June 19, 2012
When it comes to live music on a nightly basis, no one in the area has been as consistent as Plaza Linda Restaurant and Cantina over the past few years. Thanks to multi-talented promoter/musician/positive entity Kiki Wow, the Carmel Valley Village eatery has regularly filled its weeks with everyone from stellar jazz vocalist Cathy Segal-Garcia and guitar savant Goh Kurosawa to local flute treasure Kenny Stahl and new wave throwback Martin Shears.
But even with the support of the community and local businesses the Monterey County Planning Department asked them to stop a few months back. The Weekly's one large eye was all over it.
"The change comes as the music has moved inside for the winter, and leans singer-songwriter acoustic to begin with," Squid wrote. "It comes as artists are lined up for months to come, as music was keeping the keystone Carmel Valley restaurant alive and, best/worst of all, from one complaint that could draw a debilitating fine because PL is 135 feet away from a sliver of residential zoning in a sea of commercial spaces, instead of the required 200."
If this decision was announced during an NHL game the chant would most likely go something like, "bullshit, bullshit, bullshit."
But Wow has kept her cool. She's also very persistent when it comes to her love of live music and being able to share that love with her community. After hounding the county and getting clearance to hold acoustic shows for the remainder of Plaza Linda's tenure, Wow and the Cantina are readying to move into a new spot located at 27 East Carmel Valley Rd. (former site of Volcano Grill), hopefully by July 1.
Until then, live music will continue on Wow's watch with her Pop Up House Concerts beginning Saturday at 6:30pm at Paso Hondo Rd., Carmel Valley (call 235-7662 for reservations and exact location details) with Drew Nelson. The singer-songwriter—who's opened for Melissa Etheridge—brings rootsy Americana ballads laced in Springsteen-esque sentiment. If you dig Mumford and Sons, you'll probably enjoy Nelson.
Then, on Friday, June 29 at 7pm, Wow's Pop Up House Concert—hopefully the last before the permanent spot opens—moves to AMP Studios, Studio A, 2200 Garden Rd. in Monterey for the Monterey TV Dance Party 2012 (A Dick Clark Commemorative). You'll just have to come see what it's all about.
There's definitely no other namesake that would suit Wow better.