Here is a list of local food establishments that have closed in the last year:

  • July 2016: India Club, 5701 Calle Real, Goleta; Yankee Noodle, 214 State St. (now American Ale 02)
  • June 2016: Nimita’s Cuisine, 508 East Haley St.; Sam’s To U, 5979 Hollister Ave., Goleta
  • May 2016: Cafe Int’L, 5664 Calle Real, Goleta; Subway, 3613 State St.
  • April 2016: Jimmy John’s, 909 Embarcadero del Mar, Isla Vista; Seagrass, 30 E. Ortega St. (now Oveja Blanca); Taqueria El Pastorcito, 2009 De la Vina St.
  • March 2016: Book Ends Café, 602 Anacapa St.; Café 154, 4151 Foothill Rd.; Mexican Fresh Taqueria, 315 Meigs Rd.
  • February 2016: Boondocks, 4444 Hollister Ave., Noleta; La Hacienda, 298 Pine Ave., Goleta; Tamales-To-Go, 20 East Cota St.
  • January 2016: 416 State, 416 State St.; Carl’s Jr, 3925 State St.; Cielo Bar and Grill, 5096 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria (now The Nugget); Creekside, 4444 Hollister Ave., Noleta; Mattei’s Tavern, 2350 Railway Ave, Los Olivos; Nuance, 119 State St.; Rusty’s Pizza, 6025 Calle Real, Goleta (moved down the street); Tacos El Rey, 5 W. Haley St. (now Hana Kitchen); The Bourbon Room, 4444 Hollister Ave., Noleta; The Fig Grill, 5940 Calle Real, Goleta; Union Ale Brewing Co., 214 State St. (American Ale 02)
  • December 2015: Lovin Oven, 6578 Trigo Rd., Isla Vista (now 805 Kabob); Mama Lu, 415 N. Milpas St. (now Stone Age Restaurant); Marmalade Café, 3825 State St.; Taco Bell, 3771 State St (now Dunkin Donuts).
  • November 2015: Beach Bowls, 901 Linden Ave., Carpinteria; Bistro 1111, 1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd. (now Marbella); Boochies, 113 W. De la Guerra St. (now Green Table); El Torito, 29 E. Cabrillo Blvd.; Haggen, 163 S. Turnpike Rd., Goleta (now Vons); Haggen, 165 N. Fairview Ave. Goleta; Haggen, 2010 Cliff Dr.; Haggen, 3943 State St. (now Smart & Final Extra!); Haggen, 850 Linden Ave., Carpinteria (now Smart & Final Extra!); Kogilicious, 956 Embarcadero Del Norte, Isla Vista (now Santa Ynez Burrito)
  • October 2015: Blue Agave, 20 E. Cota St. (now Nectar); Crazy Good Bread, 4191 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria; Culture Counter, 38 W. Victoria St.; Fresh & Easy Market, 336 N. Milpas St.; iGrill Korean BBQ, 3132 State St. (now Kimchi)
  • September 2015: Arch Rock Fish, 608 Anacapa St; Crazy Good Bread, 38 W. Victoria St.; Las Brasas Mexican Grill, 5915B Calle Real, Goleta (now China King); Muddy Waters Coffee House, 508 E. Haley St.; Sojourner Café, 134 E. Canon Perdido St.; Wings Restaurant, 4427 Hollister Ave., Noleta (now Taqueria El Pastorcito)
  • August 2015: Sublime, 901 N. Milpas St.; Crushcakes & Café, 1150 Coast Village Rd., Montecito (now Bree’osh Cafe & Bakery); Crushcakes & Café, 6533 Trigo Rd., Isla Vista (now Kol’s Café); Simply Pies, 5392 Hollister Ave., Goleta (now Crushcakes)
  • July 2015: Barbecue Company, 3807 Santa Claus Ln., Carpinteria (now Borrello’s Pizza); Boca del Rio, 318 N. Milpas St. (now Los Altos); Fresco Cafe North, 5940 Calle Real, Goleta; Panera Bread, 700 State St.; Taqueria Buen Gusto, 4835 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria.


Reader Dad sent me an update about Nona’s Deli coming to 415 E. De la Guerra St.:

Ran into [Nona's owner] Edith rolling the aisles in Costco aboard her scooter last week. She indicates that Nona’s (former Italian Grocery) is ready to reopen as soon as ABC issues her permit. Recent walk by did not reveal application posted. Guarded optimism that it will be open in our lifetime.

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Here is a list of local food establishments that have opened in the last year:

  • June 2016: Angel Oak at the Bacara Resort, 8301 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Dunkin Donuts, 3771 State St.; Rusty’s Pizza, 111 State St.; The Nugget, 5096 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria
  • May 2016: Le Petit Bistrot, 532 State St.; Little Kitchen, 17 West Ortega St.; Nook, 120 Santa Barbara St.; Phamous Café, 7127 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Smart & Final Extra!, 3943 State St.; Zizzo’s Coffeehouse & Brew Pub, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta
  • April 2016: Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, 6530 Seville Rd., Isla Vista; Jane, 6920 Marketplace Dr., Goleta; Oveja Blanca Restaurante, 30 E. Ortega St.
  • March 2016: 805 Kabob, 6578 Trigo Rd., Isla Vista; Fire & Ice Cafe, 971 Embarcadero del Mar, Isla Vista; Hana Kitchen, 5 W. Haley St.; Santa Ynez Burrito, 956 Embarcadero Del Norte, Isla Vista; Smart & Final Extra!, 850 Linden Ave., Carpinteria
  • February 2016: Green Table 113 W. De la Guerra St.; La Bella Rosa Bakery,7127 Hollister Ave.#18, Goleta; Nimita’s Cuisine 508 East Haley St. (now closed); Pascucci, 6920 Marketplace Dr., Goleta; Rusty’s Pizza, 5934 Calle Real, Goleta; Taqueria El Pastorcito, 4427 Hollister Ave., Noleta; The French Press – Goleta 250 Storke Rd, Goleta; Yankee Noodle 214 State St.
  • January 2016: Boondocks, 4444 Hollister Ave. (now closed); Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen, 718 State St.; Home Plate Grill, 7398 Calle Real, Goleta; Nothing Bundt Cakes, 5784 Calle Real, Goleta
  • December 2015: Fernando’s Churros & Restaurant, 316 N. Milpas St. (in the back); High Sierra Grill & Bar, 521 Firestone Rd. Goleta; Sachi Ramen, 721 Chapala St.; Smart & Final Extra!, 7090 Hollister Ave. Goleta; Stone Age Restaurant, 415 N. Milpas St.; Wildwood Kitchen, 412 East Haley St.
  • November 2015: 805 Boba, 213 Paseo Nuevo; China King, 5915B Calle Real, Goleta; Marbella, 1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd. (formerly Bistro 1111); Subway, 1936 State St.
  • October 2015: Bree’osh Cafe & Bakery, 1150 Coast Village Rd., Montecito; Caffe Primo, 516 State St.; Farmer Boy, 3427 State St.; Kanaloa Seafood Kitchen & Market, 715 Chapala St.; Kimchi Korean Restaurant, 3132 State St.; Lucky Dragon, 6831 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Nectar, 20 E. Cota St.; Zizzo’s Caffe & Brew Pub (inside Ice in Paradise), 6985 Santa Felicia Dr., Goleta
  • September 2015: Borrello’s Pizza and Pastaria, 3807 Santa Claus Lane, Carpinteria; Kol’s Cafe, 6533 Trigo Rd., Isla Vista; On the Alley, 7038 Marketplace Dr, Goleta
  • August 2015: Crushcakes, 5392 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Rebar Coffee, 214 State St.
  • July 2015: Globe, 18 E. Cota St.; Los Altos, 318 N. Milpas St.; The Fig Grill, 5940 Calle Real, Goleta (now closed); The Nugget, 21 W. Victoria St.
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Snow cone specialist Shave It, which opened in September 2014 at 6530 Seville Road, has closed their Isla Vista store.

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Reader Annie passed the word that Yankee Noodle, which opened just 4 months ago in the former home of Union Ale, is now known as American Ale 02. The first location of American Ale opened at 14 East Cota Street in May, 2013.




Readers Cyndie and Mike let me know that The India Club restaurant at 5701 Calle Real in Goleta has closed. The eatery opened in October 2011.



A Vietnamese restaurant named Phoevermore is coming to 1017 Casitas Pass Road in Carpinteria. The building was empty when I stopped by recently so it might not be open for awhile. Neighboring businesses in the Casitas Pass Shopping Center (also known as Shepard Place Shops) include Domino’s, Hugo’s, Pee Bee & Jay’s, Rudy’s, Subway, Taco Bell, Uncle Chen, and YoYumYum.

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Reader Primetime passed the word that Guichos Eatery, offering “Fresh Italian Take-Out” – is coming to 901 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria, the former home of Beach Bowls which closed last November. “They have two locations in San Clemente. Inside they have some big kitchen appliances that have been delivered including what looks to be some kind of sausage maker. No word on when they’re going to be open but there’s some talk of possibly by the first week in October,” said Primetime. Visit

IMG_5418Photo by Primetime



This just in from Globe restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara, which opened last summer:

Hi John,

I just wanted to give you an update on Globe, a unique small plates lounge, located at 18 E. Cota Street. We have our 1 year anniversary coming up next month (July 31), and are excited to announce our new manager, Andy Davis, has some fun stuff planned to celebrate. He has been on board for about two months, and has already made some great changes. He has re-vamped our cocktail list, extended our evening hours for summer, and stream-lined the menu. Our kitchen manager Ignacio Orozco is now preparing weekly specials. Andy will be putting together some fun specials to celebrate our 1 year anniversary, and some special promotional nights.
We’ve had a great year, and would love for you to come down to meet Andy (if you don’t already know him, he seems to know everyone in town, as you do!) and we have plenty of comfy couches for your little one to roll around on.

Laura Knight

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805 Kabob Mediterranean Bakery & Cafe has opened at 6578 Trigo Road in Isla Vista, the former home of Lovin Oven, Cafe International and Fresh Wok. The menu includes Kabobs (chicken kabob, chicken kafta, beef kabob, beef kafta, lamb kabob, lamb kafta, combo plate and Mediterranean plate), Mini Plates, Pita Wraps (chicken pita, lamb kafta pita, beef kafta pita, gyros, chicken shawarma, beef shawarma), and more. Owner Matt Maida tells me that the pita bread is baked fresh daily at the restaurant and that the lamb shawarma, which I am told can be hard to find locally, is the most popular item. Hours are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m. – midnight. Call 770-7737 or visit

160630 - CopyMediterranean restaurant 805 Kabaob opened in March in Isla Vista



Lucky Penny at 137 Anacapa Street will offer a special pizza initiative to support Youth Interactive, Santa Barbara’s innovative program helping teens explore and discover their creative and entrepreneurial talents. For five days, ending July 1, pizza lovers of any age can design their own off-the-menu “Pizza Interactive,” choosing up to three toppings from a menu of ingredients. Lucky Penny will donate 10% of the “Pizza Interactive” sales proceeds to Youth Interactive. Founded in 2012, Youth Interactive Santa Barbara is a grassroots after-school Entrepreneurial Arts Academy that bridges opportunity and social divisions by providing creative young adults from all walks of life with the keys to self-sufficiency. Lucky Penny serves breakfast through dinner every day with pizza available after 11:00 a.m.

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The Montecito Firefighter’s Association will be holding their 21st Annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast at 595 San Ysidro Road. Tickets are $8 each and can be purchased at the door. Pancakes, eggs, sausage and Green Star Coffee will be prepared and served by Montecito firefighters from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Fire District Headquarters. There is no parking available on site, however a drop off location will be available at the base of the Fire District’s driveway. All proceeds from the breakfast go to the Montecito Firefighter’s Benevolent Fund.

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Island Brewing Company at 5049 6th Street in Carpinteria is celebrating their 15th anniversary July 8-10. They will have our Anniversary beer release and some fun entertainment including Togen Daiko Taiko Drummers and Tina’s Ports of Paradise Polynesian Dancers. Visit

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Fortunately there was no internal damage, and they are open for business as usual, but Mesa Verde restaurant at 1919 Cliff Drive experienced a fire around 11 p.m. on June 23rd, causing $20,000 in damage. Firefighters found flames and smoke coming from the rear of the building and quickly brought it under control.

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Angel Oak has opened at the Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Avenue in Goleta in the former home of Miro restaurant. The high-end eatery offers steak and seafood restaurant among many other items on the menu. Angel Oak executive chef is Vincent Lesage.

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The Santa Barbara Elks Lodge #613 will host their annual 4th of July Family Fun Fair Celebration at 150 Kellogg Street in Goleta on July 4, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. The patriotic event is open to the public; entrance is free, and over 5,000 local residents are expected to attend. This year’s 4th of July celebration is held in conjunction with hundred’s of Elk’s Lodges around the United States. Baked goods, hamburgers, hot dogs, and barbecued chicken dinners will be sold for a nominal fee between 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 pm. The celebration offers something for everyone. Face painting and numerous games will be offered for the children, along with Bingo games offered for adults. Plenty of prizes await the lucky winners. A silent and live auction, with a large variety of items will be offered throughout the day, and a raffle drawing will be held at 4:30 p.m., with payouts totaling $3000.00. Boys Scouts Troops 4 and 37, chartered by the SB Elks Lodge, will also be earning hours towards their merit badges by volunteering at the Family Fun Fair, assisting in the children’s games and helping maintain the SB Elks Lodge grounds throughout the day.

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A new French restaurant named Le Petit Bistrot opened in early May at 532 State Street, the former home of Verde and Zia Cafe. Owner Salvatore Italiano tells me that the eatery will be having a grand opening and ribbon cutting with officials from the city and from the Chamber of Commerce. There will also be a free buffet. The event takes place on Tuesday, June 28th at 4:30 p.m.



The Santa Barbara Independent’s 7th Annual Sizzling Summer BBQ Contest Winner Showcase is tomorrow, June 23rd at The Brewhouse 229 W. Montecito Street 5:30pm – 8pm. Tickets ($16.92) to the event, which includes a logo glass, a beer, and a sampler plate can be purchased at

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This just in from reader Mike: “I tried a new item at The Habit in Goleta today. You can now order your burger Santa Barbara-style. Basically it is a double char with cheese but on toasted sourdough and has avocado. I went ahead and got one with the addition of bacon and enjoyed it. It’s listed on their website so I’m expecting it’s at all locations.”



A new late-night restaurant named Little Kitchen, part owned by, and next door to Wildcat bar & club, opened on May at 17 West Ortega Street, the former home of Nardonnes La Famiglia Pizzeria. The menu, originally only available late an night Friday – Sunday includes Southwest Chicken Tikka Masala, Loaded Pub Fries, Bangkok Street Fries, Philly Cheese Steak, Banh Mi Sliders, Fench Toast Bites, Brioche Breakfast Sandwich and Cheeseburger Egg Rolls. I am now told that Little Kitchen offers lunch: “I just wanted to let you know we are officially open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., in addition to our late night hours, Friday, -Sunday 11 p.m.-2:30 a.m,” says owner/manager Grace Austin.

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Ken Boxer, owner of Palazzio restaurant at 1026 State Street that closed for renovations last October (and unexpectedly discovered many issues that have kept it closed ever since), asked me to share this update with you:

Hi John,

Just wanted to give to you an update with Palazzio. The blueprints for the kitchen remodel has finally been submitted to City officials. I should be hearing from the Building Department within the next few weeks. If there are no changes to our plans, then we should be ready to begin our kitchen remodel shortly.

Palazzio has been closed almost 9 months now and we are so ready to reopen. We are thinking that December we should be reopening. Of course, if we can get finished sooner, this would be ideal.

We will be having a lot of great things happening at Palazzio.  Our menu will be expanded with lots of new ideas. I’ll keep your readers posted when we have our Grand ReOpening.

Thank you,
Ken Boxer

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Reader Annie drove past Nimita’s Cuisine at 508 East Haley Street, which opened in February in the former home of Muddy Waters, and saw that it is now empty. I asked Nimita about this and here is her response:

Hi John,
Thank you for reaching out. I have been flooded with calls on a daily basis regarding our pop up at 508 East Haley. A lot of our community members are wondering why we closed.

The Bike Coalition (the landlords of this venue) had offered us a 3-month pop-up situation for us to open a restaurant with the option to extend the lease, once we had upgraded the place after Muddy Waters closed.

Even though it was a great opportunity to sample our offerings to the community from a brick and mortar venue, it became very challenging for us to offer food at a venue with no kitchen. Nevertheless, we are very pleased to see how positively the community responded to our offerings as well as to all the different events that took place during our time there.

Unfortunately, our community is new to the notion of pop-up restaurants and it is misleading some to think that our business failed or that we are not operating. Quite the contrary, we continue offering our delivery services as well as our catering services. We will continue to have booths at our local festivals, and we are looking for a more adequate venue, with a full kitchen to base ourselves from.

I will certainly keep you posted.
Warm Wishes,

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Reader Primetime let me know that the new Rusty’s Pizza has opened at 111 State Street, the former home of Be Bop Burger. “We are thrilled to call this our new home!” says owner Tyler Duncan. This new location replaces Lighthouse Rusty’s Pizza at 15 E. Cabrillo Boulevard that closed due to bridge replacement work that consumed some of the property. Amenities at the new Rusty’s Pizza includes a fresh salad bar, party rooms (not yet available) with big screen TVs, and classic arcade games. Complementing the dining experience is a wall-to-wall nautical museum including a genuine, restored, rotating lighthouse lamp. Rusty’s Pizza is open daily 11 a.m. – midnight. Friday and Saturday deliveries continue until 1 a.m. Call 564-1111 or visit



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Reader Paul tells me that a coming-soon sign has appeared at 205 Santa Barbara Street for Laplace Wine Bar & Shop. A message on their Facebook page offers a description of the business: “The vision of Laplace Wine Bar & Shop is to offer both the novice and impassioned wine lover a chance to relax in an old world setting with a glass of wine in hand…perhaps to inhale the teasing aromas of Herbs de Provence or to taste something that beckons a sense of place. Henceforth, the twofold meaning behind the name Laplace…pronounced as La-plӓs but feel free to say it anyway you want!” Call 358-9670.

Coming Soon-Laplace BarPhoto by reader Paul



Reader Ted tells me that a sign has been posted at Sams 2 U at 5979 Hollister Avenue in Goleta stating that they are closing. I am told that Sam has been there for almost eleven years. A message to patrons reads:

“To our dear customers: It has been a pleasure knowing and serving all of you special customers for many years. Due to the economy we are closing on June 24th. We regret ending your long-standing support and friendship with us at Sam’s 2 U. We appreciate your patronage and it was fun getting to know you over the years. We wish you all the best and will always remember these good years. Thank you, Sam’s Family”

2016-06-14 Sams 2 U (3)Photo by reader Ted



While visiting my Montecito childhood friend who now lives in Texas, I had the opportunity to try some amazing homemade salsa called “Watermelon Fire & Ice.” Juicy watermelon replaces tomatoes in this salsa that’s simultaneously cool and spicy hot. Flip likes to modify the recipe a bit by using habañero peppers with the jalapeños (and he suggests using gloves when chopping jalapeños or your hands will burn all night). To not have the salsa become too watery, let the chopped watermelon drain in a colander for a while. Mix everything together in a large bowl and you will end up with four cups of delicious, Restaurant Guy-approved salsa. If you want to really go all out, use a hollowed-out watermelon halve as a serving bowl. Here’s the official recipe:

  • 3 cups chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt.
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Restaurateur Larry Mindel and Chef Peter McNee will be opening Convivo restaurant and bar at the newly remodeled Santa Barbara Inn, 901 East Cabrillo Boulevard. Convivo, whose name means ‘to come together’ and is the root word for the Latin term for ‘feast.’ Convivo recently announced that Larry Nobles will be the General Manager. “Larry’s experience in the hospitality industry makes him the ideal choice for Convivo,” said Mindel. “Beyond his proven ability to successfully manage some of the finest restaurants, his thorough knowledge of Santa Barbara position him to be a strategic force behind the opening of Convivo, and we’re delighted to have him join our team.” Most recently, Nobles served as Restaurant Manager for the San Ysidro Ranch, ranked the #1 Hotel in America by Forbes and winner of Wine Spectator’s 2014 and 2015 “Grand Award.” At San Ysidro Ranch, he was responsible for overseeing its two restaurants (Stonehouse and Plow & Angel), private dining, events, catering and more. Prior to his role at San Ysidro Ranch, Nobles was the General Manager of both Stella Mare’s and Le Café Stella in Santa Barbara. Before that he served as the Restaurant Manager at Holdren’s Steakhouse and was a mixologist at The Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore.

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At The Lark restaurant, 31 Anacapa Street, Chef Paluska and the team present Father’s Day (June 19) dining with a trio of specials in addition to the summer menu. Specials include Cornmeal Fried West Coast Oysters with Old Rasputin Aioli, Grilled Meyer Lemon and Lark Hot Sauce and Smoked Beef Brisket with Ancho Chile Cornbread, BBQ Baked Hominy, Beer Braised Greens and Crispy Shallots. Dessert includes a Classic Coconut Crème Pie with Kaffir Lime, Toasted Almond and Chocolate created by Executive Pastry Chef Jeff Haines.



Reader Dick says that Sprouts Farmers Market, coming to 175 North Fairview Avenue, the former home of Haggen (for about 3 seconds) and Vons, has moved the opening date from July 27 to August 24.



Reader Brendan says that a “For Lease” sign is up on the front of India House restaurant at 418 State Street. India House is open for business as usual.