Readers Peggy and Tinang let me know that a new sign has appeared at 1201 State Street, the former home of Maggie’s and State and A. I stopped by to check it out and saw a paper notice that says a new business named Benchmark Eatery (not necessarily the final name) will be the next tenant and that Benchmark is owned by 3 Sides Clear LLC.
As it turns out that was not the end of the story. I did some research and it appears that 3 Sides Clear LLC is managed by John and Susan Bennett, the owners of Brophy Bros. in the Santa Barbara harbor. The Bennett family is involved with the recent purchase of the Cliff Room bar at 1828 Cliff Drive on the Mesa. Rumor has it that the Bennett family might also be teaming up with the new owner of Arch Rock Fish restaurant that recently changed hands. Just sayin’.
I think this is great news for downtown Santa Barbara: a storied local restaurant family taking over an iconic local dining spot that had lost its way. Happy endings really do happen.
UPDATE: This just in from the Bennett family:
Thank you for your kind words and accurate reporting of the Maggie’s project and our involvement. I am going to return the space to a casual eatery with high quality, value driven food and generous drinks. Our menu will focus on casual american fare with local relevance. Our price point will be similar to Brophy’s allowing everyone to join in on the experience. I am confident we will be introducing something new to the area ultimately bringing more traffic to surrounding businesses.
As for the patio, it is impossible to return it to the original open aired design. The fire sprinkler system, electrical, and structural integrity is tied into the rest of the building and codes restrict us from change. I sure wish I could open it up as it would be AMAZING but such is life ..
The previous owners are such nice people and I am happy to help them with the transition.