The current owners of The Cats Restaurant purchased the building back in 2008, 2 years after the previous owners served their last meal and closed the doors. We were expecting to reopen in a few short months, but these visions quickly faded after we were presented with a multitude of obstacles from the Planning, Building and Health Departments. After being told “you could never reopen”, we were left no choice except to fight for the grandfather rights of a previous part of history. After a lengthy and grueling battle we were granted the right to reopen the restaurant. We re-piped, re-wired, and retrofited this 1800’s building and went above and beyond what was required in an effort to have a building that would stand for another 100 years. During the battle to reopen we maintained a positive attitude and are now proudly open!
During the remodel of the restaurant, we traveled across the west coast in an effort to find artifacts and décor of old saloons. After a visit to Virginia City, NV we wanted to recreate the old wood Boardwalks that go from saloon to saloon. I mentioned that desire to a friend Dave Guardino whose family has had a well drilling company for 70+ years. He recommended we use wood from old water tanks from the 1800’s, from the Santa Cruz Mountians. We met all the requirements and built the handicap ramp and recreated the old boardwalk. Fastened to the handicap railing are original 1800’s Wells Fargo stage couch wheels. In front of our live entertainment stage is a solid mohagandy curved railing from the oldest courthouse in San Jose, CA built in 1878. The redwood siding was hand selected and milled onsite in the Santa Cruz Mountains. There are many cool old western decorations throughout the building. The original mural in the lower dining room was repaired and salvaged. We found some old log cabin siding for our Banquet room uptairs and a hand scraped teak floor.
Our last obstacle was to have the best barbeque anyone could ever have. We were invited to attend a Pit Master class taught by the world famous and world champion barbeque Pit Master, Paul Kirk. Paul Kirk is known as the Baron of BBQ worldwide and has won over 535 awards including 7 WORLD championships for his abilities. We became certified Pit Masters and had the opportunity to enjoy Mr. Kirk on a personal level and became friends. At the end of our trip to the Pit Master class in Kansas City, Mr. Kirk offered to travel to The Cats restaurant in our hometown Los Gatos to personally train and certify our staff in his amazing BBQ! The Cats restaurant has now hosted several Pit Master classes with attendees from all over California. We feature Paul Kirks RUB which has won the award for “best RUB on the planet” in 20011 on all of our BBQ.
So after 3 grueling years, we won the long and arduous battle we fought in order to restore and re-open of The Cats by celebrating our Grand Opening on December 31st, 2011. Our visions to bring this much beloved and legendary destination back to the community were finally realized! Enjoy the atmosphere, entertainment and award winning BBQ. Thanks for coming, please come back y’all!”