Just south of Los Gatos, near The Cats Restaurant, are two large concrete cats standing near the entrance to a fenced off driveway.
“Leo” and “Leona” were created by sculptor Robert Paine and have guarded the entrance to an area known as Poet’s Canyon since 1922. Writer Col. Charles Erskine Scott Wood and poet Sara Bard Field bought 34 acres in 1919 with the intention of buiding a “castle in he sky” – a place where they could write without being interrupted by visitors. They had a custom house built, then planted a vineyard and installed giant wine casks at the bottom road as a protest to prohibition.
Immediately south of the Poet’s Canyon entrance of the Cats Restaurant and Tavern. Originally a stop on the old stage line, the Cats Roadhouse served as a way station for the horse-drawn lumber wagons on their way to San Jose, as well as a rowdy social club for area residents. At the time the road was first paved, around 1920, the Cats was one of the area’s most notorious speakeasies and bordellos.
During the 40′s and 50′s the Cats building at different times housed a realty office, gun shop, and sporting goods store. The restaurant and tavern were re-established in 1967 and it is one of the few remaining roadhouses in the United States. Today the legacy will continue as a destination and the place to be for generations to come…Within the guidelines and rules that be, of course.