Today Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores. A national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015. Under SB270, plastic bags will be phased out of checkout counters at large grocery stores and supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Target starting next summer, and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. The law does not apply to bags used for fruits, vegetables or meats, or to shopping bags used at other retailers. It allows grocers to charge a fee of at least 10 cents for using paper bags.



If you can help reader Roger please leave a message in the blog.


I am looking for Devine’s 85% dark chocolate bars but can’t find them anywhere in Santa Barbara.  Could you tell me where I could purchase some?

Thank you,




Readers recently pointed out a listing on real estate web site for a lease at 1201 Anacapa Street. It reads:

“First time available in 20 years! The iconic Coffee Cat location has been a mainstay of the Santa Barbara Central Business District. This high-profile corner location is suitable for retail, financial services or office users. Located a block off State St, the building serves a high daytime population of office workers, including the County Administration complex, the County Courthouse and the central branch of the Santa Barbara Public Library.”

I called Coffee Cat and was told that they have no plans to move or close. That’s great news. Coffee Cat is one of my favorite places for business meetings downtown.

1 Comment


The now-closed iGrill Korean BBQ at 3132 State Street has a change of ownership sign out front indicating that the space is being taken over by the family that owns Nikka Fish Grill and Nikka Market. I don’t know what their plans are for the space.



22 restaurants are participating in the second-annual Taste of Milpas, set for Saturday, October 4th, noon to 4 p.m. Patrons can stroll up Milpas Street, stopping at each restaurant, where they will be treated to samples at participating venues. This year the event includes a new beer and wine garden, live music, great art, plus demos and tastings from Fresh Market, Fresh and Easy and Tri County Produce. MTD shuttles and pedicabs will help ferry attendees up and down Milpas. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 the day of the event. Child admission is $10. A wine-tasting wristband can be purchased for an additional $15. Tickets can be purchased at the event or online at

Leave a comment


Reader Mark says Del Taco plans to open at Hollister and Turnpike, next to Cody’s Café. In July I reported that two Del Tacos are coming to town so I believe a Santa Barbara location is also in the works.



Reader Primetime let me know that a new store named Rocket Fizz, with the tag line  “soda pop and candy shop,” is coming to 1021 State Street.




Michael Graham, owner of C’est Cheese at 825 Santa Barbara Street, asked me to pass this message to you:

“We just (finally!) finished construction on the cheese shop and have it 100% up and running alongside our new cafe! It’s come together really well and it’s a really fun integration having the cheese shop right next to the cafe since we are able to use the cheese shop’s amazing cheeses & salumi in the cafe and now that we’re roasting our own meats & making our own sauces & jams in our new kitchen we’re able to sell all sorts of house-made products in the cheese shop.”



Jersey Mike’s Subs has leased space at Loreto Plaza Shopping Center, 3325 State Street. Loreto Plaza, at upper State Street and Las Positas, is home to Gelson’s Market and Harry’s Plaza Café.

1 Comment


Here are the top 500 search terms entered into Google that people used to find The Restaurant Guy during September 2014, along with the occurrence.

Leave a comment


If you can help reader Monnie please leave a message in the blog.

I am trying to locate Benny Plambeck who owned a restaurant near the marina in Santa Barbara. Can you help?



PizzaRev is coming to 12 W. De la Guerra Street in Paseo Nuevo, the current home of Kahuna Grill. Last February I reported that Kahuna Grill, which opened in Paseo Nuevo mall in 2008, is actively looking for a tenant to replace them and reported at the time that they were discussions with a good prospect. PizzaRev has locations in California, Minnesota, Texas and Utah. They are expanding soon to Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. The chain opened their first location in Northridge in 2012.

PizzaRev makes their own dough and source fresh ingredients and toppings locally (when possible). Patrons then order at the build-your-own pizza counter. There’s an all-you-can-top option where diners can get a pizza with one of every topping on it (about 30 in total) for under $8.

PizzaRev describes their business this way:

“It’s a deliciously simple and satisfying concept: You call all the shots – You pick out your dough, sauce, cheese and toppings and our “pizza crafters” work with you to make your own pizza right before your eyes! Choose your Crust: Original or gluten-free dough? Each one pressed into a thin canvas from a plump, homemade dough ball. Sauce it Up: Savory organic marinara, a creamy white alfredo, spicy-sweet BBQ or olive oil – or get crazy, mix ‘em up. Top it Off: 30+ artisanal cheeses and fresh ingredients – keep it traditional with pepperoni and ground beef or get fancy with sweet fennel sausage, Kalamata olives, and fresh-picked basil and arugula. Pick as many pizza toppings as you’d like – we don’t charge by the topping – when you’re done crafting you’ll have your own personal pizza masterpiece for under $8! Crispy Perfection in Less than 3 Minutes: Our stone ovens fire-up your masterpiece at 900-degrees! You can watch but can’t touch.”



Simply Pies at 5392 Hollister Avenue in Goleta plans to close in mid-October. Here is a message they asked me to pass on to you:

After 6 years of that 4:30 am wakeup call to bake pies for our customers in Santa Barbara and beyond, we’ve decided to hang up our aprons so that we’re able to spend more time with our families.  It’s been an awesome ride being able to connect with so many local farmers whose produce went into our baked goods and also to meet so many amazing and wonderful people in our community.  We want to thank all of our customers for supporting us along the way and allowing us to bake for their families.  It has been our pleasure!

Our business is currently listed for sale and we are hoping that someone who has a passion for baking, as we do, will take over the reins and continue what we’ve started.   The week of October 14 will be our Customer Appreciation Week with our last day of regular operation being Saturday October 18.  Please stop by to get your take and bake fruit pies and shells for the holidays or to just stock up for the winter.  Our fruit pies and shells will keep in your freezer for up to 6 months!  We’d appreciate your ordering these in advance so we can make sure you get exactly what you want.

With Much Love and Gratitude, The Pie Gals, Hana and Nancy & the Simply Pies Team.



Killer B BBQ and Bar, which opened at 718 State Street in January 2011, has closed their doors. Here is a message to the public posted on their web site:

“Killer B’s is in the process of expanding and this location will be closing as of September 22. We will be relocating to a larger space and our goal is to reopen at our new location by no later than November 1. Please join our Facebook page at and follow us on our Instagram at killerbbq718 or download our mobile app to be assured you will have the most up-to-date news on when and where the re-grand opening event will happen.”



Or perhaps I should call him “Accidental Santa’s Little Helper.”

The Restaurant Gal and I are happy to say that our first child was born Tuesday 9/16/14 at 11:19 p.m. James Noble “Jimmy” Dickson is in perfect health and 6 lbs 6.5 oz. He seems to be a very calm and happy baby. Three days in it’s pretty clear that his feathers don’t ruffle easily.

Thank you to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for your terrific and professional service. Special thanks to Dr. Quijano, Dr. Echt, RN’s Lindsay, Kathy, Liz, Irma, Colleen, Julie and many others. You took great care of us. The brand-new maternity wing at Cottage is spacious, comfortable and state-of-the-art. I hear that they are currently testing a room-sterilizing robot that looks like R2D2.

The Restaurant Kid reports that the dining room at Cottage Hospital is great, with farmers’ market-fresh food and the lowest prices in town. He is looking forward to trying it when mom gives the thumbs up to solid food.

Here are some pictures of the potential successor of this column, taken when he was just a few hours old.




On August 15, 2013, I published this message from reader Nancy: “Hi John, We just ate at Lure Fish House at 60 California St in Ventura today, and it has fantastic food, gorgeous decor and ambiance, super friendly staff, great prices, extensive drink menu, excellent coffee, etc. I asked the waitress if they are coming to Santa Barbara, per chance, and she said yes! She seemed to think it will be on upper State near a department store.”

During the following year the story cooled off a bit and I didn’t receive any more updates about the seafood eatery’s voyage to the South Coast. Recently I was able to reach management at Lure Fish House and was told they are in negotiations with La Cumbre Plaza, 121 South Hope Avenue, to take over the space previously occupied by Ruth’s Chris Steak House, immediately next to Macy’s. I’m told that if the deal goes through it will be finalized toward the end of September. Details were few and far between but I was able to find out that if all goes well Lure Fish House will open sometime next year and take over two-thirds of Ruth’s Chris instead of the entire location. I don’t know what business will occupy the remaining third.

Lure Fish House has locations in Ventura, Camarillo and Westlake. Their web site offers this description of the eatery:

‘Lure Fish House was created with the goal of providing you with a Top Tier Seafood Experience featuring fresh and sustainable seafood from trusted sources. Our restaurant strives to provide locally caught seafood, organically grown local produce, and wines from local vineyards whenever possible. We also feature a full bar with specialty cocktails, and an oyster bar serving a variety of fresh items that can vary daily. Lure specializes in Mesquite charbroiled seafood while also providing uniquely prepared selections by our chef. We print our menus daily to reflect availability and guarantee freshness. Our primary goal is to provide you, our guest, a fun and exciting seafood experience. So just remember, if you are looking for a healthy and delicious dish…eat more fish!”




On Saturday, September 27, from 1 – 4 p.m. the second Fork Fest of the year will be held at Chase Palm Park. Fork Fest will bring local eateries together to compete in a friendly fork-off competition to win your vote. The cuisine genre is entirely open-ended to create a competitive nature among vendors and to inspire originality and quality. The event will feature a main wine and beer bar plus a specialty sangria, champagne, and craft beer bar. Tickets cost $48.24 and can be purchased online.

Leave a comment


Reader Matt saw a sign at the downtown Kahuna Grill in Paseo Nuevo advertising a weekly “Big Wednesday” special. If you buy one burger combo you receive another burger combo with a 50% discount. The downtown offer is good every Wednesday night starting at 5 p.m. Reader Cris says the Goleta location in Camino Real Marketplace offers the same deal.




Reader Matt tells me that there is a sign outside of Roy restaurant, 7 West Carrillo Street, indicating that they now serve lunch. Hours are 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call 966-5636 or visit





I was listening to the new  U2 album “Songs of Innocence” and noticed that  the song “California” repeats a chorus with the words “Santa Barbara”. The album is free on iTunes until October 13.

Leave a comment


Columnist Richard Mineards, in the current edition of the Montecito Journal, says that Cafe del Sol at 30 Los Patos Way has closed their doors permanently. Rick Sanders, owner of the property, is planning to keep the space an eatery.



chefWord on the street is that the highly anticipated The Outpost at The Goodland Hotel, 5650 Calle Real in Goleta opens Friday, September 12th. The Goodland Hotel and Outpost marks Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ second hotel and restaurant in Santa Barbara County, joining the Canary Hotel and Finch & Fork restaurant.

There will be both indoor and outdoor dining options, as well as a new lobby bar – The Good Bar. The Good Bar will offer morning coffee, grab-and-go dining options as well as fresh-pressed juice during the day, and feature craft cocktails at night.

“I am excited to use all of the great ingredients that are available in this area.  I want to cook food that’s fun, delicious, and inspired by all of the great cultures in Southern California,” says Chef Derek Simcik. “I hope that people will come to Outpost and have a good time—whether they’re dining with a group of friends outside, or on a date-night inside.” Chef Simcik’s menu will include highlights such as Fish tacos, pork bao-bun, Kale Salad, Halibut, Pork Belly. In addition, Outpost at The Goodland will be offering a weekend brunch service. Dishes will range from healthy options to large plates including Grain and Seed Risotto, Market Benedict, Chilaquiles, Eggs & Rajas, Seasonal “pop-tart” and Kale Chips.

For more information call 964-1288 or visit



Reader Huyen sent me a tip that Lilac Pâtisserie is coming to 1017 State Street this fall, next to Churchill Jewelers. Lilac Pâtisserie is a dedicated gluten free bakery and café run by husband and wife duo, Gillian and Alam Muralles, who have worked for years in well-known bakeries in Southern California. A diagnosed Celiac, Gillian’s focus as a pastry chef has always been gluten free baking as well as custom cake decorating. I am told that Alam has worked his way up the kitchen ranks to become a guru when it comes to operating a bakery. Lilac will be offering cakes, breakfast, lunch and dessert. For more information call 845-7400 or visit



Reader Cris let me know that Shave It is set to open Saturday, September 13 at 6530 Seville Road in Isla Vista. Their web site describes the business: “If you have ever scooped up a handful of soft and fluffy freshly fallen snow and taken a bite, you know how snow melts in your mouth. Imagine that same white snow drenched with your favorite flavor – that’s a Shave It.” Flavors offerings include pink lemonade, passion fruit, root beer and many others. For more information call 845-0423 or visit



Reader Carl tells me that Pressed Juicery at 506 State Street has closed and will be replaced by International Candy. I called Pressed Juicery and was informed that they are moving to a new location in Paseo Nuevo.

1 Comment


Bryan Brand, managing partner & co-founder of food delivery service sent me an update about his business: “John, I am writing you to inform you we recently have expanded our delivery hours to start at 8:00 a.m. daily in Santa Barbara. We are now delivering breakfast for South Coast Deli, Crushcakes & Cafe, Silvergreens, McDonald’s (Mesa Location) and our newest client, Spudnuts! Now locals and businesses can enjoy their donuts, pastries, breakfast sammies & more delivered to their home or office.”

Leave a comment


This just in from reader Elizabeth: “New Baja Grill in Goleta appears to be closed to prep for the transition to Los Agaves! We can’t wait!”

Leave a comment


Reader Willard tells me that the September 4 issue of Santa Ynez Valley News states that Habit Burger Grill, Chipotle and Starbucks are going in at Crossroads Village, Buellton.



Cafe Del Sol has posted this message on their Facebook page:

“Be an Angel and help us breath life back into Café del Sol. We are in urgent need to raise money to pay off liquor license suspension. Our first Angel “The Captain” has donated quite a generous amount! Donation $25, $50, $100, $500, $1000, Other. Checks payable to AA Restaurant Management LLC, PO Box 24033, Santa Barbara, CA 93121”

Reader PrimeTime says the restaurant has closed down – for now – but it may reopen as soon as Friday.



Starting Sunday, September 7th Hollister Brewing Company at 6980 Marketplace Drive in Goleta is celebrating the 2014-2015 NFL season with breakfast served Sundays 10am-2pm. They have got the NFL package on 7 wide screen TVs, so you can watch your favorite team. The menu includes Chorizo and Egg Tacos $10.50, Sausage, Gravy & Biscuits $10, Hollister Scramble $10.50, Huevos Con Chile $10, Prosciutto, Bacon & Egg Sandwich $12.50, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Frittata $11 and Brioche French Toast $9.50. Specialty cocktails include Michelada $6, Mimosa $7 and Sunday Special Bloody Mary $8.

1 Comment