SANTA YNEZ BURRITO CLOSES IN ISLA VISTA

Santa Ynez Burrito at 956 Embarcadero Del Norte in Isla Vista has closed. The business opened in March, 2016.

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FOOD BANK’S FORK & CORK FUNDRAISER

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County has announced that the 4th Annual Fork & Cork Classic will be taking place on Sunday, May 7 at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort. As one of Santa Barbara’s most popular food & wine festivals, Fork & Cork is a signature event for the Foodbank, with all proceeds directly benefiting their mission to end hunger and transform the health of the community through healthy meals and nutritional education. This year’s Fork & Cork honorees are Jasper & Brook Eiler, owners of Harvest Santa Barbara; Archie McLaren, founder of the Central Coast Wine Classic; and Jessica Foster of Jessica Foster Confections, who are being highlighted for their contributions to the culinary arts and their generous support of the Foodbank. For tickets visit forkandcorkclassic.org.

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HELENA AVENUE BAKERY CELEBRATES MOTHER’S DAY WITH “BREAKFAST IN BED”

Helena Avenue Bakery as 131 Anacapa Street has announced Mother’s Day “Breakfast in Bed” Kit for pre-order,  designed to give mothers a break on their special day. The Bakery’s Breakfast in Bed Kit includes savory and sweet items – Asparagus, Lox & Swiss Quiche; Greens & Radish Salad; Raspberry & Pistachio Morning Bun; and Macerated Strawberries with Candied Lavender. Each Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed Kit is generously portioned and ready to serve at home. A variety of wine options are available.  All Mother’s Day “Breakfast in Bed” Kit pre-orders can be arranged at the Helena Avenue Bakery retail counter or by phone. Orders must be completed by 6:00 p.m., Thursday, May 11th. Pick-up times for all orders will be scheduled for either Saturday, May 13th after 4:00 p.m. or Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14th beginning at 8:00 am. Call 880-3383 or visit helenaavenuebakery.com.

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KANALOA SEAFOOD’S NEW DINNER

Kanaloa Seafood at 715 Chapala Street has launched their first-ever dinner menu (Tuesday-Saturday from 5-9 p.m.) offering new dishes that showcase fresh, sustainable seafood along with locally sourced produce from local farmers markets. Highlights include Bouillabaisse with mussels, clams, market fish, shrimp, and scallop in a tomato fennel broth, Seafood Spaghetti with fish of the day in a red pepper cream sauce, and shaved Parmesan, and Pan Seared Campbell River Salmon with a caper white wine sauce, braised swiss chard, crispy radicchio, sautéed mussels and fresh artichoke hearts. Beyond seafood, the menu also features a Roasted Mary’s Chicken Breast with mashed Yukon gold potatoes and ratatouille, in addition to a Kanaloa Wagyu Burger. Kanaloa also recently rolled out several new small plates, like their Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl, Grilled Baby Octopus, Rock Crab Mac & Cheese, Shrimp Cocktail and much more. Call 966- 5159 or visit kanaloaseafood.com.

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FIRE AT BREWHOUSE

On Wednesday morning April 26, the Santa Barbara City Fire Department put out a fire at The Brewhouse Bistro & Brewery located at 229 W. Montecito Street. Firefighters discovered smoke coming from the roof when they arrived on scene. Firefighters forced entry and found an active fire in the bar area. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is classified as accidental. Reader Steve H. says there is a sign on the premises that says Brewhouse expects to reopen within 2 weeks but I am told that the estimate might have been revised to 2 months.

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ISLANDS RESTAURANT CONFIRMED FOR LA CUMBRE PLAZA

Reader Eric spotted an update to the La Cumbre Plaza web site that shows Islands Restaurant is taking over the space previously occupied by Marmalade Cafe. Reader Eric noted that the names of the business behind Marmalade (inside the mall) are no longer listed on the map indicating that Islands might expand beyond the Marmalade space to fill most of the building. Or not, we’ll see.

On March 8 I publicized a report from reader Bodie that Islands had signed a lease at La Cumbre Plaza. On March 15 reader Bodie reported that Islands takes over the space May 1 and should open in mid-October.

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FOXTAIL KITCHEN AND BAR OPENS ON COTA

Owner Falah Maayah has opened his Mediterranean restaurant Foxtail Kitchen and Bar at 14 East Cota Street, the former home of American Ale. Maayah recommends that you try the Shwarma Sliders (3 Shwarma sliders meat of the day, grilled veggies, roasted tomato, garlic sauce, white sauce, farmers market greens) and the Grape Leaves (ground beef, rice, herbs and spices rolled into grape leaves served with tzatziki). Other items on the menu include Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Lebneh, Red Falafel, Green Falafel, Kofta Rice Bowl and Shwarma Rice Bowl. Salads, sourced with farmers market greens, include Fattoush, Couscous Salad and Beets Salad. In addition to Mediterranean cuisine, Foxtail continues to offer American Ales selection of popular burgers including Make n Bacon Burger, The Original American Burger, Firehouse Burger and PB&J Burger. A cocktail menu is also available including The Tale of the Fox (arak, vodka, fresh lime, pomegranate syrup, simple syrup, rose blossom) and The Foxtail Fix (fresh lemon, fresh blackberries, simple syrup, and choice of gin, vodka, tequila, mezca,, bourbon or rum). Visit facebook.com/foxtail.kitchen

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MEUN FAN THAI CAFE OPENS IN GOLETA

Reader MD tells me that Meun Fan Thai Café has opened at 5664 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Cafe International. Meun Fan Thai Café has another location at 1819 Cliff Drive on the Mesa.

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BEAR AND STAR OPENS MAY 1

The Bear and Star restaurant opens May 1 at 2860 Grand Avenue in Los Olivos. The eatery is inside Fess Parker Wine Country Inn in the space previously occupied by Petros, Restaurant Marcella, and Wine Cask. The Bear and Star showcases “Refined Ranch Cuisine” inspired by the Santa Ynez Valley and the heritage of the Parker family. Leading the team is Chef/Partner John Cox, who earned praise for his work at Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. Cox is supported by Santa Barbara native Chef Jeremy Tummel and Sous Chef Trent Shank. Overseeing the restaurant and beverage program is General Manager and Sommelier Rachel Vander Veer.  There are four environments within the restaurant space: The Dining Room; Wine Room for local winemakers and private functions; Chef’s Room for classes and small dining groups; and the Bar/Lounge.

The Bear and Star’s “Refined Ranch Cuisine” model is intertwined to the 714 acre Fess Parker Home Ranch located seven miles away on Foxen Canyon. 75 head of Wagyu cattle are raised and finished with the spent grains and pomace from the family brewery and winery. Also raised on the ranch for use in the restaurant are chickens, quail, rabbits, pigs, bees and a number of heirloom fruits and organic vegetables ultimately linking the Parker family’s expertise in hospitality, wine-making, and ranching to the dining experience. With this all-encompassing ecosystem developed under Chef Cox’s passion and vision, the ranch is supplying much of the produce for The Bear and Star, with beef and pork anticipated to be available by fall 2017.

The all-day menu for lunch and dinner offers Wagyu Fries with garden herb aïoli; Smoked Berkshire Pork Rillettes with grilled country bread & house pickled onion; Deviled Ranch Eggs with Santa Barbara urchin & espelette; Fried Green Tomatoes with “cheese wiz” & bbq spice; Smoked Wagyu Carpaccio with cured egg yolk, koji, charred scallion & radish; Parker Ranch Wagyu Burger with smoked cheddar, tomato jam & butter pickles; Crispy Catfish with re-fried black eyed peas & “blackened” smoked tomato sauce; Berkshire Pork Chop with cheesy grits, syrah braised cabbage & grain mustard pan jus; Wagyu Meat Loaf with potato puree, garden vegetables & pan jus; Gnocchi Stroganoff with mushrooms from the farm & crispy herbs; Parker Ranch Chile with cheddar, chives & cornbread crouton; Local Stuffed Quail with farro risotto, bay laurel and red wine demi glace; Cast Iron Steaks with crispy shallots, demi glace & herb butter; and choices of 60 oz Angus Filet; 12 oz New York; and 18 oz Wagyu Ribeye.

The wine program at The Bear and Star will be curated with same attention to detail as the cuisine.  The family’s Fess Parker, Epiphany and new Fesstivity sparkling wines will be prominently featured and the list will also showcase small production wines from Santa Barbara County’s wineries.  To add depth and balance, an international selection including wines from Champagne, Burgundy, Chateauneuf du Pape and beyond will be available.

The restaurant is open daily for breakfast from 7:00-10:30 a.m.; full day menu for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.and serves brunch on weekends from 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. The bar is open every day from 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 midnight.

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CAFE ANA REPLACING COFFEE CAT

Jean Yamamura at The Santa Barbara Independent reports that husband-and-wife team of Julian Sanders and Katherine Guzman-Sanders plan to open the Cafe Ana at 1201 Anacapa Street, the former home of Coffee Cat. Yamamura says Cafe Ana will arrive in the fall with a full kitchen and menu featuring open-faced sandwiches, salads, soups, and other items while continuing the coffee focus. Thanks to reader Kay Lee for the tip.

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LA HACIENDA TO REOPEN IN GOLETA

Reader Kay Lee sent me a photo of a sign announcing that Mexican restaurant La Hacienda will soon be reopening at 298 Pine Avenue in Goleta under new ownership. The eatery closed in February last year. I’ll let you know when the chips & salsa start flowing.

Photo by reader Kay Lee

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THE HABIT OPENS IN BUELLTON

Reader Mary says that this week’s big event in the Valley is the long awaited opening of The Habit on Route 246 near McMurray Road. The eatery opened today.

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CALLE REAL UPDATE

Reader George asked me why the windows are papered over at 5677 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Denny’s. I stopped by and noticed that there is an asbestos removal truck parked outside and that a for-lease sign is prominently displayed. So my guess is that the place is being cleaned up while the landlord searches for a new tenant.

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KYLE’S KITCHEN REPLACES SILVERGREENS ON CHAPALA

Reader Cris let me know that Silvergreens at 791 Chapala Street is now Kyle’s Kitchen, which is under the same ownership. The eatery offers burgers, shakes, and salads and is open daily from 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Downtown Silvergreens opened in November 2008 and Isla Vista Silvergreens continues to be open for business as usual. Here is a message to you from management about the transition:

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are excited to let you know that we just changed Silvergreens on Chapala to a Kyle’s Kitchen restaurant!  For our amazing Silvergreens customers, don’t worry, Kyle’s Kitchen is our sister restaurant and serves many similar fresh and healthy menu items as the Silvergreens menu you have grown up with.  And don’t forget… Silvergreens still provides a great catering program and our Isla Vista restaurant is still going strong after 21 years!

When we opened Kyle’s Kitchen a little over two years ago in Goleta (inspired by our son Kyle who was born with special needs) we didn’t know what to expect.  We wanted to serve great burgers and salads, and meaningfully give back to our special needs community.  We had no idea the community would embrace our purpose and mission with such passion.  After being voted Best New Restaurant in Santa Barbara and giving back over $100,000 to local special needs organizations in our first two years, we think it’s time to see what we can do with a larger reach.  Our company’s passion for our community and those with special needs is the primary reason we made this change.

For those of you unfamiliar with Kyle’s Kitchen, here’s a little background: Every time you eat at Kyle’s Kitchen you are helping people with special needs reach their potential. That’s because each month we team up with a great special needs organization in our community. In addition to donating a portion of our proceeds to their cause, Kyle’s Kitchen tries to be a place that spreads the word and helps us all connect better to those with special needs. So, come on in to Kyle’s Kitchen, a unique restaurant where you get to eat great food & help great people.

Being a locally family owned business ourselves, here at Kyle’s Kitchen it’s very important that we create a fun and stress-free atmosphere for you and your family. Our friendly staff is looking forward to serving you at Kyle’s Kitchen on Chapala!

Sincerely,
The Kyle’s Kitchen & Silvergreens Team

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SAVOY WINES UPDATE

Last week I wrote that Savoy Wines is opening at the old Kernohan’s Toy Store location, 18 West Anapamu Street. I have been forwarded more information about Savoy Wines. I am told that the business will be brought to you by the much loved Bob Wesley, formerly of the Winehound and Lazy Acres, along with the team from Savoy. I’m sure many will be excited to see Bob back in the spotlight at a local wine store.

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FOOD TRUCK UPDATE

In early March I wrote a story about how a battle is underway between food trucks and the Santa Barbara planning commission over a new ordinance that affects how food trucks can operate. A representative from the city of Santa Barbara has sent me a response to share with you:

“Mr. Dickson, I appreciate the opportunity to respond and help clear up some misunderstandings: The City currently prohibits mobile food vending on private property. In recent years, there has been a rise in this type of land use and in recognition of the community benefits, the New Zoning Ordinance (NZO) proposes to allow food trucks on private property, with some parameters. This has been supported by the Planning Commission since first brought to them in 2015. Proposed provisions to allow Mobile Food Vendors on private property can be found in the Temporary Uses, subsection 28.49.420.E.5 and 28.49.420.F (pages III-210 and III-212) of the Draft NZO document, Feb. 9, 2017), found by navigating to www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/NZO; click on the Reference Documents tab. As for mobile vending on city streets, the City’s current ordinance conflicts with state law. A separate effort that is not part of the NZO is underway to make changes to that ordinance which will have reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. Thank you. Marck Aguilar, Project Planner, City of Santa Barbara.”

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COOKING UP DREAMS

Over 300 guests, celebrity judges and leading local chefs filled the Grand Ballroom of the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort at the end of last month to vote for their favorite dish and support programs for at-risk youth in Santa Barbara County. The sold-out event raised a record $140,000 for Family Service Agency which will help provide services to those on waiting lists for school-based counseling, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring, and youth behavioral counseling. “We are humbled and energized by the support of our community,” said Executive Director Lisa Brabo. “This event is not just an important fundraiser for us, it’s a great way to connect with our supporters and share in our passion for providing families with the help they need to develop their own paths for life success.” The Judges’ Choice award went to Peter McNee of Convivo for his Pesce Crudo–ahi and avocado on a squid ink cracker. Owner Adam White accepted the People’s Choice award for Santa Barbara FisHouse for the Prawnton appetizer. Awards were presented by event co-chairs Meredith Garofalo and Emily Nordee.

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LUNA TERRACE OPENS AT BILTMORE

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara announced Luna Terrace this month, the newest addition to recently renovated Ty Lounge. Luna Terrace offers an exclusive and eclectic outdoor event space at the Resort, something the property has been working on for sometime now. Available for parties of up to 6 guests, Luna Terrace evokes essence of Tangier with traditional Moroccan furnishings as well as a rich color palette of red, blue, camel and gold. Located off of Ty Lounge’s main seating area, Luna Terrace invites visitors and guests alike to enjoy several elite experiences including Tangier Bottle Service, Private Brunch, Casablanca Romance and Moroccan Feast.

Menu highlights include a traditional:

  • Mezze featuring dips, such as yogurt herb, charred eggplant and warm house made hummus.
  • The Morrocan Mezze Plate, which comprises of a whole roasted cauliflower, Moroccan chicken skewers, grilled lamb kefta and vegetable tagine.
  • Private Brunch, which features a bloody mary bar complete with a selection of expertly paired house made garnishes including hickory smoked bacon, mozzarella pearls, pickled asparagus and fried jalapeno.

Luna Terrace must be reserved ahead of time and prices vary based on number of guests/availability. Call 969-2261 x8542.

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BIG EYE RAW BAR OPENS

Last month I wrote that I’a Fish Market and Café in the Santa Barbara Public Market at 38 West Victoria Street had closed and will be replaced by Big Eye Raw Bar. Reader Mary tells me that Big Eye Raw Bar is now open. They serve poke bowls and other raw items, including oysters, shellfish and sashimi, as well as wine and beer.

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RUDY’S EXPRESS REPLACING JULIENNE

I am hearing that the space at 138 East  Canon Perdido Street, formerly Julienne, Le Bon Café and Dish, has a sign up saying Rudy’s Express is going in. I don’t know if this Rudy’s is related to the other Rudy’s in town but if I had to take a guess I would say it is.

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BUCATINI CLOSES, PLANS TO RELOCATE

Bucatini Trattoria-Pizzeria at 436 State Street has closed after 21 years in business. I spoke with one of the partners at Bucatini and was told that their lease is ending and they are using that as an opportunity to move their restaurant to another block. They are currently looking at several locations. A sign on the window says “Grazie! To all our wonderful customers and friends for their support on these last 21 years. Bucatini will reopen soon on a new location. Please keep following us on Facebook and Instagram, and come see us at Tre Lune 1151 Coast Village Road. Ciao!” Thanks to readers Annie and Bruce for the tips.



Photo by reader Bruce

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GROCERY OUTLET OPENS

Grocery Outlet Bargain Market has opened at 2840 De la Vina Street (formerly Ralphs and Alpha Beta). The official Grand Opening is scheduled for Saturday, April 8, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. and includes a $500 grand prize drawing, a 25% off coupon for the first 100 customers, coffee, treats and $1 hot dog with drink from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


A photo of Grocery Outlet taken a few days before opening, during final preparations.

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SOJOURNER UPDATE

Last August food news junkie and rumormonger Chompee McGillicutty told me that a taco joint and sushi restaurant, perhaps connected to Miso Hungry, will split the old Sojourner spot at 134 East Canon Perdido Street. Reader Steve H. tells me with added confidence that the Japanese half of the property will indeed be the future home of Miso Hungry. I have not confirmed the news.

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CREEKSIDE RESTAURANT & BAR READY TO OPEN

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.”

A glimpse of the new back patio and private events area at Creekside Restaurant and Bar.

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BLUSH CLOSES

This was a shocker. Readers Pamela and Annie let me know that Blush Restaurant and Lounge at 630 State Street has closed. The business opened in April 2009, replacing downtown icon Zelo. Word on the street is that many former Blush employees are being hired at the new Creekside Restaurant and Bar on Hollister. Here is a message to you from Blush:

“Do to upcoming business restructuring Blush will no longer be serving the Santa Barbara community as a restaurant and lounge. Although saddened to no longer be serving you in this capacity we are excited by the new ventures we will bring to State Street in the near future. Please note our patio will be available for private events. We thank you for the years of patronage and loyalty you have given us and look forward to seeing you soon.”

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TOY STORY

Reader Steve H. tells me that Savoy Wines is opening at the old Kernohan’s Toy Store location, 18 West Anapamu Street. An ABC permit application is now posted on the front door.

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PETROS LOS OLIVOS MOVES TO SOLVANG

Reader Mary let me know that after 8 years in business Petros restaurant inside Fess Parker Wine Country Inn at 2860 Grand Avenue in Los Olivos closed last January and has now reopened as Petros Kafe at 487 Atterdag Road in Solvang, the former home of Greenhouse Café. “Our menu is a combination of the best ingredients that Greece and California cuisine have to offer,” says owner & chef Petros Benekos. “We import olive oil, feta, honey, oregano and wines from Greece, the freshest organic vegetables from our farms in Los Olivos and wineries of our great state. Quality, simplicity, healthy and tasty food is the creation of that combination. Enjoy.” Hours are Sunday-Monday 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Call 686-5455 or visit petrosrestaurant.com.

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BASIL’S COMING TO ANACAPA

A new restaurant named Basil’s Santa Barbara is coming to 608 Anacapa Street, the former home of Arch Rock Fish and Melting Pot. Basil’s will offer Italian cuisine and it is the sister restaurant of Fabrocini’s Italian Kitchen at 18608 Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana. Both eateries are owned and operated by Rosemary Klein. I called Fabrocini’s and was told that Basil’s will offer the exact same menu as Fabrocini’s which includes salads ($7-$9), entree salads ($9-$10), antipasti ($6-$11), pasta ($12-$15), seafood ($22-$28), chicken ($15-$16), veal/steak ($15-$27) and pizza/calzones ($2-$21). The opening date is currently scheduled for June. For details about the menu visit fabrocinistarzana.com.

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MOOVING IN

This just in from reader Steve H.:

“The Old Skool Cafe, a non-profit ‘youth-run, jazz-themed supper club’ run by at-risk youth, is planned to open at 901 Milpas Street (the old McConnell’s building with the cow on top). It will feature ‘comfort food from around the world’ and live music. They have one in San Francisco. The lady that’s directing it used to work as a corrections officer at Los Prietos. They are now in the fund-raising stage for SB. They hope to open this summer.” Visit oldskoolcafe.org.

901 Milpas Street in 2015 when it was occupied by Sublime.

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OFF TOPIC

Today I visited my childhood home in Montecito and saw something unusual. My parents usually have a wood chip front yard. This year the rain changed things dramatically and they have been bombarded with poppies. They didn’t plant a single one. Nature did it all. Walking to the front door makes you feel like you are in a scene from the Wizard of Oz.

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