I spoke with Cafe Buenos Aires on the phone Thursday evening and was told that the restaurant will be closed for good next week and will be replaced by “another restaurant.”

A friend, who meets every week at Cafe Buenos Aires for Argentinian tango, says the place was packed last Wednesday for a final dance. The tango group was told that the restaurant’s last night is this Sunday, March 27th and that Cafe Buenos Aires will be replaced by Greek restaurant Petros. Petros has locations in Los Olivos and Manhattan Beach.

I am a fan of Wally Ronchietto and his great restaurant Cafe Buenos Aires. I’m sorry to see a Santa Barbara icon like CBA close after decades of faithful service to our community. I enjoyed many a lunch and dinner there. From what I hear, Petros is fantastic and that Petros Benekos is one of the very best chefs around. Like many others, I’m looking forward to dining there this summer.

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33 Responses to IT’S OFFICIAL

  1. Spank says:

    I’m guessing some other local food writers won’t have time to print an apology… Nice work John.

  2. S.Miller says:

    Im so bummed they are closing I’ve been going to this place for the last 5 years and their empanadas are the best! And their chimichurri sauce I would buy bottles of, so good! I visited Buenos Aires, Argentina a few years back and must say was impressed with the food at both places in comparison. Sad to see them leave what a beautiful spot!!

  3. SL says:

    Just as suspected. When John got the scoop the deal was likely not finalized, hence the denial by Cafe Buenos Aires. It’s a bummer John had to get so much flack for it and I doubt they will apologize. That’s a beautiful restaurant space, but the food at CBA had been heading in the direction of meh for far too long, I’m excited to give Petros a shot.

  4. Paul says:

    Glad you were exonerated. Now if the Indy will get off their butt and print an apology for their scathing article about you and the Daily Sound.

  5. Sean says:

    Great reporting in the face of adversity. Sorry that the Santa Barbara Independent very publicly tore you to shreds for writing a story that was true!

  6. ron says:

    What a shame, Santa Barbara desperately needs diversity, not more of the same! Cafe Buenos Aires was a really nice restaurant with a true Argentine flavor, really good food and great atmosphere! But, I guess like every other store on Santa Barbara, high rent and greed win over what’s good for the community. Welcome to 21st Century America!

  7. Chris says:

    That’s why I get my restaurant news from reputable sources aka John. Not lazy reporting by Independent hippies.

  8. Marie M says:

    Sad to see the CBA close down, but the Ronciettis can be proud of building a wonderful establiishment for dining. It is a gem and the location is superb. If Wally retains ownership of the property it will probably be less stressful than managing the day to day restaurant business.

    I think that it was not right for The Restaurant Guy to have written about this until the transaction was finalized. Negotiating contracts are very complex and outside interference can often cause problems for both lessor and lessee, or buyer and seller–whichever it is in this case.

    • SL says:

      Huh? This is America honey, freedom of speech and freedom of press hopefully still exists. John was in the right by posting his information especially when it was reported as a rumor and not a done deal.

  9. Jan T says:

    I liked CBA sooo much better when it was in its original hole-in-the-wall location where Ca’ Dario is now. We used to eat there every week, but could no longer afford it after they moved to the fancy new space. Wally, you should go back to that business model; it’s what you do best.

  10. Glenn says:

    Score just in: Team Dickson 1, Team CBA 0

  11. TPizzle says:

    Congratulations on securing your status as the TMZ of Santa Barbara restaurant news.
    Just because you got it right doesn’t excuse failing to check your facts.

    • Marcel Kincaid says:

      What the hell does that mean? “got it right” means the facts were correct.

      • TPizzle says:

        It means rumors are often correct. We hear it first from the gossip rags all the time. If John were a journalist he would have checked his facts before printing the story and he wouldn’t have gotten into hot water when the principles denied it.

        • Glenn says:

          I believe it was Petros where the info came from so in that sense it was a factual story. Whether CBA gave a no comment or not at the time is irrelevant.

          • Martin says:

            CBA didn’t say no comment. CBA denied. Dickson published that CBA was sold before Petros had made an offer. It is like saying that some is dead right after been told that he may have cancer and need to get some tests.

          • Paul says:

            CBA did decline to comment to Dixon and offered no denial before the Daily Sound article was published. They most certainly denied afterwards, though. It was Petros representative Jean Legg’s announcement that they had taken over CBA that the Daily Sound reported. Clearly Legg jumped the gun.

        • ML says:

          Dear TPizzle,

          Check your facts – “Blog” means “writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions”.

        • Marcel Kincaid says:

          ” If John were a journalist he would have checked his facts before printing the story” — Once again, pizzle, he had the facts. ” he wouldn’t have gotten into hot water when the principles denied it” — nonsense: the facts were denied; it happens all the time. You are just a mean-spirited curmudgeon who wants to say nasty, downright slanderous things about TRG.

  12. Steve says:

    Wally and Silvia established a very beautiful restaurant on State St. Though I didn’t visit the CBA on State St. often, I was a regular at the first CBA at the site of today’s Ca’Dario. That was a delightful place. But I salute both Wally and Silvia for their contribution to SB and lament that CBA will disappear from the restaurant diversity available to us.

  13. Andi ^..^ ~ says:

    Ah , sweet somber moments , Cafe Bueno Aires along with the great Al Reese and friends offered probably the best in “Sundays in Santa Barbara” atmospheres.
    Last night was a bittersweet feeling glad to be and see so many absorbed in the multi faceted delights offered at CBA. Beauty ,good food ,relaxing music and so sad to know it will be no more .
    Cheers to the staff and all they truly showed grace and poise what may be considered a dark moment .Thank you for keeping it bright !

  14. Tom says:

    Don’t listen to the whiners and complainers, John. Those of us that want restaurant news and can evaluate it for ourselves think you are doing a great job. Please keep it up. CBA was well past its prime. I for one am really looking forward to Petros.

  15. Paul says:

    Congratulations Petros on opening at Cafe Buenos Ares – as Jon said they would!

  16. Daniel Karjala Casas says:

    Too bad. I relocated to california in 2005 and did not know
    of CBA until later… only to close. Being a native “Porteño”
    (Buenos Aires) and of grand parents that founded Cafe Toroni and
    others, I would have loved to continue its legacy and even bring
    more Buenos Aires nostalgia to this once great restaurant. Hope the
    best for Petros, but maybe some day a new Cafe Buenos Aires while
    reemerge and blossom even more. Adios muchachos, compañeros de mi
    vida (C. Gardel)… ¡ Pero hasta pronto!

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