CIELITO TO BECOME “TU CASA”

cielito-1Based on a tip from reader Steve I called Cielito restaurant at 1114 State Street for an update on changes that will soon be taking place. I am told that a group of investors, that includes proprietor Brendan Searls, has purchased Cielito. Searls, among other things, is the co-founder of Dargan’s Irish Pub in Santa Barbara, and the founder of Brendan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Agoura Hills, Camarillo and Newbury Park. The Cielito representative tells me that the restaurant will be renamed Tu Casa and that the menu will be similar to Cielito’s. Word is that the change will happen in the next few weeks. Cielito is open for business as usual.

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DRAUGHTSMEN ALEWORKS COMING TO GOLETA

This just in from reader Sara Jean:

Hi John!
There’s a new production brewery and taproom called Draughtsmen Aleworks that is currently being built out on 53 Santa Felicia Drive in north Goleta. I hear they are a month or two away from opening to the public!

Santa Felicia Drive runs behind Best Buy and #53 is at the north end, across Hollister.

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BOONDOCKS UPDATE

Last month Creekside Bar & Grill at 4444 Hollister Avenue in Noleta, one of Santa Barbara’s most famous bars, changed the name to Boondocks. Readers Mark and Annie tell me that Boondocks has now closed, after 37 days in business, and had its last night on Saturday, February 6. I called the phone number on Boondocks’ web site and the number is disconnected. I have not had a chance to stop by and independently confirm this.

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LA BELLA ROSA BAKERY OPENS

I received this message recently from reader Nina:

Hello John,

My name is Nina I work at La Bella Rosa Bakery. We are opening our new bakery in Goleta, on Feb. 9th. Rosa the owner of the bakery is inviting you to stop by to say “Hi”.
The address is: 7127 Hollister Ave.#18, Goleta.
Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Nina ( La Bella Rosa Bakery Cafe)

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NOT SO FAST

Last December reader Cris informed me that Pickles & Swiss, which opened a location in Paseo Nuevo in October 2012, is joining Smart & Final Extra!, Sno-Crave, Zizzo’s Coffee, Dickey’s BBQ Pit and Wahoo’s Fish Tacos as tenants in the new Hollister Village shopping center. Cris just sent me an update indicating that Pickles & Swiss has been removed from the list of future tenants on the Hollister Village web site.

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HOME PLATE GRILL OPENS IN GOLETA

I am starting to think there is new restaurant activity happening at the west end of Goleta:

Reader Hugh:

John,  There is a new restaurant in the Padre Shopping Center (Calle Real & Ellwood Station Rd) Padre Shopping Center, 7398 Calle Real Goleta, CA 93117, right next to El Sitio and behind Seven Eleven. It is called the Home Plate Grill. I guess in keeping with the Rounding 3rd Sports Bar theme? Open now, I had a decent chicken salad sandwich there but they have pizza, salads, soups, and beers. Already out of menus or I’d have scanned one for you. Was about half full today at noon, not sure how long its been open.

Reader Annie:

“Home Plate” has opened at 7398 Calle Real in Goleta. Serving basic American fare; burgers, pizzas, wings, etc.

Reader Kay Lee:

Hi John,  I’m eating lunch at a new place in West Goleta.  Home Plate Grill is located at 7398-C Calle Real, behind the 7-11, next door to neighborhood bar Rounding 3rd. They are open daily from 10:30 am to 9:00 pm.  They offer appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza.  Their website is still being developed but they plan to offer online ordering in the future.  There is already a listing on Yelp that includes menu photos.

Reader Cris:

Hey John, Looks like a new spot called Home Plate Grill opened near the 7-11 in the Dos Pueblos High area.  http://www.yelp.com/biz/home-plate-goleta

Here is a description of the business from their web site:

HOME PLATE GRILL is a fun family-oriented grill-type restaurant owned and operated by long time Goleta locals. We offer delicious, high quality economical food for your dine-in or take-out pleasure. We are not a fast food restaurant, instead we present home cooked recipes with savory combinations that will have you coming back over and over again. We believe that Family and Friends coming together over great food is so important. What better way to share good times than over a delicious fresh Homemade Pizza with amazing sauce and combinations, a variety of delectable 1/3 lb Burgers, or mouthwatering Fresh Sandwiches (hot or cold)? We also offer a variety of Fresh Salads and Sumptuous Soups with fresh ingredients.

Call 845-3323 or visit homeplategoleta.com.

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Photo by reader Hugh

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LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA CLOSES

Reader Annie informed me that Little Caesars Pizza inside Kmart at 6865 Hollister Avenue in Goleta has closed. I stopped by and noticed that everything inside was packed up and ready to ship off to pizza Heaven – or somewhere warmer.

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RUSTY’S ON CALLE REAL OPENS

The new “Art Deco Train Station” Rusty’s Pizza has opened at 5934 Calle Real in Goleta, completing the move from its long-time home just down the street, on the opposite side of Fairview Avenue. Fairview Rusty’s closed in January after renting the space for decades. Rusty’s purchased the 5934 Calle Real property in the 1990′s and rented to a variety of tenants, most recently to Takenoya Japanese restaurant. They started developing the new building over a year ago and just completed construction. The new Call Real Rusty’s Pizza is open daily from 11 a.m.-midnight. Delivery is available until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

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OFF TOPIC

Here are pics and a video I shot of Johnny Depp arriving at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival tonight. Sorry, the video is a little rough.

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NEW GOLETA RUSTY’S OPEN?

This message came in last night from reader Goleta Bob:

“Goleta Rusty’s [at 5934 Calle Real] was open tonight when I drove by.”

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LA HACIENDA CLOSES

Yesterday I received a message from reader Stephanie:

“Hello. We ate dinner at El Bohemio/Hacienda [298 Pine Avenue] in Goleta on Friday night. The place was packed. It was mariachi night. I had friends go back Saturday for Karaoke night, which they said was a blast. On Sunday they were completely closed down….for good. Any idea what happened?”

Today Edhat and readers Steve & Annie report that there is a sign on the door indicating that La Hacienda has closed permanently. La Hacienda opened in January 2015, replacing El Bohemio.

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NIMITA’S CUISINE COMING TO HALEY STREET

Reader Steve let me know that Indian restaurant Nimita’s Cuisine will open soon at 508 East Haley Street, the former home of Muddy Waters. A message on the windows says that the eatery offers Ayurvedic vegetarian Indian cuisine, coffee, tea, and more. Nimita’s web site, which currently offers cooking classes and food delivery to private individuals, includes a description of the business:

“I pride myself in being able to offer Ayurvedic meals geared to support health through a vegetarian diet by collaborating with local farmers and finally nurturing members of our community. The abundance and variety of fresh vegetables in our local market allows my cuisine to conjure up a modified version of Indian food that focuses on allowing us to respect the flavors of each vegetable while still enjoying the spices. I have been a culinary instructor since 1994. I have taught in the Canary Islands, Spain and have been actively teaching in the community of Santa Barbara since 1996. My commitment to nurture the community embraces every sector including the Hispanic community with which I delight doing group work in my job as a therapist. More than often, I integrate the art of cooking with therapy work. My passion has led me to create my own company, Nimita’s Cuisine, which offers weekly deliveries to private individuals. I also actively supports the Meatless Monday campaign and am committed to bring this awareness to my local community.”

Visit nimitascuisine.com.

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Photo by reader Steve

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FARMERBOY DOES DINNER

Farmerboy restaurant at 3427 State Street has extended their hours to 9 p.m. The eatery used to close for the day in mid afternoon.

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PASCUCCI GOLETA SET TO OPEN

Just under a year ago I reported that lease negotiations were underway for Pascucci restaurant to open a second location at 6920 Marketplace Drive in Goleta, the former home of Holdren’s Grill. Another Santa Barbara favorite, Jane restaurant, will occupy the neighboring space, that was once the home of Pastavino and Smoke N Barrel BBQ Shack. I am happy to report that Pascucci Goleta anticipates opening on Wednesday, February 10th. Final inspections might shift the opening date slightly. In June 2005 a Pascucci restaurant opened in Camino Real Marketplace, run by relatives of the owner of downtown Pascucci, but the name soon switched to Zaffiro and that business closed in June 2008. This new Pascucci is the real deal. It is run by Laura Knight who owns and operates the ever-popular Pascucci restaurant at 729 State Street in downtown Santa Barbara.

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CRUSHCAKES ANNIVERSARY

On Monday February 8th, Crushcakes & Cafe will be celebrating their 8-year anniversary. Crushcakes will be offering a free mini cupcake (1/3 size) with every breakfast or lunch purchase on February 8th. The same day they will also be offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal on all regular cupcakes. These offers will be good at all three Crushcakes Cafe locations, including Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria.

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SEEING RED

Reader Cathy tells me that there is a new sign for The Red Piano at 519 State Street, formerly Statemynt and the Study Hall. Does this have anything to do with restaurants? Your guess is as good as mine.

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Photo by reader Cathy

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NOTHING BUNDT CAKES OPENS

nbc_logo_small_cropNothing Bundt Cakes opened for business at 5784 Calle Real in Goleta (immediately next door to El Pollo Loco). Founders Debra Shwetz and Dena Tripp started Nothing Bundt Cakes in Las Vegas in 1997 and have since opened 154 franchises coast to coast and have another 14 locations on the way. The Goleta bakery is owned by locals Beverly Doman and her sister Beth Enriquez. The Grand Opening celebration has been moved to March 11th and 12th.  Nothing Bundt Cakes is open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Call 845-4899 or visit nothingbundtcakes.com.

CORRECTION: The first 50 guests on Saturday, March 12th that buy a Bundlet or cake will get a coupon to receive a free Bundlet every month for a year.

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NOTHING BUNDT CAKES UPDATE

Reader Anastasia tells me that Nothing Bundt Cakes in Goleta did not open this morning as originally scheduled. I am also hearing that the grand opening may have been moved from February to March.

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COSTCO TACO TUESDAY?

Periodically I receive tips that Costco will be offering a Taco Tuesday. I am a huge taco fan so I was of course thrilled when I first heard the news, but when I spoke with Costco I was told that the rumor is false. While shopping at Costco recently I discovered the source of this mysterious rumor: a large sign on the wall near the cash registers says “Taco Tuesday.” This sign is an example for their poster print offerings, and not an indication of impending cuisine from south of the border.

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PHAMOUS CAFE COMING TO UNIVERSITY PLAZA

A Vietnamese sandwich shop named Phamous Cafe is coming 7127 Hollister Avenue Suite 25 in Goleta next to Albertsons, in the space formerly occupied by Quiznos Sub.

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HIGHWAY TEA OPENS IN UNIVERSITY PLAZA

Highway Tea has opened at 7127 Hollister Avenue Suite 23 in Goleta next to Albertsons. Highway offers boba milk tea, Thai tea, and, starting next week, smoothies. Hours are Monday-Friday 3 p.m.-midnight, Saturday-Sunday 3 p.m.-2 a.m.

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BLAZE PIZZA COMING TO FIVE POINTS

On November 19th the Rumor Machine popped out a message that said “Carl’s Jr. at 3925 State Street will depart in a few months and that address will become a second location for Woodstock’s Pizza of Isla Vista.” I spoke with a representative of Carl’s Jr. and was told that after they close the space is being split into two restaurants and that one of the tenants is Blaze Pizza which currently has a location at 6546 Pardall Road in Isla Vista. Assuming that two competing pizza parlors wouldn’t occupy the same building, I’m guessing that Blaze, not Woodstock’s is heading to Upper State. Your call.

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UPPER STATE CARL’S JR CLOSES

Based on a tip from reader Jose I called Carl’s Jr. at 3925 State Street in Five Points Shopping Center and was told that they close permanently today at 3pm. On November 5th I wrote that the end of Carl’s was near but never received confirmation until now. Jose also says that the location will be split up into two restaurants.

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ISLA VISTA GIOVANNI’S TO REOPEN

Edhat reports that Isla Vista Giovanni’s, which is a franchised location, will be reopening Monday. Edhat adds that after closing last week, the Isla Vista location was acquired by Danny Babai, who opened the original Giovanni’s Pizza on State Street.

Update: The Babai family contacted me and asked me to pass this message to you:

Danny and Debbie Babai would like to confirm that we will be reopening our “Founders Family” Giovanni’s Pizza Isla Vista location on Monday January 25, 2016. We have been busy doing some restoration work inside the restaurant and are so happy that everything went quickly transferring all the permits back to this location. The menu will be largely the same with a few updates and tweaks here and there. We are keeping our famous beer specials and happy hours and will have some GRAND OPENING specials on the weekend of January 29 – 31. We appreciate the return of many of the employees that worked under the previous owner and welcome them back to help us reopen on Monday. We have been in the community serving great food since 1979 and will continue to do so at all our locations. Please come join us to relaunch Giovanni’s Isla Vista this week.

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NEW OWNERS OF THE WINEHOUND

Local wine industry veterans Richard Heilman and David Russell have bought The Winehound, consistently voted Santa Barbara’s Best Wine Shop in The Independent’s Best of Santa Barbara Readers’ Poll. The Winehound is at 3849 State Street, #165 (in La Cumbre Plaza between See’s Candies and Chipotle).

Russell was the Wine Director at the Wine Cask from 1988 until 1999 and created a wine list there which garnered the Wine Spectator’s prestigious (and highest) “Grand Award” in 1994, a distinction shared by only 94 restaurants around the world at the time. Before his recent return to Santa Barbara, Russell worked in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, where he focused on bringing his customers the best that France and Italy have to offer and traveling often to both countries to meet and taste with the best producers.

“In coming back to Santa Barbara, I feel like the Prodigal Son,” Russell said, “as my happiest and most productive years in the wine trade were spent here. And while I’ve stayed in touch with many of my local customers while away and have continued to sell them wine via e-mail and the like, I much prefer the idea of interacting again with them face to face.”

Heilman, like Russell, has spent more than 30 years in the wine industry, accumulating experience in all sectors. He began his career in retail, as manager and wine buyer for the old Pierre Lafond store on the Mesa. Subsequently, he moved onto the wholesale, importation, and production sides of the business.

“David and I hope to use our combined experience to not only honor the loyal customers and fine traditions established at The Winehound, but also to add a new dynamic to both the selections and service,” Heilman said. “We will be offering aggressive pricing and an ever expanding selection of wines at all price points and in many styles, but with an emphasis, frankly, on wines of balance and finesse and which reflect a sense of place, whether a $10 or $100 bottle. We will shift emphasis somewhat toward Old World wines to achieve this; but given how impressed we are with the work of many local growers and winemakers, we’ll without question continue to offer the best of their wines as well.”

Be sure to call the store before coming by just to make sure it is open. Full hours of operation will start January 25, and will be 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It will be a few weeks before the selection begins to approach the depth and variety they intend to offer. Call 845-5247.

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SUSHI CORNER COMING TO ISLA VISTA

Reader J tells me that a section of Kol’s Cafe at 6533 Trigo Road in Isla Vista is going to become a Japanese restaurant named Sushi Corner. It’s in the spot where Pressed Juicery used to be while Crushcakes Cafe was the primary tenant.

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LE PETIT BISTROT COMING TO STATE STREET

Reader Steve tells me that a new French restaurant named Le Petit Bistrot is coming to 532 State Street, the former home of Verde and Zia Cafe. Their web site, which appears to be a work in progress, offers this message:

Le Petit Bistrot provided authentic French bistrot food. Traditional dishes and modern French bistrot classic dishes are offered in a comfortable setting in the heart of Santa Barbara.

Featuring French cuisine expertly prepared, le petit bistrot Santa Barbara can be a perfect introduction to the delicious French cuisine, or a reminder to those who already love.

Our menu includes specialties from Alsace, whose chef executive Mario Carvalho originated, such as pork shank braised in beer, steak sauce Munster.

His daily specials, offered on certain days of the week include Pied de Cochon braised and duck breast.Our team is happy to offer you a traditional cuisine prepared with ingredients of the highest quality and the greatest respect for the traditions that have made the French cuisine a reference.

Our Bar with a full liquor license offers delicious cocktails and a full range of best spirits.

Open 6 days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch on Saturday and Sunday, the petit bistrot is also open in the afternoon for a happy hour where you can enjoy cocktails and a discount menu of our delicious and authentic French burgers. The bistrot serves small private events and banquets on site upon reservation.

There will  always be a moment to enjoy our French cuisine.

The eatery will be open Tuesday-Sunday and serve breakfast 7 a.m.-11 a.m., lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and dinner 6 p.m.-11 p.m. A weekend brunch will be offered 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Visit lepetitbistrotsb.com.

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THE LITTLE DOOR UPDATE

Last May I mentioned that a new restaurant named The Little Door will be opening toward the end of the year at 129 East Anapamu Street, the former home of Piano Riviera Lounge and former home of Elements Restaurant & Bar. The eatery opened it’s doors last September. Now reader Kim says they are closed:

Hi John,

Any news as to what has happened with The Little Door on E. Anapamu?  I thought they were saying open until they got their remodel permits, but the space seems to have been closed for several weeks.

Thanks
Kim

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CHASE SOLD?

Reader CaroinJM tells me that Chase Restaurant & Lounge at 1012 State Street has been sold. I have not confirmed this.

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RESTAURANT CONNECTION ADDS WINE TO THE MENU

Reader Annie sent me a tip that Restaurant Connection has announced on their Facebook page that they are now delivering wine from local wineries. Annie says that the wineries they deliver are Area5.1, Kalyra, Lafond Winery, Santa Barbara Winery, and Pali Wine Co. Visit restaurantconnectionsb.com.

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