New Moon Cafe closes after 23 years |

New Moon Cafe closes after 23 years

New Moon Cafe off York Street in Nevada City is closed after 23 years in business as owners Peter Selaya and Buzz Crouch retire.
Photo: Elias Funez

Speaking about the New Moon Cafe’s 23 years of operation in Nevada City, an era which came to an end with the restaurant’s final curbside service June 4, owner Peter Selaya said, “What a ride.”

During those 23 years, said Selaya, he and co-owner Buzz Crouch aimed to emphasize family at their restaurant, and both at various times had family members working with them, whether in the kitchen or in customer-facing roles.

“That’s a big thing to us,” said Selaya. “And, we’ve grown in the 23 years, and learned and become a big part of the community, I feel, and it’s been a great ride.”

Selaya and Crouch decided around two years ago to sell the restaurant, a decision Crouch says was met with understanding when they shared it with customers, given that “when you’re in your 70s, it’s kind of OK to retire, except if you leave your community feeling like you’re leaving your community.”

“So, the public has been incredibly supportive for 23 years,” said Crouch. “We’ve been disappointed that we are closing, but they totally get it.”

“I’ve been cooking in town basically for 43 years,” said Selaya, who had previously worked with various local restaurants, on retiring. “So I’ve been here for a long time and just been a part of the community … and it’s time to step back.”

According to Selaya, kitchen cleaning and other preparations were underway last week for the building to be passed on to its incoming occupant, Elixart, a gallery and tea bar which intends to move its Nevada City location there from 408 Broad St.

New Moon Cafe owner Peter Selaya said last week that kitchen cleaning and other preparations were underway for the building to be passed on to its incoming occupant, Elixart.
Photo: Elias Funez

Selaya noted that 23 years is a long time for this type of business to remain in operation, and says he believes this was possible for the New Moon Cafe due to attention to quality and service. He explained that, because “everything had to be perfect,” he was selective in sourcing ingredients, often opting for organic foods and supporting local farming.

“We wanted people to be spoiled when they came in,” he said. “It was like they were coming into our home.”

On what went into a long-lasting run for the restaurant, Crouch credited having had “a great team,” from his continuing friendship and shared experience with Selaya to all those who worked with them in other roles and “made it all work as we worked together.”

Reflecting on the restaurant’s closing, Crouch said the most important thing to him was to thank the community for its support over the previous 23 years, as people in it became both customers and friends.

Crouch continued, “And I am thankful for them just in the same way … that I am thankful for all of the wonderful people that worked with us here at the New Moon, and it was just a great experience, and I hope everybody understands.”

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at

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