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We, Too!

So Say We
Robert Scheer

Up All Night: So Say We owners David Jackman and Chip throw themselves a first birthday bash until the wee hours along with the help of local faves Dresden, Two, Sara Wilbourne and Bruce Lee.

As downtown SC's only late-night arts-and-eats emporium turns a year old, all indications suggest that So Say We is here to stay

By Traci Hukill

IT WAS A SAD SITUATION. In spite of its jewel-like venues and a thriving Pacific Avenue scene, downtown Santa Cruz was going hungry after 10 o'clock at night. Got the late-night munchies? Feel like letting the evening wind down over delicious, reasonably priced gourmet fare? For a long time, the answer was to take a trip across town or else make a run for the border and perhaps suffer the consequences the next day.

Then Chip, who quips that he couldn't afford a last name, and David Jackman, who grew up in more fortunate circumstances, opened So Say We (418 Front St., 454-9547) in the front of the Santa Cruz Dance Gallery. And suddenly there was light in that long post-revelry darkness, and art did hang most quirkily upon the walls, and the strains of jazz did pour forth in richest profusion, and from the clean, well-lighted kitchen issued forth platters of the most delectable flavors mingled caressingly one with another. The nutty pestos of the earth and sundried tomatoes of the vine, smoked salmon from the seas and Gorgonzola from the cows--all did meet in sweet and profound unity. And we saw that it was good, and that it tasted even better.

That was one year ago. So Say We is doing swimmingly, thank you, as it nears its first birthday. As chef Jackman puts it with some satisfaction, "We're getting a sense that our whole project is clear to people."

Wait, project?

It just so happens that these two enterprising gentlemen have more in mind than moving scrumptious sandwiches--charmingly named after local musicians--and frothy tiramisu over the counter. And no, it's not beer and wine, although that may happen in a few months.

What they'd like is for So Say We to become a sort of meeting place where people come for inspiration, to hear local personalities read Bedtime Stories on Wednesday nights, for example, or to listen to good music a la Dizzy Burnett or Del Rey. As, in fact, people have been doing so since the salon opened."It's been a catalyst for people talking together on a creative level," Chip observes.

And although it's not the Lapin Agile just yet, the place definitely has a character all its own, what with its high ceilings, indirect lighting and cozy tables.

As it happens, the best artistic experience is yet to come when So Say We celebrates its birthday on Saturday night. Ethereal melody-makers Dresden will perform in the Dance Gallery space at 8:30pm and 10:30pm, Two will perform its unique improvisational music at 11pm and performance artists Sara Wilbourne and Bruce Lee will be on hand to add a few twists of their own to the carnival.

Bring your own bottle--there's no uncorking fee here--and sample the fabulous food that's had people buzzing for many moons.

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From the March 13-19, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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