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Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on September 17th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 28

Spotlight on: Creative Juices

Randy Kirkendoll, owner

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM


ON TAP
Randy Kirkendoll’s tap beers and unique wines are some of the first things you see as you walk through the front door of his new Guadalupe restaurant, Creative Juices Lounge.
PHOTO BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

The brand new Creative Juices Lounge in Guadalupe is not your typical juice bar—it’s closer to an actual bar and comes complete with munchies, beer, and wine. But it does have a “killer smoothie” on the menu, according to the restaurant flier.

Owner Randy Kirkendoll said some of the people who stop by his downtown restaurant think they’re walking into a Jamba Juice-type place.

“The problem I’m battling right now is people think it’s a juice bar, and it’s not,” Kirkendoll said. “We do have juices from grapes, barley, and coffee beans.”

The lounge’s name came about during an early summer wine tasting at Kelsey Winery in See Canyon. Kirkendoll, his wife, and two friends were tasting wines to potentially carry in the restaurant and trying to decide on a name for their new venture. A passerby mentioned to the crew of four that they were getting their creative juices flowing, and the phrase sort of stuck.

That name suits something owned by the Kirkendoll family. Kirkendoll’s wife Karen and his daughter retrofitted and remodeled the interior of the building, which at one point was an office with cubicles. Karen tore up layers of carpet and flooring before laying down the laminate wood they have now. The family also refinished and lacquered an old bar top and perched it on wine barrels to line out the bar. Photographs of Guadalupe’s agricultural fields and the dunes hang on the walls within frames Karen made from old wood pallets.

Instead of using a deep fryer, the restaurant barbecues or roasts the majority of its fare, filling the menu with what Kirkendoll describes as “pub grub.” On a recent Saturday, Creative Juices served a Philly cheese steak quesadilla special accompanied by melon salsa, which Kirkendoll and his wife cooked, dished up, and carted out to tables.

Even though the place has been open for less than a month, Kirkendoll said every seat in the house was occupied on that recent Saturday night when the Cadillac Angels filled the house with its rock-a-billy brand of live tunes.

Since the beloved Far Western Tavern left a big hole in Guadalupe’s entertainment and economy, nothing has filled the gap. Kirkendoll is banking on Creative Juices doing just that.

“Just walking around town checking things out, I thought, ‘something’s missing,’” he said. “Guadalupe has so much potential. What I want to see is no empty storefronts.”

After living in the Mojave Desert town of Ridgecrest for the last 37 years, Kirkendoll purchased a home in Guadalupe 15 months ago. He calls the town “the greatest thing no one’s ever heard of,” and he absolutely loves it. The quiet, agricultural berg just minutes from the shoreline reminds Kirkendoll of his Oklahoma roots.

“Guadalupe has a real Midwest charm,” he said.

Karen still works as a fifth-grade teacher in Ridgecrest and makes the five- to six-hour drive north to the Central Coast after work on Fridays to help her husband out. The rest of his family is still in the Mojave as well.

“That’s the only problem I have,” Kirkendoll said. “I miss my family, my wife, kids, and grandkids.”

He said when his wife comes up, she walks into the restaurant with a big smile on her face, takes over the kitchen, and gets things running more efficiently than he ever could.

Kirkendoll retired from the Department of Defense, and off the naval base in Ridgecrest, five years ago. Karen and their daughter both graduated from Cal Poly in SLO and the family has vacationed on the Central Coast since “forever,” according to Kirkendoll. They started looking for homes after he retired, and initially found a condo in Nipomo, but he was looking for something a bit more open, not as close to his neighbors.

He started looking online and came across a home for sale in Guadalupe, but had never heard of the place. He headed south from the Mesa, down U.S. Highway 1. First he drove through the eucalyptus grove, and then he hit the broccoli fields, and soon crossed the bridge into Guadalupe.

“When I came around the corner and saw all these brick buildings, I thought ‘my God … home,’” he said.

Creative Juices Lounge is located at 874 Guadalupe St. Visit creativejuiceslounge.com for more information, including hours. m

 

Biz Spotlight was written by Staff Writer Camillia Lanham. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.