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Leaders in Education and Entertainment–and as Cyclists Themselves

The post below was previously published October 30, 2010. For the latest information on these and other HER Helmet Thursdays spots, please visit the Listings and FAQs page. That page includes a Quick Reference Guide, which is an easy way to access the detailed listings for all of the places mentioned below.

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Among the First 100 Charter Participants in HER Helmet Thursdays are Ozzy and Greg of Jose’s, Monterey and Seaside. Their Lounge Underground is also one of the first two spots in the emerging “E”/Educational and Entertainment category.

The second “E” participant, Vista Blue Spa, asked to join HER Helmet Thurdays when its sister participants–Cafe La Strada, The Duck Club [closed], and Schooner’s Bistro, all at Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa–joined in the “R”/Restaurants category.   A spa as educational/entertaining?  Sure, why not!  Vista Blue’s early leadership meant that the “E” category would reflect the marvelous diversity of Monterey County!

So, how is Vista Blue educational? Here’s my interpretation. You may learn new things about Monterey Bay wildlife or sea patterns by observing the bay from your bird’s-eye view at this rooftop spa; or, find yourself educated about better self-care while receiving relaxing, renewing spa treatments. And how is it entertaining? Enjoying a spa package together, perhaps accompanied by lunch on the spa deck, is a unique way to entertain a friend.

Check out these early leaders in the “E” category:

  1. Aquablue Skin & Body Spa, Salinas – 10% off spa services and treatments.
  2. Fox CaliforniaTheater, Salinas – 10% off admission for shows produced by the Fox.
  3. Jose’s Lounge Underground, Monterey 20% off admission for live entertainment.
  4. MY Museum, Monterey County Youth Museum, Monterey – 20% off admission.
  5. National Steinbeck Center, Salinas – 10% off admission.
  6. The Spa at Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley – 15% off spa services and treatments.
  7. Vista Blue Spa at the Monterey Plaza Hotel, Monterey20% off  spa services and treatments.

Refer to their detailed listings before biking on over.

Jose’s, Monterey and Seaside

So what about  Jose’s?  Check out all three of their venues.  Their first, in Seaside, was birthed from a longstanding Monterey tradition:  Jose’s restaurant, originally located in downtown Monterey.  Their continuing success resulted in the Cannery Row location being added, coupled with the Lounge Underground as well.

Ozzy’s warmth draws many repeat customers to Jose’s, like the two above.

Ozzy and Greg highly value making a personal connection with their customers and friends.  Ozzy”s warm hospitality and efficient, high-energy service at Jose’s Mexican Bar & Grill in Monterey is one of the reasons cyclists flock to this HER Helmet Thursdays spot seven days a week.  And his brother Greg’s quiet, yet warm manner and masterful handling of other aspects of the business make these two brothers a winning team.

Musical treats at Jose’s Lounge Underground

Jose’s Lounge Underground makes Jose’s on Cannery Row a big draw for Monterey County music lovers, and they don’t skimp here.  Their booking agent, Gianni Greco, usually doesn’t just book one band, he stacks them up on many a night.

Want to know a little more?  Here are the notes from the Lounge Underground’s detailed listing:

Jose’s Lounge Underground, Monterey 20% – Discount applies to admission for entertainment only (alcohol excluded). 831/655-4419; 638 Wave Street. Check their Myspace site for schedule. The 20s-30s crowd already recognizes Jose’s Lounge Underground as an entertainment hotspot, often featuring three or more bands a night.  Recent shows included popular Monterey-San Francisco Bay area singer/songwriter Stephen Covell, along with The Dreamer and The Sleeper.

Now they’re attracting what their new booking agent Gianni Greco refers to as the “experienced crowd” some nights too. (“Are you experienced?” If you immediately think of Hendrix, the answer is probably yes.) They’ve demonstrated being more musically inclusive by bringing in such bands as The Golden Hearts, from San Franciso. There’s more than one band by that name, and these Golden Hearts list their influences from Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.  Greco says the best way to keep on top of their lineup is via their Myspace: LoungeUnderground.

Bike-there tips to the Lounge Underground/Jose’s Mexican Bar and Grill, Monterey:

Rear of building is directly on the Cannery Row bike path, between Hoffman and Prescott Avenues. Coming from the Fisherman’s Wharf/downtown Monterey side of the bike path, pedal north (in direction of Aquarium) until you see the Bay Bikes shop on your right. Just after Bay Bikes, you’ll reach Hoffman Avenue. Cross Hoffman, and in the middle of the next block, on your left, you’ll see a reddish-colored wooden building with an upstairs deck directly on the bike path: that’s Jose’s! (There’s an entrance in back, or you may easily round the building and enter at the front–pictured below. Lounge Underground is just downstairs from Jose’s Mexican Bar & Grill–enter at the front, just behind where Ozzie is standing.)

Bike-there tips to Jose’s Mexican Food, Seaside: Located at Del Monte Avenue and Contra Costa, bordering Sand City, Jose’s-Seaside is located near the bike path; note that it’s barely after Del Monte and Broadway! From Robert’s Lake at Canyon Del Rey, if you’re comfortable being adventurous, you might cross Canyon Del Rey and cut through where the old railroad tracks used to be, then come out at Contra Costa. (Ask a local in the vicinity, as this isn’t clear on TAMC map.) Or, at Robert’s Lake, share Del Monte Avenue with cars; wear high-visibility clothing and exercise extra caution. (While you’re cycling this route, you’ll pass Sports Center Bicycles; check their fun “why bike” sign in the window!)

Cycling “R” Category Leaders:  Terry and Mike Berenji

One of the great thing about getting around by bicycle is that you usually slow down and connect with people more.  Many HER Helmet Thursdays  ecology-economy leaders love to get out there and bike themselves, including the participants pictured below.

Terri and Mike Berenji love spending their leisure time on Monterey County’s bikeways.   I actually first met them on the bike path, the day I took their photo below.  When I told them where I wanted to post it, and introduced them to the HER Helmet Thursdays project, they exclaimed, “We have restaurants ourselves, and we’d definitely like to participate!”

Mountain Mike’s, Marina and West Alisal, Salinas

Terri and Mike are now encouraging others to bicycle in Monterey County, by offering discounts at their Marina and West Alisal, Salinas pizzerias:

Terri and Mike Berenji have two Mountain Mike’s locations

And down on Commercial Wharf II…

Did you know the Commercial Wharf II unanimously supports the HER Helmet Thursdays project? If you are cycling in Monterey County, regardless of what the outdoor temperatures may be, gear up for a red hot summer!

This post was published on 30 October 2010. One or more changes last made to this post on 6 June 2013.

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