July 23, 2013 – The nightlife scene in Pacific Grove is about to come alive with hot jazz and healthy vegan cuisine. A new café and performance space called Chai is set to open “before the Monterey Jazz Festival” according to Amba Dryg—the driving force behind the project.
Dryg—a fan of Billie Holiday—sang jazz in Europe professionally for many years and wants to create a place where she and her jazz musician friends from all over the world can perform. “The problem with singing jazz in this country is that people don’t want to pay you and they can be very disrespectful,” she says.
The kitchen will be run by Yogi Chef Briksha Mahendra, who studied raw, vegan cooking with Gabriel Cousens at the Tree of Life Foundation in Arizona and worked four years as head chef at Café Gratitude in San Francisco.
“So many people want to eat healthier, but don’t know how to do it so it’s tasty,” says Amba, “With eating alive foods you have so much better energy.” The chef’s famous Sacred Chai Tea will be on the menu, along with Surrender Hemp Ice Cream.
Chai will operate as a café and take-out deli during the day. Raw vegan food preparation classes may be offered eventually, along with lectures on wellness and spirituality. She’s also planning to have stand-up comedians to liven up those quiet PG nights.
While she doesn’t drink herself, Amba recognizes the nightspot will need to serve beer and wine. She’s in the process of lining up organic beer from a local brewery and organic wines from Heller Estates.
She intends to open Chai at 207 16th St. in Pacific Grove, a light-filled venue that once housed Sweet Earth Foods, near Fandango and the Grove Market. Amba hopes that it will someday become a cooperative with other partners emerging to take on some of the responsibilities. Meantime, she is enrolling in a course for Women Entrepreneurs that will help her get a small business loan to launch the project and will be looking for backers on Indiegogo crowd funding website.
The single mother of two middle-school daughters performed in Europe under the stage name Miss Henry Wig and recorded an album Miss Henry sings Angel Eyes which is available on Amazon and iTunes. The multi-faceted singer is also a certified practitioner of Medical QiGong Therapy at Sunrise Integrative Therapies in PG and Monterey—an often “heavy” job that requires the energizing qualities of good food and beautiful music.
If you are interested in learning more about Chai, please contact Amba Dryg at: medQiDoc@yahoo.com