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August 03, 1995|LEO SMITH

Tom Marshall, owner of Nora's Bistro in Ojai, is planning to expand his restaurant into the vacant space next door to his 423 E. Ojai Ave. establishment.

Before doing so, however, he needs approval from the city's redevelopment and planning commissions, and the City Council. Marshall has already leased the space next door and hopes to be in there by October or November.

Marshall, who is also the general manager of Wheeler Hot Springs, said the additional space will allow him to add more tables and put in a dance floor.

"We've noticed a growing interest in swing dancing, couple dancing," he said. "Up here we see lessons being given almost every week. We'd also like to provide a place for the people of Ojai to hear good music." Marshall said he plans to provide live entertainment.

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On Saturday and Sunday, Ventura's Leeward Winery will host its fourth annual open house, "A Taste of Ventura." The tastes will be provided, in part, by the Chart House (Caesar salad), Pictsweet Mushroom Farms, Mission Produce (guacamole), Boccali's Restaurant (vine-ripened tomatoes), Underwood Farms (gourmet salad), the Fillmore/Piru Citrus Assn. and the Saticoy Lemon Assn.

For liquid tastes, the winery will have all of its current releases available. The open house will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Admission is free. Call 656-5054. The winery is at 2784 Johnson Drive.

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Judges for the salsa competition at this weekend's Salsa Festival in Oxnard will be scoring the 22 entrants in three categories: originality, hot and spicy and "wow!"

Festival chairwoman Rosemary Pace explained the last category: "We're looking for something you'll have to call 911 about."

The salsa competition, with judging taking place Saturday morning, will kick off the two-day festival. Winners will be announced at 11 a.m. and visitors will have a chance to sample the winning salsas (at their own risk) following the announcements.

The rest of the program will feature a wide selection of food, music, entertainment, crafts booths and art exhibits. There will also be plenty of activities for children. The festival will run 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days at Plaza Park in downtown Oxnard, off 5th Street. Call 483-4542.

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