In the 1860’s, almost 50 years before the Davenport Roadhouse, then called the Cash Store, was built, the town of Davenport was founded by Captain John Davenport, a whaler from the East coast. Davenport watched the whales pass close to shore and decided this was a good place to start a whaling business to capitalize on the great demand for lamp oil. Soon after he built a pier, a small town grew up around his lucrative business.
The Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company started operation in 1906, and then the two first stores in town were built: the Cash Store, a classic, old-time general store, and next door, a public bath house which later became a bar and dance hall, then a dentist’s office and finally a residence. As the cement plant hired more workers, the population of Davenport grew. In the 1960’s and 70’s a thriving artist community developed.
In 1977, at 1 Davenport Ave. construction was completed on the New Davenport Cash Store. Built on the site of the original Cash Store which burned down in 1953, it housed the owner’s pottery school with apartments above for the students. Over time it evolved into a cozy restaurant with eight ocean view rooms above. At 31 Davenport Ave next door, the public bath house was converted into a private home and eventually into a charming bed and breakfast inn.
In 1998 after the Trust for Public Land purchased 7,000 acres of land that had been owned by the Coast Dairies and Land Company, the Davenport Cash Store found itself in the middle of miles of beautiful, open coastal space. Parcels are now being transferred to government agencies to preserve the land and make 407 acres of land stretching from Santa Cruz to Davenport and Scotts Creek open to the public for all to enjoy.
In 2006, the Cash Store was acquired and renovated by a group of friends with diverse talents but a common vision: to create a unique destination that reflects the warm expression of the beauty, agricultural bounty and artisanship of Davenport and the Santa Cruz Mountain region. The Cash Store was also renamed to Davenport Roadhouse at the Cash Store.
This vision was completed by the new owner who acquired the Davenport Roadhouse from the remaining owner of the initial group of owners. He also finally dropped the Cash Store name.
Today, the Davenport Roadhouse is a Restaurant and Inn of 9 rooms , a store featuring local handcrafted artisan creations and a center of activities for guests and the local community. We are a beacon for travelers from near and far looking to make a quick stop for a delicious to-go meal or picnic, or for others staying a while to get back to nature and enjoy healthy and hearty food — all enjoyed at their own pace.
The Restaurant offers organic California Coastal Cuisine that is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.