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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bahama Billy's New Bag

It's official. We can put the rumors to bed for at least a month or two.

Anthony Momo is out at longtime locals favorite Bahama Billy's in the Barnyard (626-0430)—and was even able to get out earlier than originally anticipating, absconding for other projects just this Monday.

In is Peninsula native Tony Loeffler, after a career working in restaurants (Ford’s Mill Steakhouse in Los Gatos being the most recent), partnering with his uncle Joe L. of Kula Ranch fame (where that "island steakhouse" is about to celebrate two years) and Sylvia Sharp, longtime local hospitality figure at Baja Cantina and Club JalapeƱo.

The acquisiton represents the realization of a lifelong dream for Tony. But it carries even more weight than that for him and his family. His mother was going to help with the purchase because she knew how much it meant to him, only to fall victim to a massive—and fatal—heart attack. His father Tom went forward with the dream despite the nightmare loss of Roberta.

"The opening takes on a whole new meaning, much more significance," Tony says. "I know she’d be pleased and proud with the finished product."

Joe Loeffler says they'll keep "everything people love," including the cheesy corn bread, chopped mango salad, macadamia crusted fish, and the vast majority of the staff. The popular happy hour—which I looked at in a recent post—will also stay.

New Hawaiian carpet, interior design and bamboo walls with imbedded lighting are on the way, however, along with another firepit and fresh paint. It's scheduled to be complete in two weeks for a grand opening tentatively booked for the last weekend in July. The restaurant won't close though, thanks to early morning painting sessions and room-by-room upgrades.

For the record, Tony thinks his mom would’ve ordered a gimlet. And a fresh seafood item—maybe the coming-soon signature crab-crusted halibut.