Once again, La Manzanilla has survived another sample of Mother Nature’s wrath.
Almost three years to the day that Hurricane Patricia devastated our town, Willa’s tail passed through, dousing the area with almost 20 inches of rain from Monday to Wednesday. Even the newly deeper excavated river could not handle the rush of water down the mountain. Streets were soon flooded, and the bridge roadway by the crocodile lagoon is once again in the ocean. After two years of drought, the rainfall, although messy, was a blessing. Our water table had been dangerously low and shortages were felt last year. Thankfully there was very little damage to homes and businesses from this storm.
Perhaps the town was shown mercy this time around because of its dual statues of The Holy Mother. The first statue, sculpted by local master Pino, was sunk into the bay last August to protect the lives of the men who fish those waters. This year, the members of the parish raised the money to commission a second, identical statue from Pino to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the town’s church. This sculpture, blessed by the Bishop, stands in the church’s courtyard, where she will remain for all to admire.
Location, location, location
Much has changed in La Manzanilla over the summer. Several businesses have changed locations, new ones have opened and favourites are renovating. I think I may need a map to find my way around when I first get back.
Let me tell you about them so that when you come to visit you will feel right at home. The Happy Cow Butcher Shop has moved to a downtown location, Calle Tenacatita 55. This larger site will mean the addition of more grocery items and fresh produce along with their delicious cuts of meat, poultry, sausage and cheeses.
Magnolia’s Kitchen & Drinks opened at their new location, Playa Blanca 43, last Monday. Chef Alex explained that she will have a limited menu for a week or so to test the new kitchen and menu ideas. She plans to be in full operation, Monday to Thursday, with an exciting new menu and bar specialties beginning November 26. Reservations are always appreciated.
A new dining venue has opened its doors also on Playa Blanca 18. Proprietor Luara Lynch is no newcomer to La Manzanilla. She and her family members have been wintering here for ten years. Lynch says that La Manz has always been a magical place for her and she made the transition to full time resident last August. She spent the summer doing a major remodel, and presto, The Lab, Café y Bebidas will be serving year-round.
The Lab has a complete espresso menu and serves pour over coffee. It has a fully stocked bar with a strong focus on agave distillates with flights and samples available. Hours are Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Baked goods served in the morning and light appetizers grace the evening menu. Special on Fridays, The Buddah Dog
Café will be serving their vegetarian and vegan lunches. Lynch also mentioned that she is working hard to be a responsible member of the community by supporting Hermosa La Manzanilla. All cups used at The Lab are biodegradable and all coffee along with food waste is composted.
Next, the former Bambu Bar has new management, a new name and a new partnership. The Crocodile Bar, as it is now known and Café du Calcetin are in a joint venture to provide customers with great coffee, new menu items and buffet meals morning, noon and night.
Mi Casita has outgrown their site and will soon be serving their breakfasts and lunches just a few steps further up Playa Blanca at the more spacious corner patio of the former Café Arroz y Leche.
Last, but definitely not least, Pedro’s by the Sea is now inland, at the entrance to La Manzanilla, just off Highway 200, still serving the best fish tacos and his famous margaritas.
Thrift Store Opening
Otra Vez is the new resale shop in La Manzanilla that will be opening on November 15. It is located right next door to The Helping Hands Bookstore on Playa Blanca. This is a nonprofit shop that will be manned by volunteers, and counting on donations of clothing, furniture, and estate items, etc. Hours will be Monday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All proceeds from sales will be channeled back into the community. Any donations before November 15 may be dropped off at the bookstore.
Galeria de Arte
The Art Gallery has undergone some expansion this summer to enrich your visits. Opening on November 1, proprietor Aby Ramos invites you to view the latest additions of artwork, handcrafted jewelry and pottery. Stay awhile and relax in the recently completed Café in the courtyard. La Galeria de Arte is located at C.Perlua 83. Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
December 5: Author Chat with Roberta Rich-sponsored by Helping Hands Bookstore.
December 7: Meet the Artist Reception featuring the works of Louise Leneveu,-Galeria de Arte.
December 14-12: Annual Holiday Fundraiser sponsored by Magnolia’s Kitchen & Drink.
January 21: Bocci Ball Dinner Dance, sponsored by Figaro’s Restaurant.
More information on these and other events will be published in the next few editions of La Manzanilla Memo as it becomes available. Stay tuned, I promise you won’t be bored when you come to visit!