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New Car Wash Offering Free Services

23 May

Quiky Car Wash, a new business off of Broad Street, is offering basic free car washes until June 7, as a way to celebrate their Grand Opening on Monday.

No tricks or coupons behind it. All a person has to do is show up.

Toby Dart, the general manager, said “We want to show the community the quality customer service they have to offer.”

It looks pretty simple from the street: a general brush car wash, as the driver sits back and enjoys the show. All it takes is three minutes. But, there are a couple more perks than usual. There are free self-service vacuums, a staff that is happy to help with any questions or help.

Toby Dart says what separates them from other car washes is speed. “It is fast but just as good, hence the name.”

Joshua Moore, an employee at Quiky, says the place has already seen quite a few cars.  “It has been crazy all day,” he said. “I wonder how so many people heard about it.”

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Almost all customers had heard from word of mouth. Conor Church, a History student at Cal Poly, was impressed with the service. “I would probably go again, even when it is not free. The sponges are cleaner, and they did a good enough job.

Church did not recommend the extra services. He bought the extra four dollar tire clean, and was sorely disappointed. “They were definitely in a hurry.”

From polling a couple more people, the general consensus was it was decent service, but the real deal is the fact that it is free. Travis Cart, another Cal Poly student, “I just went because it is free. I’m always looking for good deals, especially as a college student.”

Quiky is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, go to their Facebook page.


Eating for Free in SLO

24 Apr

This past week has been a hunt for the most inexpensive eats, and as it turns out many can be found at the best price of all….FREE. Of course, there is a little work involved, and it depends how far you are willing to go. This is especially for voracious fans of tacos and pizza, as this is usually the free food available.

Marisol Restaurant at the Cliffs Resort

A taco salad made with all the fixings

The happy hour at the Cliffs Resort is the easiest of free meals. Every Monday through Wednesday from 4-6p.m., the Marisol Restaurant supplies a complimentary  taco bar. This includes flour and corn tortillas, ground beef, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, jalepeños, and chips. On Thursdays, this is replaced with a woodfire pizza and pasta bar, complete with spaghetti and a myriad of sauces.

After chatting around, I met Stephen Gilmore, a local Cal Poly student, who frequents the resort about twice a week. “I have never come by myself, but I have definitely considered it,” he said Tuesday, tilting his head with a slightly embarrassed smile. “But easy, free food! And the atmosphere? It is the best in town.”

The beautiful view from the blacony of the Marisol restaurant, at the Cliffs resort

“There have been weeks that I have eaten all three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for free.” -Becca Weaver

If you have the energy and a social appetite as well, free food can be found all over Cal Poly campus. Becca Weaver, a social club butterfly at Cal Poly, has made her way into many campus clubs, mainly for the food. She was wary to reveal most of her secrets, but claimed “there have been weeks that I have eaten all three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for free.”

Another club for the list, Communication Studies club, meets every third Tuesday with pizza and baked goods in Building 10, Room 225

Some of the clubs she mentioned were SWE (Society of Women Engineers) every other Wednesday for pizza, and Mat Pica Phi, the Graphic Communication club, Thursday nights. When asked how she found out about these events, she said “I just look look at flyers on campus, or sign up for their mailing lists.”

Her carefree attitude makes it obvious she has been doing this for a while. “It can be a little embarrassing,” she says while laughing. “Like with the Sales Engineering. There are only three girl members, so they definitely notice when I show up.” However, she claims this is the jackpot of club events because they bring in “Firestone, sushi, and others from all over downtown.”

If you are looking for a variety in your UU lunch hour routine, head over to the Food Science Club in Bluilding 24, Room 113. Dr. Amanda Lathrop is the head of this club, and says they provide a variety of food for club members, such as teriyaki chicken, ravioli, and sandwiches. Sara Rodich, a food science major, goes often, even though she is not a club member.  “It is great food, and you really don’t have to pay.”


Another more altruistic route to free food is through volunteering. GleanSLO is a project done by the Food Bank coalition of San Luis Obispo, where farmers allow volunteers to go out and pick their crop surplus after it has already been commercially harvested, or when there will not be enough profit to make it feasible. The crop that would otherwise be wasted benefits many underprivileged San Luis Obispo residences. As of April 21, Glean has picked 13,701 pounds of assorted apples, avocados, artichokes, grapefruit, lemons, lettuce, oranges, and tangerines for the community at large.

This is also an opportunity for a college student to snack on some apples, or whatever else is grown on the borrowed land. Stephen Gilmore helped them pick apples in the fall. “You get to munch on apples while you help picking, and take some home with you,” he said.


Whether you are looking for a snack, or a full meal San Luis Obispo, there is always something out there. For those of you who do have a couple extra dollars to spend, an extra page has been added to keep track of weekly food specials. If interested in more nighttime snacking, is also a website devoted to happy hours and appetizers, called SLO Happy Hours, listing them both by establishment and day of the week.

Songwriters at Play

18 Apr

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Before heading to pint night at SLO Brew for a typical Tuesday night, come experience some great local and travelling talent. Every Tuesday, Kreuzberg hosts Songwriters at Play from 6:30 to 9, where all different types of performers get a chance to play and experiment with their sound.

This is different than your typical open mic night. It is a showcase with a specially selected group of people, eliminating the “grab bag” effect you get with most open mics.

“There’s an energy that makes people want to hang out. I never have trouble finding people to play here.”

Steve Key, the head of this event, has been hosting these events at Kreuzberg for a year now, and has hosted “showcases” all over the county since 2007. As a professional musician for 35 years, he wants to help local artists through the transition and struggle they face finding a following. “This event offers a little more than an open mic. I help them gain an audience and publicity they would not otherwise have. Sure I could make more money doing wineries myself, but I like the surprises you get here.”

What is so special about the Kreuzberg event is “the vibe. There’s an energy that makes people want to hang out. I never have trouble finding people to play here.” Steve says Tuesday is the best because you can get some amazing artists that are just travelling through. “As a travelling musician, I know how hard it is to get weekday shows. Instead of just sitting in their motels they get a chance to come out and play. Even artists who have moved on to ticketed shows.”

When asked how he seems to find so many people to play his shows he says, “I’m just lucky I guess.”

On Tuesday, two singer songwriters from Alberta, Canada stopped by to show off their talent. Tatam Reeves and Cadence Burns started their trip for Coachella, and are staying a couple weeks to explore Los Angeles. Tatum has been to San Luis Obispo before, and loves the scene so much he made a point to add it into their trip. Tatum says,

“Cadence was who got me my first open mic night. I wanted to show her one of my favorite towns.”

Tatam loves San Luis Obispo for “the cozy, happy atmosphere. Plus everyone is so friendly!” He has worked with Steve before, so whenever he is in town he makes sure to play a couple shows. He makes it look so easy as he plucks away at the guitar with speed and grace, playing soft folksy tunes.

Cadence loves travelling because of all the people you meet. “There are so many different sounds out there and different kinds of people. It’s an amazing experience.”  She played very melodic rhythms and her soft sultry vocals were entrancing, making you softly move side to side.

Cadence and Tatam both have websites with soundclouds, showcasing their seemingly effortless talent.

“The more fans, the more inspiration I get to write.”

The local talent is in force as well. Katie Edmiston, a Communication Studies major at Cal Poly, has played at Songwriters at Play several times. She found Steve by web searching “open mics in SLO,” and she says “I feel like a really tiny fish, even though SLO is a small pond. Steve really helps me find my way in the music scene.”

What she loves most is “having a following. It is great to find an experience like this. The more fans, the more inspiration I get to write.” Kreuzberg is her favorite event because of the atmosphere. “It’s so artistic and interesting. Plus I love the tea.” She loves to drink the Macadamia Nut Rooibos tea before she goes on to get relaxed and ready.

Here is a video of her playing one of her songs. Click here for more of her work.

Thank God It’s Free (Fridays): Art After Dark

11 Apr

Bored and broke on a Friday night? This seems to be the curse of college students and thrifters alike. For art lovers and supporters of local business, the search is over.

Every first Friday of the month, Art After Dark transforms 20 or so local businesses into a scattered art gallery, featuring an array of local artists and entertainment. This event, which typically runs from 6-9, has been put on by ARTs Obispo for nine years. It was created to introduce new artists to stores every month, helping both the arts and local economy.

HumanKind fair trade store

Entering HumanKind Fair Trade

HumanKind fair trade, a nonprofit dedicated to fully supporting farmers and craftsman through fair trade,  is an avid supporter of this event.

Last week, this tiny storefront was packed with people. A band of Cal Poly students were playing easy jazz in the storefront, providing lovely background that still allowed for good conversation. In the back was a sampler of Central Coast brewing growlers and Paso Robles wine, along with some great chips and dips. This month, they are featuring local surfing photographer Jean Paul Molyneux. <— click for a blog of his work

Joy Friesen, who manages this event for the company, loves the atmosphere.

“This event does an amazing job of bringing the community together to support both local businesses and artists. It is such a great pairing.”

Another fun stop was Old World Rugs. Greeted by a friendly table of peach sangrias and sugary goodies, the signs take you down a flight of stairs into a basement den. Colorful wallets, shoes, and canvases fill the straw floored room, with a raised circle of couches. It is a quieter, more laid back feel, but the artists are young and eager to chat.

Tommy Nickerson, a music major at Cal Poly, paints artwork on solid white Vans, as well as a couple canvases. He says the thing he likes most most about this event is “being able to see people face-to-face”, as most of his interaction is done online.

“Showcasing my work is cool and fun because i actually get to meet people that are interested in my stuff. The internet can be a cold place.”

Tommy Nickerson and some of his custom Vans designs

There are custom designs, album artwork, and very fun bright colors, each with it’s own story.

<— These shoes he made for a transgender person who wanted some theme elements incorporated into a rainbow. “I did not want to do just a traditional rainbow. Bright and colorful, but more subtle,” said Tommy. He also encorporated the transgender flag on the back (blue, pink, and white stripes).

Check out his etsy site for more of his  work.


There were so many different stores, it was hard to get through all of them. This is a very brief representation of what is out there. A Cal Poly Graphic Communication student, Leah Pyron, just found out about it this year, and thinks the event does a great job of catering to a different kind of college student.

“It is something to do away from the norm, that also supports the town and art. Plus who can beat free snacks and drinks. It’s a whole experience.”

Come down and find your own favorite places. There is even “an app for that,” if you are an iPhone user. It features all the stores, and more about what Art After Dark is all about. There is also more information about other events hosted by ARTs San Luis Obispo.

Penny Pinchers Unite!

4 Apr

Welcome to Thrifty Thrills, the blog devoted to finding the best deals all over San Luis Obispo. This is not just coupon clipping and how to save, but instead it is an expedition to find fellow thrifters and share their stories, inspiring ideas, and helpful tricks.

This is also a great place to look for some free activities around SLO that are not as well known (easy ways to impress dates without spending a penny). This is for the amateur, eager to learn what it means to “thrift” shop and how to find anything at all amid the piles of…well, trash.

Apron Thrift Girl is an example of a broader based, more crafting-style approach to the “art” (as it does take great skill). She features stories aimed to help the reader, not just a “hey look what I found” journal and tease!

To initiate you into the thrifting world, here are 12 tips on thrift store shopping. Good luck!