Monthly Archives: December 2013

SIGNING OFF

This is exactly the 500th blog entry of 2013. That’s a great number to end another fabulous trip around the sun. I had a good time and hope you did too. Thanks for leaving 2072 comments since the first day … Continue reading

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NEW FOOD TRUCK

Reader Eric tells me that Arief Norman, the sushi chef at Gelson’s and founder on the Japanese catering business “Sushi on Site” now has a food truck/trailer making the rounds on the South Coast, serving lunch combos for $8.99. I’m … Continue reading

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SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

This year, Alejandro Guillen, Alexander Italia, and Alejandro Martinez have each been awarded a $2,500 scholarship on behalf of Mitchell Sjerven, owner of bouchon and co-owner of Wine Cask.  The American Riviera Scholarship is a grant program Sjerven created on … Continue reading

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS

The 8th-annual SantaBarbara.com Restaurant Survey of your favorite places for food & drink ends in a few days. The online survey runs each year throughout December and the results will be published in January. The survey results, which cover 99 … Continue reading

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2013 YEAR IN REVIEW

My foodie duties for the year wouldn’t be complete without summarizing activity at food & drink destinations on the South Coast. In 2013 there were 47 openings and 32 closings of restaurants and food trucks across the South Coast. When … Continue reading

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MONY’S OPENS DOWNTOWN

Reader Dan let me know that Altamirano’s at 217 Anacapa Street, also known as Hidden Dolphin Café, has become a Mexican restaurant named “Mony’s.” Dan tells me that the owners started with a food truck and now they have this … Continue reading

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PACIFIC PICKLE WORKS LAUNCHES KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN

Pacific Pickle Works, a specialty producer of pickled vegetables located in Santa Barbara, recently launched a 30-day Kickstarter.com campaign to raise $30,000 to help grow the company. Launched in 2010, the company supplies its all natural pickled vegetables to gourmet … Continue reading

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BLUE TAVERN UPDATE

Reader Gerald let me know about an article in the LA Times that says the partners at the new Blue Tavern restaurant (119 State Street), Chef Ricardo Zarate and Stephane Bombet, have split and that Zarate will take over the … Continue reading

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QUESTON OF THE DAY

If you have an answer to reader Spencer’s question please leave a message in the blog. John, I’m looking to buy a bunch of gift cards from a local restaurant to give to clients as holiday gifts.  I know some … Continue reading

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END OF THE ROAD

This just in from the Culture Shock Food Truck: We moved back up to San Francisco a little while ago for my husband’s work, and I have decided to close the business. His job takes us places, and it doesn’t … Continue reading

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NEW NAME

Reader Matt let me know Wayne Kjar Cakes at 2018 Cliff Drive has changed the name of their business to “Your Cake Baker – Wayne Kjar.” Owner Wayne Kjar is the son of the famous Santa Barbara cake baker, Mr. … Continue reading

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FOR PEET’S SAKE

Through December 24th Costco is selling $100 worth of Peet’s Coffee gift certificates for $74.99. You receive 5 $20 cards.

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SPEAKING OF COSTCO

I noticed that at Costco, fresh, boneless chicken is more expensive per ounce than similar, frozen, bagged, boneless chicken. Ok, I get that. You pay a slight premium for “fresh.” I then noticed that canned chicken (any brand) is more … Continue reading

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SANFORD OPENS

On September 16 I reported that Sanford Winery was planning to open a tasting room in La Arcada, 1114 State Street. The wine finally started flowing downtown last week. Sanford Winery planted the first pinot noir grapes in Santa Barbara … Continue reading

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FRESCO FUNDRAISER

Fresco Café at 3987 State Street is holding a fundraiser all day on December 21 and will be donating 20 % of all sales to The Friendship School. The school is a peace project located in Hanoi Vietnam that serves … Continue reading

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ACCIDENTAL SANTA

My main business line 800-SANTABARBARA (800-726-8222) just happens to be one digit off from 800-SANTACLAUS (800-726-8225). Consequently each year around Christmas I receive thousands of phone calls from mis-dialing kiddies trying to reach Old St. Nick. When I first activated … Continue reading

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JERSEY MIKE’S TO OPEN DOWNTOWN

Reader Steven let me know that there is a sign at 1213 State Street, the former home of Quizno’s Subs, indicating that Jersey Mike’s sandwich shop intends to take over the space. Jersey Mike’s opened their first South Coast location … Continue reading

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BEACH BOWLS COMING TO CARP

Reader PrimeTime tells me that Beach Bowls, a Acai bowl/smoothie place, is opening at 901 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria, across the street from Robitaille’s Candies.

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BREWERY RESTAURANT COMING TO CARP

Reader PrimeTime tells me that a new brewery/restaurant is coming to 5065 Carpinteria Ave. in Carpinteria (formerly Porch, across from Jack’s Bagels).

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PIZZA HUT RETURNING TO SB?

This just in from reader David: “I heard from a kid over at the bakery across the way that a guy wants to open a Pizza Hut in the front building at 209 South Milpas Street and he’s trying to … Continue reading

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CHASE RESTAURANT UPDATE

This just in from reader Matt: Hey John- FYI, I saw an ABC “Change of Ownership” application above the front door of The Chase Restaurant (1012 State Street) yesterday. Hope you are well. –Matt

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THE FRESH MARKET OPENS

The Fresh Market Grocery Store opened today (December 11th) at 222 N. Milpas Street (formerly Scolari’s).

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STARBUCKS COMING TO MILPAS?

An unconfirmed rumor from a good source suggests that Starbucks is coming to 101 Milpas Street, the current home of Blockbuster. If true, this will be the first Starbucks on the east side (not including Coast Village Road.)

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WHOLE FOODS TAPAS BAR

This just in from reader Carla: Hi John, Whole Foods (3761 State St) has a new tapas bar, the ‘Buzz Hive’- 12 beers on tap and plenty of wines by the glass; cheese plates, panini, salads, and weekly complimentary beer … Continue reading

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VERDE CLOSES

After just 4 months in business Verde restaurant at 532 State Street has closed their doors. The business has been sold and the new owner hopes to open a new concept at that address by the end of the year.

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LILLY’S TAQUERIA OPENS IN GOLETA

The popular Lilly’s Taqueria at 310 Chapala Street, voted #1 taqueria in every restaurant poll on the South Coast, has opened a second location at 290 Storke Road (formerly La Carreta, next to Kmart). Being a huge taco fan I … Continue reading

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JUICE RANCH OPENS IN ISLA VISTA

Cold-pressed, organic juice purveyor Juice Ranch has opened their second South Coast location at 6533 Trigo Road next to Crushcakes Café. Last March they opened their first area location at 33 Parker Way, just around the corner from the Santa … Continue reading

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BUDDHA BOWLS OPENS IN ISLA VISTA

Buddha Bowls has opened at 901 Embarcadero del Mar in Isla Vista. A Buddha Bowl is a carved out, freshly baked bread bowl packed with fresh ingredients and toasted. Hours are Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday … Continue reading

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REMEMBERING PETER SKLAR

Edhat founder Peter Sklar passed away a year ago today, on December 9, 2012, after a fifteen-month struggle with cancer. In 2003, he started Edhat.com. It was his dream of drawing the community together in a very unique way and … Continue reading

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VERDE UPDATE

I received a tip that things are not quite business-as-usual at Verde (532 State Street). I called multiple times during their regularly scheduled business hours the last two days and nobody answered. Their voice mail is no longer working.

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