Costco’s got company. Smart & Final Extra! is the first business to open at the new Hollister Village shopping center at 7090 Hollister Avenue in Goleta, across the street from Camino Real Marketplace. Smart & Final Extra! stores are much larger than a typical Smart & Final warehouse store and full of extra features. The stores carry an expanded selection of products in key categories like produce, fresh meat, frozen foods, dairy, deli and grocery basics like cereal, yogurt, bread and snacks. You don’t need to buy in bulk when you shop at Smart & Final Extra! because they carry many items in smaller, convenient sizes. Smart & Final Extra! is open daily 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thanks to reader Cris for the tip.

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This just in from Taco Bell:


We just wanted to let everybody know that Taco Bell on 3771 State Street has closed.  We would like to thank our loyal customers for twenty years of wonderful memories.  There is good news, though:  Our State Street crew is moving over to the Mesa Taco Bell, located at 1840 Cliff Drive, at the intersection of Carrillo and Cliff Drive.  So, come and see the smiling faces from both stores over on the Mesa.

Richard Payatt
Payatt Enterprises Taco Bell



This just in from The Outpost at The Goodland Hotel:

Outpost’s Executive Chef, Derek Simcik, is popping up at Potek for one night only to host an intimate wine dinner. On Dec. 11 at 7pm, Chef Simcik will prepare a four-course menu perfectly paired with Potek’s notable wines; including their specialty ice wine. Seating is extremely limited, and can be reserved by purchasing tickets at Potek is located in The Mill complex on Haley Street.

Potek Pop Up Dinner with Chef Derek Simcik of Outpost

Friday, Dec. 11 at 7pm

$75/pp – includes four-course meal with wine pairings
Thai Crab Salad
shaved avocado, green curry coconut, roe, shrimp puff
Pairing: 2013 Kick On Riesling

Brulee Bone Marrow
foie, pickled carrot, balsamic, mustard seeds
Pairing: 2012 Tierra Alta Grenache

Beef Cheek
squid ink, umami bomb broth, quail egg, root vegetables
Pairing: 2013 Sanford and Benedict Old Vine Pinot Noir

Trio of Desserts
Ritz Crackers and Foie
Reese’s Bacon Cup
Mango con Chili
Pairing: 2014 Potek Kick On Ranch Riesling Ice Wine from Barrel

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An episode of Top Chef filmed in Santa Barbara airs on Bravo channel 57 this Thursday, December 10th at 10 p.m. Area locations featured on the show include the Santa Barbara Harbor and Wine Country.

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On Sunday December 13th Max’s Restaurant & Cucina at 3514 State Street will be having their second Sunday comedy night along with Carol Metcalf. This particular show will be a fundraiser for the Santa Barbara Food Bank. The comedians will donate 50% of the cover fee and the restaurant will be donating 10% of all food sales. John Palminteri will be the MC for the event. The available menu will be Max’s Cucina Italian cuisine.

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I received this message for you from Wings restaurant at 4427 Hollister Ave:

Dear Mr. John Dickson,

My name is Debbie. My family owns one of the oldest restaurants in Santa Barbara, Wings Restaurant on Hollister near Modoc. You reported that Wings was going through a re-model the last few months. Finally, the re-model is all done but now my family has decided to retire. So, now we have a beautifully re-modeled restaurant and kitchen with a good lease.

We would like to either sell or sub-lease the restaurant to someone in the restaurant business. We can help them to open their own style restaurant with their own special cuisine. I just wanted to up-date your ‘The Restaurant Guy’ column with regards to our place. If you could spread the word in the local restaurant business we would greatly appreciate it, after all, this location has been a continuously operating restaurant for over 40 years.

Thank you,



Word on the street is that High Sierra Grill & Bar at 521 Firestone Road in Goleta, the former home of The Elephant Bar, is set to open Monday, December 14th.

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This just in from reader Cris:

Hi John,

Looks like the new Smart & Final Extra store [7090 Hollister Avenue, Goleta, in the new Hollister Village] is opening up next Wednesday.


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The Berry Man, Inc., a local Wholesale Produce Distributor based in Santa Barbara  is opening a new distribution facility in Oxnard California and is bringing up to 30 new jobs to the area.

The Berry Man, Inc., known for their ever present blue trucks throughout Southern California will begin operations out of the 10,000 square foot distribution  facility located on the corner of Rose Avenue and Mountain View Road, Oxnard in January of 2016.

“We are very excited to have a local presence in Ventura County.” said Les Clark, President of The Berry Man, Inc. “So much of our continued growth has come from this area and it just makes sense for us to be there.”

The Company was founded in 1989 by Santa Barbara resident, Guy De Mangeon, when he bought and sold his first flats of strawberries.  Guy would go from restaurant backdoor to restaurant backdoor selling his berries. Guy quickly picked up the nickname, The Berry Man, and the product line took off.

“Before long chefs were asking me for more and more items. Can you get me some potatoes? some mushrooms? some carrots?” Guy’s answer then is the same answer you will here today.   “I never say no.”

The Berry Man, Inc. currently operates out of two facilities and employees 175 hard working people.  The corporate office and Santa Barbara warehouse is located on Montecito Street in Santa Barbara CA and their second distribution facility is located in San Luis Obispo CA.

This year The Berry Man, Inc. will sell over 45 million dollars of fresh produce and specialty items to over 2000 food service establishments throughout Southern California.

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Reader Cris tells me that Sno-Crave Tea House is coming to Hollister Village, the new development across the street from Camino Real Markeplace. Their web site describes the business as follows: “We’re a Taiwanese teahouse located in the Bay Area. Shaved Snow is a cross between ice cream and the traditional shaved ice desserts popular in Hawaii and Asia, snow ice features soft ribbons of flavored ice topped with fruit, nuts and other assorted goods. We offer a wide variety of shaved snow and hundreds of cold and hot drink combinations, it’s the place to be for your favorite dessert, whether it’s a crepe, a butter toast, or shaved snow.” Other tenants coming to Hollister Village include Smart & Final, Zizzo’s Coffee, Dickey’s BBQ Pit and Wahoo’s Fish Tacos.




This just in from reader JoAnn:

There is a For Lease sign in front of The Fig Grill [formerly Fresco North] in Goleta.  Do you know anything about it?


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The former home of Craviota Iron Shop, on the corner of Anacapa and Ortega streets, across from the Paradise Café and Seagrass restaurant, may be torn down and replaced with 30 apartments, 2 retail spaces and a restaurant.



The Santa Barbara City Council is updating ordinance 5.32.035 which covers mobile vending businesses like food trucks. Adoption is anticipated for early 2016. You can read the proposed ordinance online at Here are some highlights:

  • The City Council finds that it is in the interest of the public health, safety and the general welfare of the community that time, place, and manner restrictions be established with respect to the operation and location of mobile vending vehicles or any non-motorized wheeled container, such as a wagon or pushcart upon any City street.
  • No person shall stand, park or operate any [vending] vehicle within or from the public right of way at the following locations: those streets bounded by and including: Castillo Street, Micheltorena Street, Garden Street, and Cabrillo Boulevard and on Milpas Street from the intersection of Milpas and Quinientos to the intersection of Milpas and Canon Perdido.
  • It shall be unlawful to sell or offer for sale any food or beverage from any pushcart on any public street, including parkways or sidewalks, within the City.
  • No vendor shall stand, stop or park any vehicle, from which merchandise, food, or other items are sold or displayed or offered for sale, barter or exchange, on any portion of any street, alley, sidewalk or public property within the city for a period of time that exceeds sixty minutes at any one location. Any vending conducted at a location within five hundred foot radius of any other location used in that same day by the same vending vehicle shall constitute one single location.
  • Mobile food vendors on private property shall be located and operated in compliance with the following standards: Mobile food vendors may only operate in non-residential zones, on lots developed with non-residential uses. Shall not exceed one truck per day per parking lot. Maximum three hours per day per parking lot. No lot may have a mobile food vendor onsite for more than ninety days total in any twelve-month period.

Food truck owners are concerned. “Mostly it seems they want to restrict hours, where we can park because of traffic concerns and what is perceived as a threat to public safety,” says Michael Gardner owner of The Burger Bus. “They will require us to move after a specific amount of time which would be less than existing posted time limits, and essentially keep us out of the Funk Zone even if on private property.”

The public is invited to comment on the proposed draft Mobile Vending Ordinances at a community meeting on December 3, 2 p.m. at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center 1118 E. Cabrillo Boulevard.

Reader Primetime tells me that the next meeting of the New Zoning Ordinance Joint Committee will be held on December 7, 2015 and continue on December 14, 2015. I am not sure about where the meeting will be held, assuming City Hall.

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This just in from Barbareño restaurant at 205 West Canon Perdido Street:

Hi John,

I just wanted to give you a brief update on things happening over here at Barbareño. We are now open seven days per week (whereas we used to be closed Tuesdays), and we just began serving a bar menu on week nights starting at 5:00pm. The bar menu offers more casual snacks and delicious bites that don’t break the bank and are perfect for the folks looking to come in for a snack and glass of wine or beer after work. We’ve heard from our neighbors (many of who are local businesses) who want a nice casual place to grab a drink or bite without having to commit to a full meal, so we’re hoping to better serve our community by filling in that gap. Our snacks range from our Cook’s Tartines ($6), which change daily depending on the quality ingredients we have on hand and each of our cooks’ creativity, to a charcuterie board which features local cheeses, cured meats, and other Santa Barbara specialties.

All the best,



This just in from the Winehound 3849 State Street:

Dear Friend of the Winehound,

“One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.” –James Thurber

If I’d originated this quote, the drink of choice would have been a margarita, of course, or perhaps “glass of Syrah.” Thurber’s observation is universal and applicable to all manner of enjoyment, and so, to each his/her own.

Today, we must announce that the Winehound will be transferring ownership early next year, and we’d like to thank you, our loyal clients, for your support since April of 2008 when the doors opened.

We’ve been delighted to introduce our patrons to the finest vino we’ve encountered, and perhaps turn a palate or two onto something unexpected and flavorsome.

And we’ve made a few friends along the path, folks with a sense of humor who also appreciate liquid satisfaction, and we’ll surely encounter you again, (“don’t know where, don’t know when”).

Please understand that we’ll be minimizing inventory over the month of December in anticipation of the changeover, so if we don’t necessarily have your favorite bottle, we’ll be glad to suggest a worthy option. There will be more spotlight sales, and we’ll also continue to accept special orders by the case.

So, after over 1000 emails, all personally authored by yours truly, I’ll let one of my favorite humorists express our deep appreciation to all of you.

To paraphrase Thurber: “One ‘thank you’ is all right. Two may be too many, but three are not enough.”

Bob, Betty and Dennis



This just in from Spencer the Gardener:

Uh Oh , The Bird is loose – Out for it’s annual pilgrimage around the globe – The controls are in your hands – Set it free – Pass it on – Far and Wide – This Bird must fly or she will , no , this bird will fly – Happy Thanksgiving to all !!!!!!

And a special Ventura Holiday show this weekend – Sat. Nov 28 @ The Ventura Beach Club (281 W. Main St.) – Spencer the Gardener and Raging Arb and the Redheads ! – Doors open at 8:00 !



The Korean taco shop Kogilicious at 956 Embarcadero Del Norte in Isla Vista has closed. The business opened in August 2010. Thanks to reader Brendan for the tip.

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Reader Brendan let me know that Santa Ynez Burrito is coming to 956 Embarcadero Del Norte in Isla Vista, the former home of Kogilicious.



In a blog item last week I mentioned that Petros restaurant was sold. I have been asked by Petros to clarify that they are still open for business and is available for all dining, catering, and event needs.

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Apparently ocean-themed restaurant names are popular at 416 State Street. First it was the long-time home of Sharkeez. Next it became cozy with Killer Shrimp. Now a sign at 416 State Street lets us know that The Drunken Crab of North Hollywood will be opening a new location in the space. Here is a message for you from the owner: “The Drunken Crab is both proud and excited to announce plans to open our second location in beautiful Santa Barbara. We look forward to bringing our delicious brand of authentic Louisiana-style seafood, unique dining experience, and of course inviting Southern hospitality style of guest service to the idyllic seaside community of Santa Barbara. So put your bibs on Santa Barbara, because The Drunken Crab is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to become your favorite neighborhood crab shack. Stay tuned for more info.” For more information visit Thanks to readers Bruce, Brendan and Ben for the tips.

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Photo by reader Bruce



This just in from Freeman’s Flying Chicken at Earl Warren Showgrounds:

Hi John,

Hope all is well.  I wanted to let folks know that Freeman’s Flying Chicken will have a “Take and Bake” offer for pick up on Wednesday the 25th.  For around $9 per person, we have everything you need for your holiday meal.  Each dinner comes with all the fixins’ – creamy mashed potatoes and our au jus gravy, sage and onion stuffing, sauteed veggies, sweet potatoes with mini marshmallows, chunky cranberry sauce, apple crisp (you supply the ice cream) and your choice of chicken or turkey.  Just bake and reheat to our instructions and you’ll have a meal in no-time.  All orders must be placed prior to November 24th.  All pick-ups will be at Earl Warren Showgrounds location on Wed 11/25 between 4 and 8pm.  To place an order people can go to our website: or call us directly at 805-765-9200.

Thanks for helping us get the word out.

Paul Freeman

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Last week’s rain may have only lasted an hour but unfortunately it was enough to cause a leak up here in the foodie news control tower in Goleta. Just after the rain ended, the 14-month-old Restaurant Kid walked in the room and handed me a soggy printout from the Rumor Machine which means either the leak occurred directly above sensitive electronics or he dunked the print-out in the toilet. Either scenario is highly likely. After letting it dry for awhile I was able to make out a few words: “Carl’s Jr. at 3925 State Street will depart in a few months and that address will become a second location for Woodstock’s Pizza of Isla Vista.” As always, this rumor might be completely false or a brilliant forecast of future events. Your call.



Reader Barry let me know that the “bulk sale” of Petros restaurant at 1316 State Street has been published in The Santa Barbara Independent, Inglewood News, and the Hawthorne Press Tribune. The buyers are listed as Roger E. Vian and Lora Beth Vian of Hesperia, CA. The assets being sold are generally described at furniture, fixtures and equipment. The announcement says that the anticipated sale date was November 17. Petros is still open for business and is available for all dining, catering, and event needs.




A reader tells me that Beach Bowls at 901 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria looks to be closing soon and that they are nearly out of all the ingredients. I’m told that the young lady who works there said they are going out of business. Beach Bowls opened in April 2014.



This just in from Mac’s Fish & Chip Shop at 503 State Street:

Hi John,

Hope all is chipper. Sightings of sweaters and scarves has prompted us to kick off our annual Holiday Appeal. This year we are mixing it up a little and offering a HOLIDAY SANDWICH (instead of the pie) consisting of thick slices of roast turkey breast dipped in gravy with sage & onion stuffing and cranberry sauce (all house made, of course) in a warm kaiser roll. We’re selling them for $8 each with a whopping $4 going directly to The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. They will be available until the end of the year.

Last year we raised over $1000 for the Food Bank and we’re hoping to top that this year.  It would be great exposure if you would be so kind as to post this on your blog and help us reach your very attractive audience.

Much appreciated and keep warm,




This just in from Laura Knight at Globe restaurant, 18 East Cota Street:

“We are off to a great start, and after being open 3-1/2 months, we will be adding a weekend brunch starting this weekend…we will serve the brunch menu Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and will serve our regular menu during brunch too. And from now through the holidays we are extending our hours to be open Saturday and Sunday afternoons. We will be serving brunch with the same ‘small plates’ style, so if you can’t decide between eggs benedict & huevos rancheros, you can have one of each. We will feature home-made quiches, pumpkin pancakes with spiced maple syrup  and candied pecans, mascarpone stuffed croissant French toast with fresh strawberries, and my ‘famous spicy oven-roasted bacon’ and other yummy brunch dishes. Keeping with the regular menu, all items will be $10 and under.”



Reader Jim let me know that the windows are papered over at Boochies, 113 West De la Guerra Street. A message on their web site says: “Apologies, Boochies is taking a rest for reenergizing. More updates to come on when we can start serving the community again.” Boochies opened in August 2014.

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Last month I wrote that China King is coming to 5915B Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Las Brasas Mexican Grill (closed last September), Los Tarascos (closed last March) and Fortune Garden (closed August 2009). Reader Cindy tells me that China King, near Zodo’s, is now open.



Reader Primetime tells me that El Torito restaurant at 29 East Cabrillo Boulevard has closed down, abruptly. A sign in the front of the building reads:

“We have closed this location and apologize for any inconvenience. We appreciate your patronage and look forward to our next opportunity to serve you at one of our 54 other restaurant locations. Visit Sincerely, the management team.”

Primetime reports that employees have been assisted with work at other restaurants and that the parent company of El Torito might convert the Santa Barbara location into a Las Brisas restaurant.

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Reader Cindy says that Trattoria Mollie at 1250 Coast Village Road in Montecito will be offering a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year. Call 565-9381.

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