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Riva Fish House

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Santa Cruz, CA

Food & Hospitality

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Work Culture at Riva Fish House

Our Story

The beginning of something else...


In 1981 we started with the idea of having the best fish market on the West Coast. We were on our way but a year or so later one of our regulars asked if we’d put some of our Bay shrimp in a cup for him, which we did, and he dumped some red sauce on it. Actually, it looked pretty good.


The next time he was in he wanted to sit down, so we gave him a chair and poured a glass of wine from a bottle one of us brought for lunch. It wasn’t long before we had two or three regulars joining us for lunch, so we put up a couple of tables, and chairs.


That was the end of something, and the beginning of something else. The name we borrowed from a little fishing village on the Ligurian Coast of Italy, Riva Trigoso. It had been home for a number of early Italian immigrants who settled in Santa Cruz and worked on the Wharf.


That’s our story.

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