Readers Nick, Tabitha and Mike let me know that in the coming days Creekside Restaurant & Bar will be opening at 4444 Hollister Avenue, the former home of Boondocks and the legendary Creekside Bar. This weekend was the original plan for opening day but rain might bump the date a few days.
I stopped by the other day and quickly realized that this is not just a new coat of paint. Creekside owner David Burkholder, who also owns the The Neighborhood Corner Bar & Grill at 235 West Montecito Street, has extensively renovated the property. Creekside, which used to be a 21-and-over bar is now a full restaurant and bar for people of all ages and it’s very family friendly. When fans of the Creekside come for a visit the first thing they will notice is that things have been turned inside out. Among many upgrades, the space that used to contain a large indoor dance floor is now an outdoor dining area. Behind the restaurant is a huge space for private parties, one of the largest outdoor dining venues anywhere on the South Coast.
Barbecue fans will rejoice. “What I have done is a Southern barbecue-based menu with California influence,” says long time local Chef Kyle Jones. “We have the traditional stuff like the baked beans, coleslaw, and mac & cheese then I’m bringing California influences like roasted Brussels sprouts and a watermelon feta salad. Were doing farm fresh salads to appeal to what we think the Santa Barbara area wants. Then you have southern things like smoked chicken wings with Alabama white sauce, jazz apple & celery. We’re doing house-made sausage, smoked chicken, ribs, tri-tip, pulled pork, and we have vegetarian-based salads. You can get ala cart meats to go with your salad. We’re doing craft cocktails [by General Manager and Mixologist Richard Hollowell], wines by the glass, wines by the bottle, and we’re outsourcing local wineries like Brander and Ballard Lane. We’re trying to get a real approachable feel, basically a smaller end, middle end and higher tier wine selection. Quality is our focus all the way across the board.”