Owner Tyler Duncan tells me that he is still working through the permitting process for a Summerland location of Rusty’s Pizza and that construction will start early next year. In 2015 reader Foodie Dan sent a tip letting me know that a sign mentioning Rusty’s Pizza had appeared at 2315 Lillie Avenue in Summerland, the longtime home of Stacky’s Seaside, which has since closed.

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Readers DeeDee and Antonio tell me that the first Starbucks on the UCSB campus has opened at the UCen in the former home of UCSB-owned Nicoletti’s. A year and a half ago, when I announced the pending arrival of Starbucks at UCSB, it was scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. Another Starbucks is located less than a block away from campus at 888 Embarcadero del Norte.

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Reader Sande tells me that Papa John’s Pizza at 5756 Calle Real in Goleta, which closed last month, will reopen August 14th under new ownership.



Reader Mary tells me that Naughty Oak Brewing Company Brewery & Taproom at 165 South Broadway Street in Orcutt has opened a second location at 3569 Sagunto Street in Santa Ynez.



Reader Annie asked me if Papa John’s Pizza at 5756 Calle Real in Goleta is closed for good or just temporarily. I had no idea that anything unusual was going on in that part of town so I phoned them during regularly scheduled business hours (no answer) and searched for them at (they are no longer listed). Until I hear otherwise I am going to make the call that they are gone. Papa John’s Goleta opened in July 2014.

Update: Papa John’s will be reopening August 14th



Readers Ellen, Harry and Brendan passed the word that Rebar Coffee at 214 State Street has closed. Rebar opened in August 2015.  This address has had numerous businesses come and go in recent years including Entrada Market, American Ale 02, Yankee Noodle, Tri Tip Company, and Union Ale Brewing Co.



Reader Angel let me know that Santa Barbara City College School of Extended Learning offers various cooking classes. Many classes are held Saturdays and range from one to three days. SBCC’s fall quarter runs August 21-December 9, with new classes starting each week. Here are a few examples of what’s to come (a full list is available at

  • Tandoori Chicken Tikka with Tikka Masala: Make tandoori chicken in minutes without all that expensive equipment. Discover the secrets and simple steps needed to ensure that your chicken bursts with flavor on your own grill. Tuesday, August 22.
  • Sushi: Make it Yourself: Course teaches the basic techniques of making traditional Japanese sushi, including California roll, hand roll and creative rolls. Students also learn how to make miso soup and vegetable dishes. Saturday, September 9.
  • Making Classic Cocktails at Home – Easily and Affordably: Make and taste classic cocktails as well as paired appetizers in this hands-on course designed to demystify cocktails and mixology. Thursdays October 12-26.


Urkeb (Urban Kebap) is the name of a new fast casual restaurant that has opened at 413 State Street (formerly The Mex Authentic) serving Germany’s most popular street food, the DÖNER KEBAP. Urkeb is brought to you by Marco Coccia & Marcello Bisignani, from southern Germany. Their philosophy, that Bisignani refers to as “fresh, lecker, German,” is to offer different choices of meals consisting of fresh, healthy and high quality ingredients which every guest can combine to be lecker (“yummi”).

I am told that The German Kebap has its own story behind it: The vertical grilled meat was brought from Turkish immigrants to Germany in the ‘70. In Germany, the idea was born to put the grilled meat together with fresh cut veggies and a garlic yogurt sauce into freshly baked bread. Bisignani tells me that over the last few decades, it has become the most popular street food in Germany, where it then spread all over Europe and even was exported back to Turkey. “Most of the young people in Germany eat tons of Döner Kebaps day after day,” says Bisignani. “2 million Döner are sold every single day only in Germany, where you can get one at every time of the day, at every corner.”

At Urkeb, you create your own original Döner Kebap made to order. First you choose between a sandwich (Döner Kebap), a tortilla wrap (Döner Wrap) or a bowl (Döner Bowl). Next you choose beef, lamb, chicken (the meat is directly sliced off the vertical rotisserie), or vegetarian (homemade grilled veggie patties). You then have a selection of six different sauces (yogurt house with or without garlic, avocado ranch, smoked onion, parsley vinaigrette, hot habanero) – all of them made in house. You can choose one sauce or combine of flavors. Finally, you choose from a daily fresh cut variety of veggies (e.g. lettuce, tomato, cucumber, jalapeño, corn, red cabbage, onion, peppers). Add extra feta cheese or grilled vegetables to give it a special kick and you’re ready to enjoy.

Besides the main, Urkeb offers a small variety of lecker sides and desserts e.g. “Fernweh” (Hummus, a crispy chick pea puree with sesame paste), “Kopfkino” (Tzazik, a fresh yogurt refined with cucumber and garlic) and “Luftschloss” (yogurt, dates, honey, orange filet and sunflower seeds). Hours are 11:00am to 10:00pm, seven days a week. If you want to learn more about the Döner Kebap and Urkeb drop by and experience them, or visit Follow Urkeb on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Guten Appetit!



After intense concentration and a wave of my hand over the all-knowing crystal ball, my eatery oracle has revealed a list of food and drink locations appearing in your future:

  • Basil’s Santa Barbara, 608 Anacapa St. (formerly Arch Rock Fish)
  • Blue Water Grill, 15 E. Cabrillo Blvd. (formerly Rusty’s Pizza)
  • Cachuma Lake Café, Cachuma Lake marina
  • Cafe Ana, 1201 Anacapa St. (formerly Coffee Cat)
  • Ca’ Dario Trattoria and Pizzeria, 250 Storke Rd., Goleta
  • Chicken in a Barrel BBQ, 310 S. Fairview Ave.
  • Choppa Ice Cream, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta (formerly Zizzo’s)
  • Cito Street Café, 305 W. Montecito St.
  • Craft Ramen Bar, 436 State St. (formerly Bucatini)
  • Dave’s Dogs, 149 S. Turnpike Rd., Goleta (formerly Rusty’s Pizza)
  • Finney’s Crafthouse & Kitchen, 35 State St. (inside Hotel Californian)
  • Guicho’s Eatery, 901 Linden Ave., Carpinteria (formerly The Beach Bowl)
  • Handlebar Coffee Roasters, 2720 De la Vina St. (formerly Sleep Shoppe)
  • Islands Restaurant, 3825 State St. (formerly Marmalade Café)
  • Kyle’s Kitchen, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta (Hollister Village Plaza)
  • La Entrada de Santa Barbara, 30 State St.
  • Luna Grill, 3925 State St. (formerly Carl’s Jr.)
  • Magic Castle, 30 Los Patos Wy. (formerly Café del Sol)
  • Miso Hungry, 134 East Canon Perdido St. (formerly Sojourner)
  • Mundos, 901 Milpas St. (formerly Sublime)
  • Night Lizard Brewing Company, 607 State St. (next to Radio Shack)
  • Oliver’s, 1198 Coast Village Rd. (formerly Peabody’s)
  • PokeCeviche, 901 Embarcadero del Mar Isla Vista (formerly Jimmy Johns)
  • PokeCeviche, 313 Paseo Nuevo
  • Poki Rito, 6530 Seville Rd. (formerly Shave It Nation)
  • Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro, Carpinteria Ave. at Holly, Carpinteria
  • Rudy’s Express, 138 E. Canon Perdido St. (formerly Julienne)
  • Rusty’s Pizza, 2315 Lillie Ave., Summerland (formerly Stacky’s Seaside)
  • Spyglass Bistro and Bar, 6878 Hollister Ave., Goleta (inside Hilton Garden Inn)
  • Starbucks Drive-Thru, empty lot at Turnpike Ave. and Calle Real
  • Sunny Korean Restaurant, 532 State St. (formerly Zia Café)
  • Worker Bee Café, 5599 Hollister Ave., Goleta (Sage & Onion)
  • Unnamed Taco, 134 East Canon Perdido St. (formerly Sojourner)


Reader Jennie let me know that the signs are up at Urkeb 413 State Street (formerly the Mex Authentic and Pace) so I stopped by and spoke with the manager who said they opened last Thursday. I am told that the restaurant serves German kebaps.



In May 2012 (yes, more than 4 years ago) I wrote that Peabody’s restaurant at 1198 Coast Village Road was closing and would be replaced by vegan restaurant Oliver’s, owned by cellular phone pioneer Craig McCaw. Rumors have been hitting my inbox in the last week about an imminent opening so I stopped by and it does appear, at first glance, that the building is ready to go.



Readers Wade, David, and Bruce tell me that it appears that Petros (Fine Hellenic California Cuisine) is undergoing a transformation into a new concept of a Vineyard Tasting Room at their downtown Santa Barbara location on State Street and Arlington Way.  Furnishings have been removed and a sign posted about an August opening. Call 899-9100.

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This just in from owner Ruben Perez at Black Sheep restaurant, 26 East Ortega Street:

“Hi everyone, Black sheep restaurant is doing a pop up dim sum brunch on August 6th From 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Make reservations at 805-965-1113”



Trader Joe’s has completed the move from their cramped quarters at 29 South Milpas Street to their palatial pad at 222 North Milpas Street, the former home of Fresh Market and Scolari’s. Even though their new 22,000 square foot location is 50 percent larger than their previous home, many patrons are cheering the spacious parking lot – a first for a South Coast Trader Joe’s. However, parking in the new 129 spot lot couldn’t keep up with the opening day crush. ”Opening day at Trader Joe’s Milpas and guess what… still can’t get a parking spot!” says reader Bradley. “Nice to have it open now though. Welcome to the neighborhood!”

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Reader Left Coaster tells me that Trader Joe’s is ready to move from their cramped quarters at 29 South Milpas Street to their palatial pad at 222 North Milpas Street, the former home of Fresh Market and Scolari’s:

“They move this Thursday night – will open at the new place on Friday. “And we’ll have plenty of parking!” they promise.”

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Reader Cris spotted a large red sign for Spyglass Bistro and Bar on the outside of the new Hilton Garden Inn coming soon to 6878 Hollister Avenue, across from Kmart.

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Readers Jennie and Annie tell me that Craft Ramen Bar is coming to 436 State Street, the former home of Bucatini which closed last April.

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Rincon Brewery co-founder Mark Hyatt tells me that his business has opened at 6583 Pardall Road in Isla Vista, the former home of Giovanni’s.



Reader Primetime spotted a sign for Sunny Korean Restaurant at 532 State Street, the former home of Le Petit Bistrot, Verde, and Zia Cafe. It is not open yet but I’ll be sure to let you know when it does.

Photo by Primetime



Readers Bernie and Primetime let me know that the sign is up at 222 Milpas Street, the future home of Trader Joe’s, that will soon bring plentiful parking to the east side.

Photo by Primetime

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Reader Primetime spotted a new sign on the window at Downey’s restaurant, 1305 State Street. It reads:

“We believe this may come as a surprise and disappointment to many of our loyal guests but, later this summer, after thirty-five years of serving you with Santa Barbara’s finest cuisine, Liz and I will be retiring from Downey’s and moving on to our next life adventure. There will be a new restaurateur taking over 1305 State Street and we are confident that they will offer you a very pleasant dining option in the heart of the downtown theater district.

Liz and I would like to thank you, our guests, for supporting our efforts through those years, We hope you have enjoyed our hospitality as much as we have enjoyed sharing it. It really has been a very rewarding experience for us, from shopping at the Farmers’ Market, to preparing food, to tasting wines, to serving you, to…. well, maybe not to doing the dishes! But you get the idea.

We will miss so may of our regular guests and that will be one of the harder aspects for us. Downey’s has been a huge part of our life for so many years. But it really is time for us to relax and enjoy our life together, First thing will be a nice, long vacation to adjust to the “no-restaurant” lifestyle. It’s been a long time since we have had such a chance!

If you have an opportunity to join us for one last duck with baby turnips or maybe a slice of raspberry millefeuille, then we would love to see you. Our last day is not yet determined but we anticipate closing around the end of August.

Warm Regards and Cheers!
John & Liz”



Cajun Kitchen has opened on 6025 Calle Real near Fairview Avenue, in the former home of Rusty’s Pizza. The restaurant had a soft opening on Monday, July 17th then officially opened the next day. “We wanted to give a different location for the neighborhood around this area,” says Jorge Peralta, General Manager for all five Cajun Kitchens (two in Santa Barbara, two in Goleta, and one in Ventura).  “There area lots of customers who complained about the long wait at Hollister [by KMart] and we are thinking that with this one just two miles down the road it could help us out and give them another alternative.”

Peralta tells me that they considered taking over the former Denny’s space on Calle Real but settled on the former Rusty’s location, that came with the added bonus of highly visible sign. I’m told that the Cajun Kitchen on Calle Real has a few amenities  not available in all other locations. Calle Real has an espresso machine that was only available at the De la Vina restaurant until now. Unique to Calle Real is an automated fresh-squeezed orange juice machine, and beer available on tap. They hope to bring the fresh orange juice option to the other locations. Cajun Kitchen has partnered up with local breweries for their bottle and tap beer options. Goleta brewer Draughtsmen Aleworks is supplying all the tap beer including the Buxom Blond and Mas Macho. They have renewed their local beer list and now offer Captain Fatty’s and M Special, both based in Goleta. Cajun Kitchen Calle Real also has a retail store offering mugs, a Gator Boy shirt and hats.

Hours are 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 6:30  a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.



In 2016 the New York Times named Mexico City the world’s number one travel destination. Santa Barbara tamale chef and author, Richard Lambert, says a big part of the city’s attraction is its colorful street food scene, where there are lots of surprises. In his new ebook, A Visitor’s Guide to Mexico City Street Food , Lambert describes pambazos, tlayudas, arrachera, costras, and huitlacoche as “some of the best street foods you’ve probably never heard of, and will have fun discovering.” Last year, Lambert lived in Mexico City for eight months with his daughter Juliet, who owns a catering and restaurant business there. He says, “I grabbed the opportunity to eat my way across the city, finding something new on every street. The options are endless when there are an estimated half million street food vendors in the city.” Lambert’s 37-page guide provides street food recommendations, descriptive photos, food and health safety tips, and on-the-street videoclips. The ebook also comes with a separate 40-page Spanish-English glossary of food terms prepared by Mr. Lambert. Chapter titles include: Tacos are King of the Night, The Salsa Tells You Who is Cooking, Have You Had Your Vitamin ‘T’ Today, The Aztecs Called Them Tianguis, and Five Swoonworthy Favorites. The cost of the ebook is $12.95, and may be ordered online at

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Owner Justin West says that he is expanding the offerings at Wildwood Kitchen, 412 East Haley Street, with a supplementary brand he is calling Wildwood Provisions. Wildwood Provisions is a specialty food company that sells items produced at Wildwood Kitchen for retail including Charcuterie, Sauces, Marinades, Dry Rubs, Par Smoked BBQ Meats, Sausages, Salad Dressings, Preserved Foods. “The idea is this,” says West. “We know you can’t eat out every day. But we also know you have to eat every day. Much like the CSC (Community Supported Cooking) I ran for a short time at Julienne, Wildwood Provisions seeks to assist in your home cooked meals and private entertaining. It will be seasonal and the product list will be mailed out weekly, just like the product lists we receive from our vendors. We are also doing a Wine Dinner with our neighbors Potek Winery on July 31.”

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In January 2015 I wrote that Shalhoob Meat Company at 220 Gray Avenue had opened their Patio Restaurant at the site of their legendary butcher shop. Then in March 2015 the Patio restaurant closed. Word on the street is that the Patio Restaurant section of Shalhoob closed because the City of Santa Barbara needed time to come up with a growth strategy for the Funk Zone where Shalhoob resides.

Reader Annie tells me that the Patio Restaurant has finally reopened. The description of the Patio Restaurant offered by Shalhoob is as follows: Shalhoob proteins are all natural, hormone and antibiotic free, and smoked over oak wood. Our hand pressed burgers are a special grind of brisket, tri-tip and chuck.  All ingredients from our “scratch kitchen” are locally sourced. Every aioli, sauce and dressing is made in house with only the freshest ingredients.” Call 963-7733 or visit



Rusty’s Pizza on Turnpike has a new name: “Rusty’s Pizza on Hollister.” For about two years Rusty’s Pizza at 149 South Turnpike Road in Goleta had been planning to move from their hole-in-the-wall take-out space to a full-sized restaurant across the parking lot. They finally got a permit, completed construction and have opened for business at 4880 Hollister Avenue. “The store features party / meeting rooms, our ever-popular expanded salad bar, TVs and video games,” says owner Tyler Duncan. “We’re excited to expand from our current offering and move into this great new space.”

I stopped by the new restaurant and spoke with Tony Aleman, District Manager of Rusty’s Pizza, who tells me that the new eatery on Hollister offers beer and wine, something that their now-closed neighboring location never had on the menu. Restaurant and delivery hours are 11 a.m.-midnight daily except for Friday and Saturday when delivery ends at 1 a.m. Call 564-1111 or visit



Last week I wrote that reader David sent in a tip about a business with the corporate name of “Snowcave XD Inc.” coming to 7060 Hollister Avenue (Hollister Village Plaza) in Goleta in the former home of Zizzo’s Coffeehouse & Brew Pub. At the time I wasn’t quite sure about what type of business this would be. Reader Cris now tells me that the web site for Westar Associates that manages Hollister Village Plaza says that the spot will be the future home of Choppa Ice Cream, which I assume is the retail name for Snowcave.

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This just in from reader David: “Hey John, I was walking by the old Zizzos bar/resturant/coffee shop in Hollister Village Plaza in Goleta and noticed a sign in the window. It says it’s leased to Snowcave XD Inc.” I have not yet been able to figure out exactly what type of business this is.



Reader Steve H. says that The Satellite Cafe is now open (for about a week now) at the Impact Hub (1117 State Street). I am told that they serve coffee and food but are primarily a wine bar. Speaking of wine bars, Steve H. also says that August Ridge Vineyards Tasting Room (in La Arcada) has also opened.

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Reader Foodie Dan says that Dave’s Dogs is opening at the old Rustys Pizza location at 149 South Turnpike Road in Goleta.

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