located upstairs at 112 Capitola Av in Capitola Village, Balzac Bistro was a legendary restaurant. It was French cuisine mostly. My favorite dish was the pasta with walnuts and cream sauce. Great wine list, and a lively, cozy ambience./p>

Balzac Bistro was conceived as a concept to bring a 'little piece of Europe' to the coast of Northern California. Created by Stephen Hearn, who has a degree in Restaurant and Hotel management from the UK, the bistro was opened in 1987 in Capitola Village, California. The food menu was designed between Chef Jim Denavan and Stephen Hearn, to provide simple bistro dishes, coupled with local ingredients. In addition, the wine list was formed to create award winning selections that won the Wine Spectator Award for 'Best Wine Lists in America' each year after the restaurant opened. Quickly becoming a local favorite with both locals and travellers from all over California, the restaurant flourished, even after the Loma Prieta earthquake of late 1989 caused huge damage to the physical location but also the customers ability to maintain their lifestyles. The restaurant continued to go from strength to strength and added live Blues and Jazz to most evenings in the wine bar and stayed open until 12 midnight or 2pm on weekends to serve later diners. With many changes happening with policing in the village and new demands of regulatory agencies, such as osha, the medium sized restaurant business was under pressure and  constant work was needed to keep the location viable. Even though the customers stayed loyal to the concept and offering, the restrictions were beginning to alter the dynamics for the ownership and in 1998 there was a dispute between the building owner and business owner as to the continued increase of monthly charges and the amount of maintenance work that needed to be performed, ever since the earthquake time. This dispute ended with the the owner of Balzac deciding to release the building back to the property owner, who found that the building was not possible to re-purpose as a new restaurant and demolished the building some time in the early 2000's after it stayed empty for many years. The business owner, Stephen Hearn, went back into the computer business and today owns his own digital image and live sports photography company in California and the UK. The approximate 10 years of the restaurant were some of the most rewarding and crazy 10 years of my life, but I am eternally grateful to the thousands of great customers, the wonderful staff and the many memories that the Balzac gave me and everyone involved. I miss it a lot and I know so do a lot of the public as I meet with them every time I am in Capitola, even though I know live 450 miles away :-(