Restaurant designed to look like Cabo sun |

Restaurant designed to look like Cabo sun

Susan Wood

Even a day before the planned opening of South Shore’s Cabo Wabo, Sammy Hagar fans started streaming into the cantina at Harveys to take a look around and maybe catch a glimpse of the Red Rocker.

The restaurant and bar – slated for grand opening today at 11 a.m. – has been dressed up like a pinata. Many of the 50 crew hired spent Thursday making final touches on the 6,000-square-foot shrine to late-night partying. Design and construction cost approximately $1.7 million, according to proprietors.

“Sammy wanted it to be not just the typical restaurant. He wanted it to look like the sun of Cabo (San Lucas),” Harrah’s Vice President of Food and Beverage Christophe Jorcin said. “Cabo is very popular with westerners. I believe now people will make the trip.”

Forty types of tequila line the bar wall, which is set to accommodate 80 people. A 30-foot video screen flashed images of Lake Tahoe Thursday over dining room that seats 165.

Photographs and guitars line the walls. A flickering sound system near the kitchen provides a matrix of live and recorded music. In the other corner, the stage is set with showroom lights. The sound will be piped out the restaurant into the surrounding area.

“When people come through here, they’ll know something’s going on,” Harrah’s spokesman John Packer said.

Sally Robinson ducked her head in the former El Vaquero restaurant site to snap a quick picture of the place that one of her favorite rock stars owns.

“I’ve been a fan since he was with Montrose. The first time I saw him was when I was 15, and that was 27 years ago,” the Portland woman said. Robinson’s four-member family are booked for all three shows Hagar intends to give this weekend. “We’ve planned this since January.”

Beyond the tourists, Cabo Wabo staff want to welcome South Shore residents with open arms. For one, Mondays will feature locals’ night. Details are undetermined at this time.

The drink menu reads like a warehouse list of Mexican spirits, with some alcoholic concoctions like the watermelon margarita. This margarita is mixed with Cabo Wabo Blanco tequila, triple sec, orange liqueur, lime juice, sweet ‘n sour combined with fresh-squeezed watermelon juice. Most drinks run $7, and pitchers cost up to $20.

Seventeen wines round out the drink list.

The food menu – ranging in price from $4.95 to $19.95 – covers the traditional carne asada to the more creative naked nachos. The diner has the option of dressing them. Fresh tortillas are made each day.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 541-3880 or via e-mail at

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