beloved cats during Covid-19 stay-at-home orders. This compilation reel brings together the cutest, funniest, bravest and most loving of these videos, exclusively filmed during the pandemic. 50% of your rental fee directly supports Osio Theater. Watch the trailer.

This inventive, female-driven sex comedy follows college freshman Izzy and her two best friends, Anuka and Fiona, as they embark on a journey to get Izzy to a "crush party" so she can lose her virginity before the end of the semester. The acclaimed feature film debut of writer/director Emily Cohn, CRSHD tells a hilarious, unique story about navigating the messy ups and downs of life and love in the age of social media. Watch the trailer.

In this playful new film we meet Maria, a woman dissatisfied with her marriage who, after a heated argument with her husband of 20 years, spends the night in a hotel room across the street from their home. There, she has a bird's eye view of her apartment, her husband, and her marriage. In this comic romp, she confronts her past lovers and relationships on one magical night, fantasizing about the lives she could've lived and wondering if she's made...Read More

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Well, ladies and gentlemen, the coronavirus surely is messing with all of us in Monterey County. The news from the State Health Department has left many frustrated and dispirited.

But there is room for hope.

Outdoor dining is plentiful in Old Monterey, and will become more so as restaurants receive permission from the City of Monterey to place tables outdoors (with ADA compliance). All restaurants offer take-out, and many offer delivery and/or curbside pick-up, so you don't have to cook. (We're updating our Dining Guide...again.)

Retail shops are still open for business in Old Monterey, and while all offer in-store shopping, many also offer online shopping and/or curbside pickup and shipping. (They're all listed at our SIP Mall.)

You can look good and feel good, too, because hair salons, nail salons, estheticians, and massage therapists are back at work, all with lots of new protocols designed to help keep you (and them) safe. Fitness studios have carefully reopened, so you can practice yoga or pilates in person or online and work out all that stress.

There are so many other kinds of businesses in Old Monterey - banks and financial services, healthcare, law offices, real estate, computer repair - and they're still busy helping people behind the scenes.

As much as we'd like it to be, this fight with the coronavirus is not over. We have to support our healthcare workers across the county by wearing masks in public and following best practices as outlined by the CDC and our County Health Department. That's the best way to thank our healthcare workers for their relentless work and sacrifices.

If you're financially able to do so, please continue to support small businesses in Old Monterey. The owners and employees are local residents working hard to do what they love and stay afloat in difficult times. Shop, dine, make an appointment - let's keep Downtown Old Monterey the vibrant district we love and help these businesses live to fight another day.

For those who love Cha-ya Japanese Tea and Things: did you know you can sign up for Cha-ya's newsletter and receive 10% off your first purchase at Cha-Ya? (Tea included!)

Here's your chance to stay up-to-date with all the latest offers from Cha-ya and save a little on your first purchase of their wonderful tea, gifts, cards, jewelry, and home accessories. Sign up today.

Cha-ya is located at 118 Webster Street in Downtown Old Monterey. It is now open for in-store shopping and no-contact curbside pick-up.

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Socially Distant, Ethically Allied is more than a series of Vinyasa flow yoga classes. It's a call for you to do more. Join yoga instructor Ean Everett every Friday at 5:30pm at Om Studios. Please register in advance online.

With each class, we'll come together to support an organization that is putting in the work to support communities fighting for equality. Ean will be collecting donations for that week's organization during the class (cash/Venmo). For more details, including information on the organizations we'll be supporting, please view our posts on Facebook. or Instagram.

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Throughout July, Haute Beauty Guide is offering a special: buy three cloth face masks and receive one free travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer. Visit our online store to view and purchase our face masks - new colors and styles are added every day.

Haute Beauty Guide is locally owned and operated by Doran, an esthetician with a small retail store and spa located at 71 Pearl Street in Downtown Old Monterey . No code is necessary for this special offer - the hand sanitizer will be automatically added to your shipment at checkout.

Sovino Wine Bar and Merchant is hosting an online painting class with local artist Bunny Paivine on Saturday, July 11, at 6pm. Learn how to paint this picture from the comfort of your own home! Fee is $30 per person and includes paint, supplies, and delivery of the paint and supplies. (You can order wine or beer from us, too!)

Purchase your tickets here. Class details will be sent to you following your purchase. Please purchase your tickets by Thursday night, July 9, to ensure delivery of supplies.

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The California State Health Officer orders that as of Wednesday, July 8, 2020, for at least three weeks:

The following sectors are ordered to close both indoor and outdoor operations and service:
Bars, breweries, pubs, and brewpubs, including bars located at permitted indoor and outdoor food facilities.

The following sectors are allowed to continue to operate with restrictions:

1) Dine-in restaurants must close indoor seating to customers. During this closure all dine-in restaurants may continue to utilize outdoor seating and must comply with the guidance for dine-in restaurants. Restaurants should continue to encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible.

2) Wineries and tasting rooms must close indoor services to customers. During this closure all wineries and tasting rooms must comply with the guidance for restaurants, wineries, and bars.

3) Family entertainment centers and movie theaters must close indoor services and attractions to customers. Family entertainment centers may continue to provide outdoor services to customers and must comply with the guidance for movie theaters and family entertainment centers. Drive-in movie theaters may continue to operate and should follow additional applicable guidance for retailers of Drive-In Movie Theaters.

4) Indoor attractions at zoos and museums must close to visitors. Zoos and museums may continue to operate outdoor attractions and must follow the guidance for zoos, museums.

5) Cardrooms must close indoor services to customers and must follow the guidance for cardrooms.

Read the complete California State order here.

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Revival Ice Cream's newest limited edition flavor - Dark Chocolate S'mores - is set to hit our shop on July 9, but you can pre-order your taste of this exciting flavor now!

This delightful flavor contains gooey marshmallow fluff (made in-house), rich dark organic chocolate from Theo's, and a sprinkle of speculoos (a Belgian spiced shortbread cookie). You can practically smell the campfire! ⁠

Warning: our limited seasonal flavors go fast and are released only once a year, so place your order online now and stock up!

Revival Ice Cream is now offering take-out orders and local delivery on Thursdays to Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Carmel. We're located at 463 Alvarado Street in Downtown Old Monterey.

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Venture Gallery presents a show by local artist Elizabeth Ingebretsen entitled "Blooming in Place." We welcome you to come and view these moments of joy in an otherwise disturbing time. Venture Gallery is now open for in-store shopping Thursdays - Sundays, 10am-6pm.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, artist Elizabeth Ingebretsen has made it a priority to have vases of fresh flowers in her home. They are not elaborate arrangements from a florist, but whatever she could pick up as she quickly ducked in and out of the market. As temperatures rose with the onset of summer, her garden bloomed outdoors.

While global media stream reports on the untold suffering of many who do not have the luxury of sheltering-in-place, Elizabeth is thankful she can take refuge in creating. Her work documents this solitary time, as we each face some form of sacrifice and hardship during the pandemic.

Blooming in Place will be on exhibit through August 2020. Venture Gallery is located at 260 Alvarado Street in Downtown Old Monterey. Visit our website to shop online for work by our local artists.