WATSONVILLE—Rocky Patel said he was largely inspired to open his new restaurant, Mr. Z’s Crepes & Teas, by his two children.
“They are boba tea fanatics,” Patel said. “My 15-year-old son especially loves it. I was like, sure, let’s go all-out and do this.”
Boba, also known as bubble tea, originated in Taiwan and has seen a surge in popularity in the West in recent years. The tea drinks come in a variety of flavors and can include toppings such as chewy tapioca “pearls.”
In addition to boba, Mr. Z’s offers fresh, made-to-order sweet and savory crepes, acai bowls, waffles, coffee and more.
Patel said the restaurant sources its berries and lettuce from Santa Cruz County and the Salinas Valley, and meat used in its savory items is sourced from Freedom Meat Lockers.
“We don’t cut corners,” he said. “We’re really trying to stay local. We brew our tea three times a day—the fresher, the better.”
Mr. Z’s follows Beer Mule Bottle Shop and Pour House, which opened in March, as the second addition to The Hangar complex, located near Watsonville Municipal Airport. The two businesses will have more neighbors in the near future, according to Kevin Dueck of EKB Partners, which redeveloped the World War II-era hangar on Aviation Way.
Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine will open its third location, called Zameen’s at the Hangar, in early to mid-November. Ritual Ride Cycle Studio, an indoor high-tech, high-energy cycle bar, is shooting to open in December. An ice cream shop, coffee shop and Aloha Hola Tacos are also set to open soon — the latter two will be housed in the property’s container shops.
“We’ve had such a great experience in Watsonville,” Dueck said. “Just the community excitement has been overwhelming. They were so excited that this was coming. People were thanking us for bringing this to the community.”
For Patel, the development of the complex has been thrilling, from its pre-construction stages to what it is today.
“We’re so happy to see everything come to completion,” he said, “and we’re eager to see how things come together after everything opens.”
Mr. Z’s Crepes and Tea, 45 Aviation Way #2, is currently operating soft opening hours Tuesday-Sunday from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Follow on Facebook for information.