Fast Times in Cayucos-By-The-Sea: SAVOIR FAIRE COMES TO HOPPE’S BISTRO

by Dell Franklin

“Cayucos Brad” Heizenrader, or the unofficial mayor and four decades resident of Cayucos, former Rogue of the Month in the former monthly Rogue Voice, observed over the years driving a variety of dilapidated pick-ups with orange cone in the bed used primarily to stake out territory when opportunity arises, and also stakes out territory in Schooner’s Wharf come Friday Happy Hours (a veritable Who’s Who in Cayucos of those who count), will stake out fresh territory as Maitre ‘D under the new management in Hoppe’s Bistro, a gourmand’s destination for decades.

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Now appearing at Hoppe’s Bistro: Cayucos Brad Heizenrader. Photo courtesy of Brad Heizenrader

Cayucos Brad, whose occupations over the years have been bartender at the Tavern and Schooner’s, caterer with Bill Shea’s Sea Shanty, in-demand maestro of ceremonies for various club functions and drawings at the vet’s hall on the pier, promoter of entertainment in said hall, and general handyman whose motto is “I make bad things disappear,” will now try and make bad things disappear at Hoppe’s while creating good things to come with his inner SAVOIR FAIRE so evident to locals.

“I’m ready for this new gig,” says Mr. Cayucos, exuding calm on a raucus Friday evening in Schooner’s preceding the Sea Glass Festival. “I’m into wines and cuisine, big time. I’m ready for a change. I’m excited!”

A dandy, Mr. Cayucos appropriates most of his wardrobe from a few select thrift shops, but will not lower himself below Calvin Klein, Armani, Ralph Lauren Polo, Generra, Van Heusen, etc..”I’m gonna mix it up, nothing too extravagant, don’t wanna detract from the venue,” says Mr. Cayucos, a natural blond who once wore his hair shoulder-length but is now more debonair and dons a simple bracelet and chain and prefers gold or silver cuff links with pink or canary yellow Van Heusen or Armani shirts, designer jeans and red Converse All Star high-tops.

“No tuxedos or formal wear?”

“Oh no. Not yet, anyway. I’ll keep it simple, but elegant.”

“Do you intend to glide about in sartorial splendor, there when needed, but unobtrusive, spreading a relaxing good cheer with the potential of great times for all?”

Mr. Cayucos spreads his arms expansively, a trademark gesture. “Hoppe’s has been a great restaurant, with a great tradition for special occasions and signature cuisine. But it is subdued.” He gestures emphatically with expanded hands. “We want it more festive, like, well, a French bistro in Paris.”

So, citizens of Cayucos by the sea, and those throughout the county who have frequented Hoppe’s over the years, be prepared to be greeted by the charmingly engaging and when needed flamboyantly entertaining Mr. Cayucos, branding his unique charisma on a county institution. §

Dell Franklin is founding publisher and a regular contributor to The Rogue Voice. He writes from his home in Cayucos, where he lives with his rescue dog Wilbur.

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