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My foodie duties for the year wouldn’t be complete without summarizing activity at food & drink destinations on the South Coast. In 2016 there were 54 openings and 39 closings across the South Coast. The most openings were in February (8) while the most closings were in January (8). 2016 is tied with 2015 as the years with the most openings (54) in a calendar year since I started tracking restaurant statistics in 2007.

OPENINGS : American (11), Deli (5), Market (5), Mexican (4), Pizza (4), Coffee (4), Bakery 2), Dessert (2), Italian (2), Vietnamese (2), BBQ (1), French (1), Hawaiian (1), Indian (1), Latin (1), Mediterranean (2), Seafood (1), Spanish (1), Steakhouse (1), Japanese (1), Burger (1)

CLOSINGS: American (15), Mexican (6), Deli (4), Indian (3), Pizza (3), French (2), Seafood (2), BBQ (1), Coffee (1), Fusion (1), Market (1)

FLASH IN THE PAN: Eateries that both opened and closed in 2016: Le Petit Bistrot, 532 State St. (1 month); Boondocks, 4444 Hollister Ave. (1 month); Nimita’s Cuisine, 508 E. Haley St. (4 months); Yankee Noodle, 214 State St. (5 months, now American Ale 02); Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen, 718 State St. (10 months)

FALLEN ICONS: Santa Barbara lost two long-time local food and drink destinations: Montecito Café, 1295 Coast Village Road and Coffee Cat, 1201 Anacapa Street.

MOST POPULAR STORIES: Based on the analytics from SantaBarbara.com, my September announcement that Somerset restaurant, at 7 East Anapamu Street, is coming to Santa Barbara was the most read story in 2016. The eatery, located in the former home of Arts & Letters Café, opened in December. Here are the top-ten most read stories of the year:

  1. “Somerset Restaurant Opening Downtown”
  2. “Convivo Coming to Cabrillo”
  3. “Montecito Café to Close in November”
  4. “Mesa Burger Coming to the Mesa”
  5. “Blaze Pizza Coming to Five Points”
  6. “Dickey’s BBQ Pit Coming to Goleta”
  7. “Creekside Becomes Boondocks”
  8. “Nook and Lama Dog Open in the Funk Zone”
  9. “Hana Kitchen Opens Downtown”
  10. “Le Petite Bistro Coming to State Street”
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