David and Ciara Erler are preparing to open an Italian restaurant called Mezzaluna Italiano at 389 M Street in Crescent City next month. "Mezzaluna" is Italian for "crescent moon", David said.
"We thought this town could use an Italian restaurant," he said. "People have to go to Brookings to get Italian food, and my wife and I like Italian food."
David trained at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, graduating a year ago. He became head chef at the Beachcomber Restaurant when it reopened under new owners in February, leaving there just a few weeks ago to open his own restaurant.
"I left on good terms," David said. "There was just an opportunity that presented itself."
Ciara will be putting a business degree to use as manager of the restaurant. She will be in charge of the front of the restaurant and bookkeeping, while David will be doing the cooking.
"We will have a lot of different styles of pasta that you can't find other places," David said. "We're not going to stick with the traditional spaghetti and meatballs. We're going to offer a different product than everyone else, with an Italian feel to it.
"At the School of Culinary Arts I learned the classical way to do things. I will take that and put my own spin on it. I'm formatting the menu to be less expensive for our customers."
The Erlers are waiting for their beer and wine license to come through and plan to open mid to late July. They will begin by serving dinners only, 4-9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Elk Valley Rock's gravel
Elk Valley Rancheria recently opened a new business selling gravel at Elk Valley Rock, located at 2690 Howland Hill Road, just past the casino.
Manager Kenny Gavin said the rock will be sold primarily to wholesale customers, such as contractors and other commercial businesses, rather than individuals filling up pick-up trucks.
"We're selling rock at market rate," Gavin said. "We also have some bigger boulders for landscaping."
The rocks are mined on site at the ranch owned by the Rancheria located behind the casino, he said.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and on-call. For further information, call 954-4685.
New taco shop now open
On Monday, Roberto Hernandez opened Raliberto's Taco Shop at 523 M St., formerly the home of Big Louie's Pizza. The Mexican restaurant features both dine-in seating and drive-through facilities. Raliberto's offers a wide range of menu items, including combination plates, enchiladas, tacos, burritos, tortas, tostadas and chimichangas.
The name "Raliberto's" comes from a restaurant in Arizona, Hernandez said. Previously, he owned a restaurant in Oregon.
Restaurant hours are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.