Monthly Archives: February 2011

REST IN PEACE

Here is a list of local food & drink destinations that have closed in the last 6 months: February 2011: Billies 413 State St; Live Culture 11 W. De la Guerra St; Rileys Coffee 1106 Chapala St; The Taj Cafe … Continue reading

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GUEST CHEF MENU CONTEST

The new Petrini’s restaurant at 5711 Calle Real in Goleta is having a recipe contest Wednesday, March 2nd at 6pm. Customers and judges will be rating the best Italian Pasta or Pizza recipe submitted by local “guest chefs.” The person who submits the … Continue reading

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MESA CAFE UPDATE

This just in from Mesa Cafe & Bar at 1972 Cliff Drive: The Mesa Cafe, one of Santa Barbara’s most popular restaurants/bars, is expanding!  We are moving into the space next door, formerly a nail salon.  Construction is now underway and … Continue reading

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TURNING YELLOW INTO GREEN

Reader Brian tells me that the building at 108 Pierpont Road in Summerland, more commonly known as Big Yellow House, is in escrow. After decades of service, Big Yellow House closed in 2006. Now we have a Big Yellow Question: If the property … Continue reading

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BYE BYE BILLIE, HELLO MOMMA

Reader Huyen tells me that she stopped by Billies at 413 State Street over the weekend and found out it has changed hands and has a similar menu and a new name: “MommaDonna’s.” Billies originally opened in May, 2010. Before Billies arrived, 413 State … Continue reading

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“THE CHAMOMILE” OPENING DOWNTOWN

Over the weekend I received a tip from reader Ken that a new vegan restaurant was coming to 426 Chapala Street, the former home of Sevilla, and that the owner previously operated a restaurant in Carpinteria for many years. That sounded … Continue reading

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NEW MENU AT HOLLISTER

This just in from Hollister Brewing Co. at 6980 Marketplace Dr in Goleta: We want to give you a sneak-peek at our upcoming menu changes.  We are VERY excited with our newly expanded menu and hope you will be too.  HBC … Continue reading

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GO VEGAN

I just received this message from reader Carrie about a new vegan web site govegansb.com: Hi John, I just wanted to let you know of a new group and website that has formed called Go Vegan Santa Barbara (www.govegansb.org). As you … Continue reading

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RILEY’S COFFEE CLOSES

Reader Glenn tells me that Rileys Coffee has closed at 1106 Chapala St. Riley’s Flowers, at the same address, continues to be open as usual.

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THE TAJ CAFE CLOSES

I have confirmed that The Taj Cafe at 905 State Street has gone out of business. I am told that the windows are papered over and that there is a sign thanking customers. The Taj Cafe was the anonymous restaurant set to close … Continue reading

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IS THE TAJ CAFE CLOSED?

I received word a few weeks ago that Indian restaurant The Taj Cafe at 905 State Street might close. Today I received word that they did close but have been unable to confirm it. Nobody answers the phone when you call during … Continue reading

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OFF TOPIC

I am receiving word that federal agents raided a business on Haley Street today and seized computer hard drives. I am told that the name of the business is “National Sales Group.”

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CHOCOLATIER COMING TO LA ARCADA

Chocolats du CaliBressan at 4193 Carpinteria Ave in Carpinteria is opening a new location in La Arcada in downtown Santa Barbara. Here is the press release I received today about it: Carpinteria chocolate shop expanding to Santa Barbara Chocolats du … Continue reading

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CAFE LUCK UPDATE

I called Cafe Luck at 18 E. Cota Street last night and was told that the restaurant has a new chef and that the menu has been updated to include an “eclectic mix of cuisines.” I am told that the most … Continue reading

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BE BOP SOLD

Sources tell me that the old Be Bop Burger property on State Street near the train station was sold. I have heard rumors that the owner is probably not Islands Restaurant, as mentioned as a possibilty in an earlier post.

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RESTAURANT WRAP UP

Here is a list of food & drink destinations that have opened in the last 6 months: February 2011: Crushcakes & Cafe 4945 Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria January 2011: Killer B BBQ and Bar 718 State St; Nicky D’s Wood-Fired Pizza … Continue reading

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SPEAKING OF HIGH SCHOOL REUNIONS

I am on my Santa Barbara High School reunion committee and we are looking for a pre-reunion gathering spot this summer on Friday night, July 22, 2011. I am searching for a place in downtown Santa Barbara that can accomodate 100-200 … Continue reading

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BEFORE & AFTER

Last September 29th I wrote a blog item about finally reaching my goal of losing 50 pounds. Rather than lose it quickly and gaining it all back, back in 2003 I instead embarked on a 7-year plan to completely change my eating habits. … Continue reading

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CRUSHCAKES & CAFE OPENS IN CARPINTERIA

Crushcakes & Cafe has opened at 4945 Carpinteria Ave in Carpinteria. The original location opened at 1315 Anacapa St in Santa Barbara in February 2008. I asked owner Shannon Noormand why she chose to open a new restaurant in Carpinteria: “We deliver cupcakes … Continue reading

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SKIING IN SANTA BARBARA

Here is a picture of my cousin Michael Blake skiing in the mountains above Santa Barbara on Sunday.

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“THE VICTORIA ROOM” LAUNCHED

Last night Omni Fresco Catering launched “The Victoria Room” private dining facility at 1221 State Street (in Victoria Court), the former home of Chef Karim’s Moroccan Restaurant. Fresco founder Jill Brouillard partnered with long time Fresco! Catering chefs Heather Story … Continue reading

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TIP OF THE DAY

It’s a slow news day so I instead present to you a video of how to peel a hard boiled egg in 5 seconds. Peeling a hard boiled egg can be a tedious and messy task. It won’t be anymore after you have watched this. … Continue reading

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TACOHOLIC

Because it is tax season I have been going through my receipts, preparing for a meeting with my CPA. In the process I was starting to see a pattern: 1) Tacos for lunch 2) Tacos for dinner 3) Repeat. I … Continue reading

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VALENTINE VERDICT

Did you dine at a local restaurant on Valentines Day? If so, where did you go? How was your experience?

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NEW IN THE GUIDE

Today I added photos of the new Spudnuts – Goleta to the restaurant guide. I recently enjoyed a nice happy hour at Boathouse and used that opportunity to take a new interior photo that shows how close the eatery is to the ocean. … Continue reading

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MAKE THAT 10

The other day I mentioned that the addition of the new Goleta Spudnuts to the restaurant guide increased the total number of South Coast 24-hour eateries to 9. A reader recently let me know that Jack in the Box – Upper State … Continue reading

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HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

If you manage a restaurant and have a Valentines Day special, post it here! Love, John

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MAGGIE’S AT STATE & A

Blogger Craig Smith is reporting in his blog CraigSmithsBlog.com that State & A Bar and Grill at 1201 State St. has been sold and is getting a new name: “Maggie’s at State & A.” Smith says “Rumored for some time now to have been … Continue reading

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A BICYCLE AND BROKEN RADIO

The Santa Barbara Independent has a story out today about my interview with Petros Restaurant in Los Olivos that was published in the Daily Sound last Tuesday. I was not contacted by the Independent for comment so I’ll instead post … Continue reading

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ISLANDS RESTAURANT UPDATE

On February 2, 2010 I wrote that the Islands Restaurant chain was interested in setting up shop somewhere in Santa Barbara. They have been looking at various locations all along the downtown State Street coridor. Sources tell me they have … Continue reading

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