POLL: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CLOSED RESTAURANT?

Restaurants come and restaurants go but many eateries of yesteryear still have a special place in our hearts. Which are your favorite South Coast restaurants that no longer exist?

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115 Responses to POLL: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CLOSED RESTAURANT?

  1. John Dickson says:

    - Chad’s on Chapala. I still dream about their sampler platter.
    - Piranha on lower State St
    - Chef Karim in Victoria Court
    - Aloha on Carrillo St (currently Mel’s)
    - 31 Flavors on Coast Village Rd (childhood hangout)
    - Swenson’s Ice Cream on upper State St (currently Via Maestra 42)
    - Spike’s near Fairview & Hollister (adulthood hangout)

  2. Dianne says:

    Pino’s in old town Goleta.

  3. robert says:

    Casa Blanca, lower State.

  4. Glenn says:

    Pancho Villas on Calle Real! (now home to Traders)

  5. gabe says:

    Brink’s in La Cumbre Plaza

  6. Paul says:

    The Greek Italian Deli (where Verizon is now)

  7. Wedge says:

    Mom’s Italian Village on Cota Street
    Jasper’s Saloon in Fairview Shopping Ctr

  8. cherise says:

    Mariscos boca del rio on Milpas – now leveled to become that quick-e mart (anyone know if they moved to Oxnard?) El Cazador in De La Guerra Plaza

  9. Jerry says:

    Storke Road Drive-In (Where Zizzo’s is)

  10. Eryn Eckert says:

    Andria’s Harborside on Cabrillo

  11. Richard says:

    The original La Tolteca on Haley Street….for their
    tamales. Nothing currently open campares.

  12. Sam says:

    That salad place where the Peace Store is now…

  13. Sam says:

    Fresh Choice, that’s it.

  14. Liz says:

    the Good Earth – Downtown.

  15. Marna says:

    Good Earth in Goleta … my favorite place to go Sun. morning to read the paper & sip good earth tea. There’s only one left in Studio City now.

  16. Marie says:

    Haagen-Dazs store on Coast Village Road & The Grill on CVR (where Lucky’s is now).
    Olive Mill Bistro on CVR.
    Deano’s Pizza – Cliff Drive

  17. Steve Mac says:

    Casa de Sevilla, and Talk of the Town

  18. bmcd says:

    Sevilla!! Mac n cheese

  19. Barbara Davis says:

    Talk of the Town!! The Green Gables!! The Epicurian!! 1129!! The Melting Pot!!

  20. Susan says:

    Mariann’s Italian Village….but only for the Calzone!
    Casa Blanca

  21. Ryan says:

    Chad’s downtown
    Johnny’s Rib Shack downtown
    Swensen’s in Goleta
    Arby’s in Goleta

  22. roger says:

    pescados on milpas, jimmy’s, moms, little audrys, Italian greek deli, and for meat market- Whitefoots!

  23. roger says:

    Oh, yeah- Head of the Wolf!

  24. Anita says:

    Jasper’s in Goleta

  25. rick says:

    Bay Cafe, when Larry and his brother ran it!

  26. Vickie Harvey says:

    Chad’s, Brinks in La Cumbre Plaza, anybody remember La Chaumiere where Downey’s used to be? My husband and I used to go there on our anniversary every year.

    • Papa Gene says:

      Yes I remember La Chaumiere, it was great food and service I especially remember the time we waited 30 minutes for our souflle, and then the chef (name ?) came to our table and said “I am so sorry, the souflle has failed” ,”as in fallen?” yes it did fall. lol…

  27. Peter says:

    the Nu Restaurant…….The ambience, menu and feel of the place embodied the best of Santa Barbara.

  28. Julia Crookston says:

    Lil Audrey’s, Josie’s El Cielito, Casa Blanca. The Spanish place in the old YMCA at Carrillo & Chapala, Jurgesen’s on CVR, and Mrs Fuery’s enchilada’s at Fiesta (de la Vina & Mission).

  29. Les Clark says:

    Tony Romas Ribbs……..Man I miss those!

  30. lemonjelly says:

    I miss Talk of the Town, Leatherby’s, Charlotte’s deli, Greek Italian Deli, and JR’s BBQ.

  31. Steve Mac says:

    Forgot to mention the Somerset. I used to take my Grandma there in the early 70′s when it was on CVR. They had a great piano player. Later they moved to Chapala St., and when they closed Chad Stevens took over the the location, and Chad’s was born.

    • Jamie Perez says:

      The pianist name was Gil Rosa’s – he was a legend in Montecito – played at Somerset, Olive Mill Bistro, The Montecito Inn and the Biltmore. He was known by everyone – very nostalgic.

  32. KSB says:

    Oysters on Victoria where Bouchon is now
    Norberts on De La Vina

  33. Spank says:

    Paul Bhalla’s.

  34. Chef David says:

    Sage & onion … Boy time after time it was good

  35. SLV says:

    Hector’s (I think that was the name), out in Goleta off Calle Real past Glen Annie. Leatherby’s! Azuma. The Chase before they added “Neo” to the name. Cafe Espresso Roma (sorry, you asked)

  36. Old-timer says:

    I dearly miss Casablanca Restauarante. My family were regular patrons for thirty years. I can still taste their tostada. The absolutely made the best Chili Rellanos anywhere in the world. I loved that restaurant.

  37. The Zone in Carpinteria, wonderful family-run sports bar/restaurant
    Chads
    Tony Roma’s
    Big Yellow House before it went down hill

  38. Maureen says:

    Miss Jasper’s, Bray’s 101, Swenson’s in Goleta, Timber’s, Ricardo’s, Chart House, Storke Road Drive In, Flight Line (where EBar is now)

  39. Mike says:

    Nan King Gardens, Casa Blanca, Petersen’s Drive In, Little Audrey’s, having grilled cheese with my grandma at the Woolworth’s counter, Castagnola’s Lobster House, Deano’s, Char West, Rice Bowl…I just remember what a dick that guy was to my parents, Bonanza Steak House, Happy Steak, Aloha Burger just for the wall of virtual thunder and lightning. I wish I had that rig in my living room now! We were def lower / middle class. I remember going to the Talk of the Town and having to wear a suit.

  40. Papa Gene says:

    Genio’s after 47 years

  41. Kat says:

    Fat Burger on State Street. I still recall the shock I felt when I passed by one day and the doors were padlocked. No more chile cheese fries??? For shame.

  42. Steve says:

    Papagallo Mom’s Good Earth-downtown Italian-Greek Deli on Ortega and State

  43. Garrett says:

    Will miss Chad’s… great service and cocktails

    and Cliff & Co, tough to find BBQ anywhere now

  44. SL says:

    Chad’s was the first to come to mind. Good food, good drinks, good service, comfortable space, and lively crowd/good people watching. It’s closure left a void in the SB dining scene.

  45. Tracy says:

    Chad’s, Greek & Italian Deli, Chart House, Deano’s, Left at Albuquerque (not for the food – the convenience and drinks), Pascual’s on Victoria

  46. liana says:

    The places that bring back the best memories as a kid. Lil Audreys and Red Robin.

  47. John Dickson says:

    I forgot to mention J.K. Frimples (currently IHOP on State St). I spent many a late night there.

  48. Yves says:

    Another vote for Hector’s in Goleta. That was great food.

    Jasper’s in Goleta was another great one. And Chef Karim and Paul Bhalla’s.

  49. Chuck.Darwin says:

    What a rush, seeing those old restaurant’s names. I’m surprised no one mentioned the Plaka – Greek food and folk dancing on Montecito street. And across the street for a bit there was Turkish food at the Moonangel. Kudos, Cherise for Boca del Rio, which never got respect it deserved, and to Jerry Russoniello for the Blue Bird Cafe. Mike, we all got dissed at the Rice Bowl, the cheapest restaurant in old time SB. I miss La Paloma, which had the great mural before the building became Paradise. And El Charro which was 1/3 the size of present-day Playa Azul.

  50. Bob says:

    Coast Village Snack Bar and their Sourdough Burgers

  51. msl says:

    hope this does’nt blow your mind .the true missed restaurants in my time in ”love town” are rice bowl, audrey’s, j. micheals,the original chase, the plaka, cherry garden,azteca,also the best mex. food in s.b. are in my opinion now are rose cafe on haley on the right days. The same with ”roman-tixer” ,corner of ortega and chapala.please whitout being rude let your restaurants know ,when the quality of the food you normally ,love, is not good ,today. restaurants need feedback . especially if you like them.

    • Krista and Tony says:

      J Michaels!!! OMG I used to love that place, always hung out and played darts (before the English pub craze mind you) Great little bar and big open doors to State st. Didn’t realize how great it was!!

  52. Mij kcub says:

    Blue Bird Cafe (mentioned), and another of Lyle Schiess’ creations, Twenty-Six West, short lived but excellent!

  53. Charlotte says:

    Jasper’s Saloon./ D.J.’s char burgers, / Baltieri’s,/ La Plaka,/ The Crabby Lobster,/ The Timber’s,/ Bray’s 101,/ Spikes

  54. Eric says:

    I’m probably alone in this but Cuzcatlan on De Lavina – They had some real gem dishes. Now that Jake’s is gone, the property owners stripped back the sign to reveal the Cuzcatlan sign making me salivate for some pupusas or some of their amazing fresh fruit drinks.

    Also, Red Robin for their burgers and fries. Shame on La Cumbre Mall for forcing them out. They were always busy whenever I went there. I hope their new “image” was worth aggravating customers.

  55. Bob says:

    Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens, although not for the food.

  56. Robert Fowler says:

    Castagnola’s Lobster House – I worked for Tom Headley, of Castagnola’s for years… in Brentwood, CA, at a restaurant we opened called the Golden Spoon! I’m trying to locate Tom these days… lost track of him after Castagnola’s closed!

  57. Gary Martin says:

    Hi John,

    My name is Gary Martin and I am originally from Santa Barbara (1941 to 1949).

    Right after the war ended and in the mid 40′s my Uncle, Arthur Snyder and his wife Rose opened the Flight line Restaurant at the airport in Goleta. They created a “Fly-in” service that they offered on Sunday mornings. Art designed the front of the dining area to lift up (like a garage door). Airplanes would taxi up and could be served breakfast. It was a favorite for flying clubs.

    Many well known and famous people would visit the Flight line, Mickey Rooney, George Gobel, ZaZa Gabor, Paul Lind, James Dean, Ronald Coleman and more that I can’t remember now. I do remember Mickey Rooney telling Art to take a break and then he tended bar and bought me a coke.

    Art was a pilot in the Army Air Corps during the war and flew the “Burma Hump”, he was also a flight instructor for the Army Air Corps. Art later owned Santa Barbara aviation and was a Beechcraft aircraft dealer.

    Uncle Art and Dan Carrow (Carrow’s Restaurants) were close friends and Uncle Art and Aunt Rose helped him open the first Carrow’s Restaurant in Santa Barbara. John was a realtor and asked Art to teach him to fly. He then used his flying skill to research restaurant locations. Aunt Rose helped Dan with is first menu and today on the menus at Carrow’s/Denneys is a sandwich Aunt Rose created for Dan and it is called the “Santa Barbarian”.

    These are just a few tid bits I remembered. I was partially raised by my Uncle Art & Aunt Rose and spent a lot of time at the airport.

    Gary martin

    • Barbara Connelly says:

      My Dad, Dick Ranaldi, was a pilot when I was growing up in
      Goleta. He frequented the Flight Line a lot! 1950′s – 1961. I’m
      sure he spent some time at the bar also. My Mom would go down to
      meet him after a trip and sometimes my sisters and I would get to
      go along. Do you have any recollections of him. He died in
      1961.

    • patrissha says:

      Hello Gary,

      Do you have any photographs and/or article could share online for the Flight Line restaurant, it seems like it was an awesome place. I lived in Goleta for years and I never heard that history. Thank you for sharing.
      Patrissha

  58. Charlotte says:

    Gary, thank you for that! I have the fondest memories of Carrow’s. I loved The Santa Barbarian! and the hot turkey sandwich that just had mayo. and cranberry sauce on it! So sad the Goleta store is now a Denny’s. I spent a lot of my teenage years studying, swilling coffee, smoking cigarettes and of course eating with my friends at Carrows. Fond memories indeed!

  59. Stephen says:

    I grew up in Santa Barbara, and one of the best eating experiences i remember was getting Mrs Fuery’s enchilada’s . Can anyone get the recipe? We would bye them in bulk, taking our own pans down to their kitchen, and freeze them for later. have never had a better enchilada than theirs!!!

  60. Sandi says:

    Baltieri’s. The great steak with onions and mushrooms and potato romano at Mariann’s Italian Restaurant.

  61. Sandi says:

    Oh yeah, breakfast at Mousse Odile too

  62. Krista and Tony says:

    Although only recently closed I already lament the demise of Jade. Such a wonderful and intimate place. I guess we just didn’t go there often enough. Do miss it though, many memorable meals.

  63. Kate Mutters says:

    Let’s see…the Bluebird Cafe, the original Joe’s Cafe, Casa de Madrid, the Chart House, the Carnation burger joint on upper State St, the tiny tortilla shop/restaurant near Hair, There, Everywhere, Maria’s (?) Mexican restaurant on lower State, and the tea house where you sat on cushions (in an old house). Also the East Indian restaurant on State St. – and slso the one in Goleta…all around ’72 – ’74.

  64. Charlotte says:

    Baltieri’s had the best Chicken Picatta and Marsala w/ the perfect Fettucini Alfredo. Jasper’s Saloon had the most amazing Abalone… god I miss Abalone. They also had incredible beef ribs they’d cut off from the prime rib. D.J.’s Charburgers were magical, I don’t know what the secret was. I also miss the Good Earth, which closed to make way for Paseo Nuevo. The Plaka was a fun place to go w/ really good Greek food. The Timbers and The Crabby Lobster, The Bakery, The Scotch and Sirloin at Goleta Beach, A@W, Hot Dog on a Stick, Howard Johnson’s and Carrows in Goleta, and Heidi’s Pies…. Big sigh…I just got really hungry.

  65. Clay says:

    Jimmy’s !
    1129 – yum!!
    The Epicurian
    Dean-O’s
    Frimples
    Philadelphia House
    Copper Coffee Pot
    Swensons by the post office on Upper State
    Original La Tolteca on Haley
    Greek Italian Deli

    Aww… This makes me sad :(

  66. David Johnson says:

    I always enjoyed going to Acapulco Mexican Restaurant on State St. (and in Ventura, too). Both gone, but the chain survives in the LA area. Longer ago I liked the Maya on Milpas (and Goleta). They have disappeared around here – but there is still one in Morro Bay. Likewise Carrows – still one in Santa Paula.

    BTW – I believe that the founder of Carrows was named David Nancarrow.

  67. Liet Madix says:

    Haven’t been home in years but the memories abide: La
    Jicora in I.V. (across the street from the 76 station around the
    corner from I.V. Grocer) the best Mexican hot chocolate and Huevos
    Rancheros con tortillas EVER Lilly Pad Arcade in Goleta best video
    games and shakes in town Good Earth off of Fairview for tea and veg
    soup & rolls Carrow’s at the SB Airport, best cuppa while
    doing flight plans (remember the The Pilot Shop?) Baltieri’s on
    Hollister Avenue for those cozy dinner’s (no one can duplicate
    their Tiermissou) Kings Tavern for darts and Guiness ZELO! On State
    Street, awesome pasta. Arrigato’s when was just a hole in the wall
    off of Chapala St near the Post Office & the Movie Rental
    place Cafe Roma on State St for studying and standwiches

  68. Don says:

    Oh for the days of Good Food.Friendly service. Sambos
    NORTHSIDE Benny Brays In Goleta. The Jolly Tiger. The Chart House.
    Uncle Johns. Joe’s on State St. The Fig Tree. and the old Carrows.
    not the same since dennys took over

  69. Jamie Perez says:

    OMG – I totally forgot about The Tea House – I loved that place. I went there when I first came to Santa Barbara in 1975. Thanks for the reminder. I’m glad the bldg still exists!

  70. Jamie Perez says:

    So many wonderful memories – so much great food. My best memories include absolutely my fave THE BAKERY across from the Courthouse – before it became an eatery it was THE place for THE best Danish pastries – unbelievable – (don’t know if Susan Sullivan owned it then), and of course Mrs. Fuery’s Enchiladas which we also bought by the dozen each Fiesta and froze for consumption throughout the year. Frimples and Carrows for late night. Espana, The Epicurean, Zelo’s, Bray’s (unforgettable warm apple dumplings with a custard hard sauce), The Main Squeeze (a little later – healthy cashew chicken) , and The Mandalay Cafe was a wonderfully artful and cultured cafe with afternoon tea and cream biscuits – very civilized (I was hired to sing French Art Songs there on weekend afternoons – it was fun). The Good Earth (downtown – we actually decorated their whimsical windows for several years and walked away with some great recipies). There was an eatery I loved at Coast Village Shopping Center near Vons that served the best Mulligatawny soup but I can’t remember the name. Birka and Jim’s Redwood Inn on Brinkerhoff (I was lucky enough to live in the apartment above their garage for several years and every Friday night Grandma would bring me left over dessert – to die for) and Skandi Buffet was one of our faves in later years…the chicken, herring salad and gingerbread still makes us long for that place. So glad that other faves like Sojourner and Dutch Gardens have survived. Just had lunch at Dutch Gardens as we passed through town a few weeks ago – Fresh Braunsweiger, Saurkraut and Klokke Roeland Beer on Tap in the garden- Ahhh – so many memories of the sleepy beach town Santa Barbara used to be – we moved to Pasadena when our home burned in the 1990 Santa Barbara fires. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. We shall never forget!

  71. Alisa says:

    So many:
    Zia Cafe
    zelo’s
    Hobey Baker
    Swensen’s
    Pino’s
    The Long Bar
    Peterson’s
    Brigitte’s
    Maison Robert
    Hunan Yuan
    Andria’s
    Papagallo

    Phooey.

  72. Gerald Bostock says:

    Jamie, I hope you see this.
    We might be the only two to remember and love the Mandalay. Kei Akagi played solo piano there. I can’t remember the owner’s name, he was a good man. We’d have a glass of wine at the end of the night with him. I also don’t remember the food, but I know nibbles, cheese plates were available. I loved the Mandalay. Thanks for your nostalgia.

  73. J. Rich says:

    Italia…….A great small Italian restaurant in the Fairview Shopping Center, Goleta. They had to close because of some prior building issues. Many of us miss his delicious meals. Would love to know if they will eventually reopen in another location nearby. JR 7/18/14

  74. Frank X says:

    And next door to Italia Pizzeria in the Fairview Shopping Center was Jasper’s. I miss Jasper’s.

    • Charlotte says:

      Yes Frank, I miss Jasper’s terribly. Out of hundreds of meals there in my lifetime, never had a bad one. God, I miss Abalone! The salad bar and hot bread, the Primerib bones for the earlybirds, the hunky waiters and dim lights. Hell, I even miss the rice. Very sad….

  75. jayne says:

    Andrias for the potato soufflé – I am lucky enough to have that recipe and make it often.
    Little Audreys for a great breakfast.
    Charlottes for the whipped eggs and wonderful French pastries! They made our wedding cake.

  76. Robert says:

    Rolands Nugget
    Don Vito’s spaghetti syndicate
    The Blue Ox
    Sonnys pizza
    George’s poor house
    Habit in IV
    Kelly’s Corner
    Josies Four Winds
    Dons in Goleta
    Deli Tante
    Carls steakhouse

  77. Rick says:

    Castagnola’s Lobster House – my wife and I used to drive up from Arcadia just for lunch. They had the best scallops I ever ate. Served in a basket with great fries. And they had mock turtle soup – the only place I’ve ever seen it. It’s been over 30 years and I can still taste it. It was fantastic.

  78. Charlotte says:

    Does anyone out there remember The Chili Factory? Where was it again? It’s driving me crazy!

    • Robert says:

      Oh yea killer spot George Thorogood(sp) would jam there occasionally. It was between 154 and Modoc on upper State .The building has housed different businesses through the years. Best happy hour around then as well.Thanks for mentioning it.

  79. Hugh says:

    China City, Sono, Camino Real Cafe, European Deli, Puerto Vallarta, Kenny Rogers Roasters, Fresh Choice, RG Burgers, JK Frimples, Thai place corner of Haley & Milpas. Jungle George Grill. Red Pepper Thai, and the Falafel place where Shintori Sushi is now.

  80. Ed says:

    Baba’s Falafels! I still have one of their old menus in my ‘”restaurant file.”
    I’d also add the German bakery on DLV where (I think) Cinco de Mayo’s is now and Hyotan Japanese noodle shop in the old “Alpha Beta” strip mall. All in my old ‘hood.

  81. Christine says:

    Way out in Goleta: behind Lucky’s (now Albertsons, in the shopping center near Best Buy and Costco), on the backside of that shopping area, the side that the Post Office is on, faces Pacific Oaks Rd – About a decade ago there was a dive bar but maybe 30 years ago, also facing Pacific Oaks, there was a small diner style restaurant. My mom loved to go there and have just have morning coffee with the owners. When I had my braces tightened as a kid she’d sometimes take me there after my appt to get scrambled eggs or french fries, it was a treat for me to spend time with her during the day when I’d usually be in school. I think a couple owned the place, he was the cook and she was the server. I cannot remember the name of this place! Anyone?

  82. robert says:

    Mongolian BBQ. Starving student all you can eat. It wasn’t great, but when you were hungry…

  83. Barbara says:

    Jimmy’s Chinese, Sambo’s, the old crab joint in Carpinteria (can’t remember the name) on Santa Claus Lane where I could pick out live ones and they’d steam ‘em for me and I’d bring them home. Also, the Shellfish Co., at the end of the wharf in SB, before it burned down and got rebuilt into a yuppified place.

    • Christine says:

      I never ate at the Shellfish Co before it burned down. You say the current version is “yuppified” (which made me giggle) so I’m curious, how was the original different? I enjoy the food greatly at what’s apparently the new version!

  84. sofia says:

    Mom’s Ita. Village, LA Tolteca, Jimmys,
    Jaspers, Carls, The Spur, Frimples, Ita. Greek deli, Deano’s, Fosters, Hamburger Village, Pino’s, Original Casa Blanca, Denny’s SB, Kalhoon Cafe, Rice Bowl, Castignola’s, Char West State, Original snack bar at the pit

  85. daisy says:

    rubys diner on state street (currently eureka) it had the best food great price and amazing decor i remember going in and feeling like i was going back in time?! anyone remeber this

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