ELEMENTS TO CLOSE

Reader Devon let me know that Sunday February 26th is the last day of business for Elements Restaurant & Bar 129 E. Anapamu St. in downtown Santa Barbara. I called the restaurant, which first opened 7 years ago, and they confirmed the story.

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18 Responses to ELEMENTS TO CLOSE

  1. Charlotte says:

    I gave the place three chances in three years and every time it was a huge, expensive flop! The waitstaff was useless and seemed to expect a grandios tip for nothing! The food just got more expensive,yet remained tasteless, cold and not executed properly. I had to ask myself every time I went there,” who’s running this ameteur hour??” Au revoir Elements!

  2. Anita says:

    I loved their tuna melt and tomato soup! Hopefully someone opens another restaurant there…

  3. Scott says:

    Good food, and a fun location. Bummer.

  4. k says:

    good! the last time i went.. w my sister.. we had a wine we didn’t care for.. they sent out the wine-dude.. he took a big sample of OUR BOTTLE declared it fine.. and walked away.. Then my sister had a dish so salty she ended up in the kitchen talking to the chefs! good riddance.. great location.. someone d o something great

  5. SL says:

    Hopefully someone will make good use of this location as it is a neat spot. Elements was one of those places I really wanted to like, but always came up short. The food just wasn’t very good. It sounds like it has potential when you read the menu, but when it arrives it’s just meh. The service every time we visited was just plain terrible.

  6. Melissa says:

    Overpriced, mediocre food and terrible service, I am not surprised.

  7. alisa haley says:

    rudest service I ever had in SB was at Elements. Let’s hope for something great, next.

  8. Tama says:

    Rude service, mediocre food…this seems to be a common thread in a lot of Santa Barbara restaurants. With the amount of capital need to fund a restaurant and the stiff competition in SB, I always wonder why the owners don’t take it one step further to make the establishment popular and thus profitable.

    They can’t all be that shortsighted.

  9. Tom Kottmeier says:

    As someone who is in the business, I always feel so sad, even angry, when people dump on a restaurant that runs into trouble, in terms that are so nasty. Yelp is the worst in this, where people feel free to vent their displeasure: THERE, take THAT! SLAM! Do any of these commentators know what it takes to build and run a restaurant? The hours and heartache? The trouble getting staff that can be relied on to do the right thing? No wonder owners run out of money, time and patience, and why so few make it at all! Sure, in the end there is probably a good reason why a place fails, but it would be so nice if the slammers would take a minute to consider the hurt they cause, and how about offering constructive criticism instead? I know I’m shouting against the wind, but there it is, for what it’s worth. Tom Kottmeier

    • Scott says:

      Thank you Tom. I completely agree with your statement. It seems that people love to see a restaurant fail just so they can say “I told you so”. Its a very hard business and these are very hard times. This does not excuse bad service, bad food, or a bad experience, but this seems a bit harsh. We need more success stories in this town, which requires passion, commitment, and support. This is a perfect place to voice your opinions, but it would benefit us all if it is done in a constructive manner, so that someone reading these posts can walk away with knowledge on how to improve, whether it be the current owner of a business or someone that is looking to start one. Now more than ever , is the time that we need to support all local business and constructive criticism with the intent to help improve is a way that everyone can do this.

    • Bob says:

      The same goes for the other side Tom. Lots of people feel sad and angry when they pay money for a service that falls far short of expectation. If you’re going to charge $12 for a beet salad or $17 for a hamburger then you’d better bring your A-game in every aspect, every single time. If not, then expect some well-deserved backlash.

      As far as the “hours and heartache”, I don’t know who owned Elements but they obviously didn’t care enough to fix what were well documented problems (poor service, sub-par value). They instead chose business as usual and let it go down the drain. Something tells me they didn’t spend nearly enough hours and heartache on their restaurant. Everything good/bad in any service industry starts at the top.

      • DC says:

        Ditto, Bob! When Elements had food and good service, their business
        thrived. But once they took their customers for granted, that business
        nosedived, and through no one’s fault but their own.

        This place had a loyal customer base, spectacular location, and they got FREE PUBLICITY from the
        Food Network twice-once from Rachel Ray and then from Giada. So
        my level sympathy for them is ZERO!!!

        The first time my husband and I ate there, we loved it! The staff was so kind
        and the food was delicious.

        Two years later we had a small wedding reception there, and we had a
        totally different experience. The staff was lax, the food was poorly prepared
        and we were practically ignored. This was so disconcerting considering it
        was such an important occasion for us. : – (

        My husband, who never complains, was really angry and disappointed that
        the staff blew us off on our wedding day.

        Sorry to say it, but no love lost here! I’m glad to see that Elements is
        gone with the wind.

  10. Charlotte says:

    Bob, you nailed it! I find it hard to believe the owners didn’t notice lazy staff and disgruntled customers! I don’t think anyone WANTED Elements to close, on the contrary, I kept coming back, hoping for positive change and it did not! So why would I want to throw my hard earned money down a rathole!

  11. julibelleSB says:

    Tom and Scott, yes, I do know what it takes to develop, open and run a restaurant. And Elements as well as their previous businesses suffered from the same set of issues – they seemed unable to really care about their customers desires. Elements and their previous businesses were all flash and trend catching and no substance and that comes from the top of the organization. How frustrating and disappointing for the cooks and servers to work so hard in an environment that always seemed designed for the egos of the owners rather than the enjoyment and excitement of their guests.

  12. DC says:

    The first time my husband and I ate there we loved it. The staff was so kind and attentive, and the food was delicious.

    Two years later we had a small wedding reception there, and we had a totally different experience. The staff was lax, the food was poorly prepared, and we were practically ignored. This was so disconcerting considering it was such an important occasion for us. : – (

    My husband, who never complains, was really angry and disappointed that the staff totally blew us off on our wedding day.

    Sorry to say it, but no love lost here! Glad to see that Elements is gone with wind.

  13. Ernest says:

    I helped open this place, my boss and I did the beautiful
    faux paint job and i was hired on to help with the grand opening.
    There were three owners at first I believe and an executive chef
    that still has a real passion for high end gourmet food, he
    actually has his own bistro in Jacksonville OR now. Yet as owners
    were bought out, Chefs and Cooks alike jumped ship and the staff
    turned over a few too many times there was nothing else that could
    have happened to this place, after all a flattering paint job and
    ambiance only goes so far. So in the end everyone here is right a
    little bit, if the owners stop caring and your executive chef
    leaves then even the frendliest waitstaff in the world are just
    polishing the brass on the Titanic. It seems as though the staff
    jumped ship as well though. Here’s a tip to the restaurant owners
    SB, stop treating your employees like they are worthless or that is
    exactly what your business will become. Ernest Tyler

  14. Rod says:

    I haven’t been back to Santa Barbara for about 5 years. When I lived in that area I used to love going to Elements restaurant. The food was excellent, the staff was courteous, the martinis’ were cold and smooth, the wine was marvelous and the ambiance was warm and inviting. I am preparing an itinerary for a return trip just to relive old happy memories and was expecting to visit the restaurant one last time. I was shocked and saddened to see it had closed. I read the comments and again was stunned to hear the vitriolic comments. My family was in the restaurant business for over 40 years and I feel bad, not only for the customers, but also for the staff and management. Just a little insight for those who may not know, the profit margin in the restaurant business is small so expenditures must be watched with a magnifying glass. However, as my parents used to say “The customer always comes first, the food and service second and the ambiance third”. Our customers were always greeted warmly at the door with a smile. We always knew their names and addressed them as Mr. or Mrs. or sir or maam. My father was the only one who would address the men by their first names (if he knew them). Sadly so much has gone by the wayside. High prices and beautiful locations are not necessarily the sign of a great dining experience. Bon Apetit.

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