MAGGIE’S CLOSES

1201 State Street was the home of State and A Bar and Grill for 29 years. It appears that the follow-up act, Maggie’s restaurant, which opened in August 2012, survived just 14 months. After receiving a tip I called Maggie’s restaurant and heard the following message: “Hello, we’re sorry to inform you that Maggie’s is officially closed.”

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89 Responses to MAGGIE’S CLOSES

  1. Jerry says:

    Not surprised at all. I’m surprised it lasted this long!

    Need new owners, new concept AND completely new interior. Also need to open up the big corner patio. A great opportunity for an experienced restaurant owner with $$$. Just re-renovating the place is going to cost big bucks. Do the Maggie’s folks own the building?

    • victoria ordin says:

      NEW INTERIOR? Are you out of your mind?

      Have you ever been to a museum with medieval tapestries?

      The renovations were stunning. It was the most beautiful dining room in SB , along with Cadiz and the rustic charm of Bouchon.

      And what do you mean “new concept.” It was French/American and a fraction of the cost of Bouchon due to the big appetizer menu.

      I can’t even believe this nonsense re concept.

      A bunch of philosophers apparently into whom I’ve not run since my graduate school days in SB , where everyone too broke to eat out anyway unless supplemented by family

  2. Fay says:

    Very sad, but they were overpriced and the concept just wasn’t right.

  3. Rob says:

    No they don’t own the building, they were assigned the lease from State & A during the sale of the business. I never went there, and really miss State & A, but from what I heard from a lot of local restaurant people (owners, servers, etc), this is not surprising. I heard a lot about the new owners style of management, and how she ran through employees like crazy, it apparently was far from a pleasant working environment. Considering how much time & money the new owners spent on the renovations, what an amazing loss of money this must have been for them. Always sad to see a place close, whether I ate there or not, but from everything I heard its not surprising.

  4. Barbara says:

    I loved it there. Beautiful setting, great wait staff, friendly owner, good food and great champagne by the glass.

    • victoria ordin says:

      Yes Barbara, I’m so so sad.

      I adore the owners and the head server. The bartenders all sweet.

      I went there a lot by myself to get appetizers and wine pre-Granada.

      The tapestries tremendous. Like the Cloisters in NYC

  5. Mike says:

    Too bad but not all surprising.

    My guess is at least 3 million lost on their fancy fantasy. I can’t wait for the restaurant garage sale to get my hands on some of this beautiful opulence.

  6. Mand says:

    I’m sorry that people are out of work and that a business failed. But who (outside the owners, apparently) couldn’t tell this was a dated, tired and sad looking attempt at a restaurant. I hope the people who are out of work find better things in the future.

  7. Victor says:

    I don’t think Maggie’s was sad looking. They spent a ton of money trying to make it fancy and formal. It was just a style better suited for Rodeo Drive than Santa Barbara. It is amazing that the owners were blind to a decor mistake that was so obvious to everyone in town.

  8. PJ says:

    food was good but overpriced is right. The owners didn’t
    understand that was not the location for upscale dining. Too bad
    they ruined the concept of State & A.

  9. Siz says:

    I saw this from day one. Although looking for a spot for an
    upscale restaurant leads you to the theater district in this block
    of State, what they overlooked is that they removed the only
    affordable sit down family restaurant from the area. The remodel
    layout was exactly what i would have done (not the style)…. I
    just walked by there yesterday and commented, “this patio would be
    jam packed if this was a bar and grill type of restaurant. Burgers,
    salads, sports, outside bar seating…with one of the largest
    outdoor patio on State Street with a full bar… that place WILL
    NOT LAST” I live in the neighborhood…

  10. SBG says:

    No surprise here… couldn’t believe it stayed open – even dead during parades and festivals.

    Tried to fill a market segment that did not exist.

  11. victoria ordin says:

    I am in NYC where I live part-time and boyfriend postedthis on my FB wall. I want to CRY! I have blogged many times. I LOVE MAGGIE’S and it is NOT
    MORE than any other fine dining in SB and considerably less than Bouchon and that ilk of restaurant. Yes entrees were all mid-20s. BUT the appetizers were huge. And the oxtail, signature dish, was only 13 in the appetizer. The wines were great and within the price point of these kinds of places. Carmelized brussels sprouts were divine. Best service, the owners are fabulous New Yorkers with impeccable taste. And BRUNCH was a bargain! 13 for my scramble with
    the potato daphinois. I am sorry to say this but here it is: Maggie’s was TOO GOOD for this town which doesn’t know a good thing when it happens. I’m absolutely heartbroken about this.

  12. victoria ordin says:

    STATE AND A was a total DIVE. Subpar food. Ugly. Stupid.

    The only good thing was that I met my boyfriend there over 3 years ago

    The people who claim it’s overpriced simply don’t know how to eat out on a budget. I eat out every night almost and sometimes once for breakfast or lunch.

    This was a deal. And the interiors? They’re like the Cloisters. But SB people don’t even know what that is (medieval wing of the Met in NYC) overlooking the Hudson River.

    The fact that this place didn’t make it speaks volumes about SB and nothing about Maggie’s.

    Drunk people drop all kinds of cash at that obnoxious Marquee with the hip hop nonsense on weekends. Cuz ya know, when I think martinis and Sidecars I think hip hop. (Sarc)

    And the funk zone has done great.

    The problem is that they never tapped into the Montecito market. And old wealthy people in Montecito tend to stay in Montecito to eat.

    It’s a fabulous place: warm, inviting, comfortable.

    It was my Cheers of SB before or after Granada symphony and ballet and UCSB events.

    This is just horrendous news.

  13. B says:

    It sounds as if Victoria was their only customer. Love it
    when people try and make SB into some hick town that can’t tolerate
    good food. Eat up troll.

  14. Judy says:

    Interesting comments, sounds like people are commenting on 2 different places. The nickname for that intersection, State and A, was in use when I was in high school (1950s). It was a meeting place after school, in front of the Museum; “I’ll met you at State and A around 3.” Kids could walk down State from Catholic High (Anacapa and Micheltorena), and Santa Barbara High kids walked along Anapamu to State; we met at State and A. Very few students had cars.

  15. helen says:

    We all know this place was DOA. State and A food was
    garbage with mediocre service, but by God, it was reasonably priced
    and a good place to gather. Then they spent a jillion dollars on
    the decor and renovation, delaying opening for ages. And the death
    knell was the overpriced menu. When your happy hour drinks are
    double digits–you’re doing it wrong. Sorry for the staff,
    hopefully a reasonably priced good concept with a good menu comes
    in. One of the best locations–could do a booming business
    easily!

  16. Cliff says:

    They lost me at the $17 Guac & Chips during Fiesta. Totally unacceptable pricing, just trying to fleece people.

  17. LizW says:

    It seemed dated and the menu boring from the get go. I make oxtails at home, poor people’s food. Despite the excellent location there is a lot of competition downtown for that price point. For example,Seagrass makes it work and they are on a side street. Also I think the trend overall is less formal dining, but the food knowledge has increased and they expect good food. I hope the space becomes something wonderful.

  18. Tom says:

    Former owner Gary Lynd kept State and A open AND popular
    for 26 years. He had local musical performers there and his
    employees and customers loved him. He only sold his beloved
    restaurant because of personal changes occuring in his life. Buyers
    Barry and Maggie Shulman purchased S&A, in my opinion, as a
    ‘project’. I am guessing she got bored with this boondoggle as they
    could certainly absorb any financial discomfiture for a long time.
    Those posting here that are from New York, in New York or love New
    York and are making comparisons…you are NEVER going to understand
    why local people frequented S&A but did not want to go to
    Maggie’s. I recommend for you, the Big Apple. It would be ludicrous
    for a new owner to overlook the model that former owner Gary
    established there. 26 years, OK? Hire him as a consultant for the
    first 6 months, publicize that fact and to have a presence. Former
    S&A customer and performer

  19. . says:

    it was boring and over priced

  20. Brian says:

    We’ve been here over 30 years and knew the new Maggie’s was
    DOA. Nothing looked right about the place for Santa Barbara. We go
    out exercise walking on State Street many evenings. Night after
    night it was almost empty. Bad concept, bad design, bad pricing.
    And empty at different times also. From the outside it looked
    stuffy and boring. Mystery how it lasted as long as it did.
    Someone’s deep pockets got a little lighter.

  21. LoFi Girl says:

    I agree. OVERPRICED. That kills it for a town that is already way too expensive for its own good. SB was never meant to be a richy rich kind of place, it was all the out of towners, Europeans and movie stars that came here and made it that way. Now what about the rest of us genuine locals who are working class folk without Montecito dough? I would NEVER pay $17 for a serving of guac and chips when we live in the avo capital of the state! LAME. Figure out your audience. There is enough rich overpriced lameness in this town.

  22. tama says:

    it was exactly like the cloisters. here’s me thinking no one else noticed.

    fosters freeze on the mesa had the same tapestries.

  23. Dan Duderino says:

    I just read ALL of the comments. A much needed diversion from Syria, Fukushima & The Tea Party (perhaps not in that order). I just heard that Quiznos is actually taking over M’s lease. I think that’s a mistake. A hipster art hang serving vegan sliders and Hostess Twinkies would last longer. For 13 years I worked at a design office in town and we cranked out a shiteload of restaurant logos over those years. Not too many are still standing… except ROY’s? Oh Saint Barbara… which restaurant will you kill off next. ~Duderino

  24. Mary says:

    Had dinner once very good and enjoyed the patio bar several
    times including for fiesta when Barney had chairs for us to sit and
    watch the parade..nice guy Barney however his wife after being
    introduced to us when we went back in didn’t even acknowledge
    us..just gave her attention to her DOG..NOT A GOOD BUSINESS
    PERSON..sorry hope that the next person makes it as location is
    PERFECT..

  25. Mary says:

    It was over priced. The decor was tacky. The ambiance was
    rigid and stale. It was so far from Santa Barbara style that it was
    like eating at Assisted living facility in Las Vegas. To those of
    you that liked it, I think you should leave SB.

  26. Sonny Boy says:

    State St. is already overpopulated with expensive opulent
    restaurants to the point that opening another is simply
    unimaginative at best! The decor at maggie’s was straight outta
    DeSade, enough to deter me without seeing the prices. Occasionally
    even wealthy people want to “slum it”. Overall, the owners
    obviously thought “it would be fun” to oppen a restaurant and treat
    people badly if the rumors are true. Here’s hoping something more
    like State & A opens in that space, or at least a locally
    owned business by bonafide locals.

  27. Thinker Bill says:

    Maggie’s at 1201 State Street was a great idea except for
    the location. The same people and food and decor to Coast Village
    or Upper Village and it could be jammed. Smile at the idea but
    locate like The Somerset Restaurant on te mountain side of Coast
    Village in the 1960s so that some Montecito patrons can park in the
    back of the lot and carefully (no black and white around) exit home
    onto a quiet northbound street and some park where their friends
    can “read the cars” and know who’s there. Parking. Social
    Atmosphere. See and Be Seen. Personally, fine dining is fine, but
    who fine-dines without any alcohol? Then, who drinks downtown and
    drives home? A real estate appraiser? GREAT corner. No question.
    But a location man would never put a Maggie’s-concept on such a
    high-cost/high-traffic spot.

  28. Fake-Victoria says:

    Help ! These Rubes are attacking me like I am the English
    language.

  29. Colin says:

    I had high hopes during the renovations. Such a premium
    location with a great outdoor patio. Much to my disappointment, the
    refurbishment, in my opinion, was very dated, cold and not at all
    inviting. Just a very odd style that obviously cost a lot of money.
    As a result, my wife and I were never tempted to patronize the
    restaurant and I wondered how long it could last. It’s a real
    shame, as the restaurant owners obviously invested heavily. In my
    opinion it needs to be modernized to create a warm and welcoming
    atmosphere, as potential customers need to be attracted to the
    restaurant in the first place. I think this could and should be a
    very successful location, assuming of course that the food and
    service is excellent.

  30. my two cents says:

    When Maggie’s opened a small group of us had drinks on the
    patio. The owner came up and told his story, he didn’t have the
    good sense to let us have some time ourselves, he monopolized our
    time there. It was obvious he had a very high opinion of himself
    and his ability to make a lot of money; going on and on about his
    own plane, etc. He went on to tell how much he spent on the
    renovation, and that he had a ten year lease which wouldn’t be
    enough time because of the success he envisioned. It was obvious to
    me that he was destined to fail. He ought to have invested in doing
    marketing and demographic research, and hiring a professional
    design team. There is clearly no accounting for bad taste. The
    decor was so horrible, old school, and off putting to me that I
    swore I’d never eat there, and I didn’t.

  31. Alex Castanedo says:

    I loved the State and A even if it was dated, great patio!
    I thought this new place gaudy in a bad way, I like Gaudi stuff in
    Spain, but this Maggie’s was thin on soul and heavy on stiff white
    powder coming out of Great Granny’s parfume box, peeyew! Glad to
    see over priced, ill spirited restaurants go out….hopefully
    something good gets in there.

  32. Rex of SB says:

    Quiznos in that primo location would be criminal. It would be like putting Big Lots in La Arcada Court. Please, please say it isn’t so!

  33. RoyskiBoyski says:

    After an initial walk through when they first opened, I was
    SO concerned and worried for these people I wrote them a letter, a
    warning/advisory of many of the same things you all said in these
    comments, and of my SERIOUS concerns for their survival if they
    didn’t change things. As I sent that letter off I though to myself
    ” who the hell asked my opinion anyway” ? And that when the owners
    got the letter they’d think ” what a lot of gaull this guy had for
    writing to critique OUR restaurant and concept !” But I tell ya, I
    was SO moved – appalled – by what I saw there, I HAD to let em
    know, for my own conscience. All the concerns turned out to be
    true. How very sad and unnecessary that these well intentioned
    folks will have to eat $300,000 in losses, and lose their
    business.

    • julibelleSB says:

      3 MILLION plus – I understand this was an ego project and they can well afford the losses (write off anyone?). I just hope all the vendors & staff are paid to date.

  34. Starstation says:

    The attacks on Victoria reveal how brain-dead this community can be.
    Small minded and petty.
    Pathetic.

    • Rex Of SB says:

      We aren’t attacking Victoria, we’re reacting to her elitist snarks at the Santa Barbara proletariat–snarks that aren’t aren’t any easier to stomach once one has read her narcisstic, dismissive, arrogant blog that simply drips with self-entitlement. Sorry if we’ve offended you, Vickster. I guess we’re all just a bunch of boorish cretins, who’d probably be happier eating at Carls Jr. Which, when compared with Maggie’s, I guess we would.

    • Jen says:

      Victoria seems to be the small minded and petty one …her comments were condescending and snarky… And her trying to promote her blog shows just how out of control her ego is…

  35. Mica says:

    So many upper price class restaurants have moved in an out of Santa Barbara. Out of towners always assume the the nouveau riche dominate the SB scene, which isn’t the case at all. We pay so much money just to live here, there just isn’t too much left over for over the top expensive dinners. I wish they would put something like Duke’s or BJ’s or Firestone in there. Just give us a cool place to hang, microbrew beer, local wine, local bands, and good sustainable fast food in the $15 range and you would have a winner. No more “theme restaurants” please!

  36. Bob says:

    Victoria’s blog says she dislikes women because they envy her looks and financial security. I dated a self-absorbed woman like her long ago. My sympathies to her boyfriend.

  37. Christine says:

    Good lord, that Victorian Chick blog is a train wreck. That Ph.D. in English she allegedly has really missed it’s mark. Bravo to UCSB for at least taking her parent’s money gracefully? She’s 41 and still living off daddy’s and her boyfriend’s money. Good for her. Wow. What a leech on society!

    • Lily says:

      PhD candidate, which is long way off from an actual PhD. Graduate students usually take a bunch of classes and start to research on a thesis topic in the first two years. Once the thesis topic is approved by the thesis committee, then the student becomes a PhD candidate.

  38. Sonny Boy says:

    I think Victoria’s got the hint folks. Now back to the dumpster I mean Maggie’s.

  39. Gerald Bostock says:

    Indeed, Sonny Boy! wow, quite vicious. (am I the only
    person who read her blog in March? When Ms. Ordin posted in this
    thread? I’m glad I kept quiet about her blog, which was … eye
    opening.
    http://www.santabarbara.com/dining/news/2012/08/03/maggies-opens/
    victoria ordin says: Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 9:13 am The remarks
    re decor are downright bizarre. This woman puts a boatload of money
    into a restaurant for which she clearly has high aspirations, which
    DEPARTS from the typical SB sunny, bright aesthetic standard as is
    taken to task for not being SB enough? Typical SB myopia. I’m going
    to try the brunch today after having had wine before and after the
    symphony at Granada last week. I sat at the bar and everything
    looked impeccable. The tapestries are gorgeous, reminiscent of the
    Cloisters in NYC by Columbia, Medieval wing of the Met on the Upper
    East Side. Only on a thread in SB, do you get penalized for trying
    to be more like a real, big urban center with class and elegance.
    Grrrrr”

  40. Gerald Bostock says:

    “I’m glad I kept quiet about her blog, which was … eye opening.”

    And very funny. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Put your energy into bigger disagreements.

  41. Former Employee says:

    While we employees of Maggie’s couldn’t agree more about
    the decor, pricing and ‘interesting’ work environment, the real
    losers in the whole debacle are the 20 of us that received no
    warning that we were suddenly out of jobs. No severance pay, no
    notice….nothing but a phone call that said ‘we just aren’t having
    fun anymore.’ Wow. With families to feed and bills to pay, it’s
    shocking and disgusting that our lives have been drastically
    affected due to the whim of people with super-egos and no care for
    anyone but themselves. We got screwed….no two ways about it. I’d
    love to debate the gaucheness of Victoria’s comments…but I gotta
    go file for unemployment. And maybe even food stamps. Thanks
    Shulmans!

  42. Rex Of SB says:

    Sounds like you could walk through the depths of the souls of the Shulmans and the Ordin woman and not even get your feet wet. The word “shallow” now has a new yardstick with which to be measured. Poor babies just aren’t having any fun. Okay, all together now: AAAWWWWWWW!

  43. Mike says:

    Meathead Movers were out there this morning with the lovely Maggie supervising.

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