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It's Your Life : FOOD STUFF : Restaurant Owners Cook Up Merger of 3 Establishments

June 29, 1995|LEO SMITH

Sandy Smith, owner of the Rosarito Beach Cafe, wanted a little change of pace. Ed Warren, owner of Smokey's Saloon and the Busy Bee Cafe, wanted to cut his workload in half.

They were a perfect match.

The two are dotting the i's and crossing the t's on a merger that will give each of them equal ownership of all three Ventura restaurants. Smith will handle executive chef duties and creative control and oversee all three kitchens. Warren will concentrate on the finances.

So what does this mean to hungry Ventura County residents?

Most significantly, as of Friday, Smokey's will become Joe Daddy's Cajun Creole restaurant featuring live blues and zydeco music. It's a major transformation for the establishment, but regulars need not worry. The famous barbecue fare will remain intact.

"There will still be barbecue steaks and ribs, but we will also be doing southern Cajun," Smith said. "We'll have gumbo, hush puppies, red beans and rice, jambalaya, sweet potato pie, classic Cajun dishes on the barbecue. And just like Rosarito, I'll be working on my specialty, different sauces."

First up on the entertainment schedule are Blue Stew at 9 p.m. Friday and Randy Rich and the Ravens at 9 p.m. Saturday.

As for the 32-year-old Busy Bee, Smith said it will remain untouched for the time being, but look for expansion soon (he and Warren are interested in the vacant building next door), more counter seating and fresh-baked muffins and desserts.

"But it will still be an ice cream and burger place," Smith said.

Changes are also coming to the Rosarito Beach Cafe. The bar will be expanded, the patio will be covered and small early-hour and late-hour menus may be added.

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