The day before our nation celebrates its 241st birthday, Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill opens in Hollister Village Plaza at 7060 Hollister Avenue in Goleta, adjacent to Smart & Final Extra. After 25 years serving guests throughout Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, this will be the first Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill on the South Coast and the 28th location for the restaurant brand, which now has restaurants in Southern California, Oregon and Nevada, with more on the way in existing and new markets.

Westlake Village, Calif.-based Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill was founded in 1992 by Chief Executive Officer Steven Paperno. The Goleta location is locally owned and operated by franchisees Todd, Laura and Denise Schwarz and Scott Bayliss, will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.

“It’s no secret that Santa Barbara and Goleta’s growing foodie culture is built around a desire to enjoy food made with the best possible ingredients that deliver on taste and flavor,” said Todd Schwarz, franchise owner of the new Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill in Goleta. “At our new Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill in Goleta, the menu delivers on that promise while giving our guests an opportunity to eat in a way that suits their individual lifestyles. We can’t wait to open our doors and share the Sharky’s experience with the community.”

Founded in 1992, Sharky’s offers a diverse menu featuring Mexican-inspired items such as burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and nachos, as well as contemporary fare including Superfood Salads, Power Plates and an organic Roasted Veggie Bowl. The menu has been designed to appeal to varying lifestyles, accommodating vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free preferences, or for when occasions call for more indulgence. Each dish is made-to-order, using organic, non-GMO, hormone-free, and local ingredients whenever possible. Also popular are Sharky’s fresh, house-made beverages, including: red and white sangrias; seasonal lemonades such as Watermelon Basil, Pineapple Lime, and Blueberry Mint; and, infused organic teas including Hibiscus Ginger Green, Cinnamon Orange Black, and Pineapple Ginger Tropical. Sharky’s beverage menu includes a selection of wines by the glass and local craft beers on tap.

Guests can choose to dine in booths, at the dining bar with prime TV viewing, at a community table, or outside on the patio. The interior features design elements including sandblasted Douglas fir beams, Carrera marble counters, reclaimed wood, galvanized steel tables, and oversize mason jar light fixtures. Solid wood beams frame the outdoor patio that has also been designed for comfort, with a cascading water feature, overhead fans, heaters, and decorative lighting.



This just in from Jesse Gaddy, co-owner of Barbareño at 205 West Canon Perdido Street:

“Join us for our brand new California-style barbecue lunch at Barbareño! We wanted to bring our love of the Santa Maria grill and Santa Barbara’s local flavors to our community in an approachable, affordable way – and what better way than a BBQ lunch? We’ll be serving up prime tri-tip with BBQ pico de gallo, ranch-rubbed smoked chicken, pulled pork with avocado-tomatillo BBQ sauce, grilled vegetables with spiced romesco sauce, and more – all cooked over our red oak-burning grill. Our dishes are available a la carte by the quarter pound, or as sandwiches, along with plenty of sides. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, follow your nose! We’ll be serving on Thursdays and Fridays from 11:30am-2pm or until we sell out. Service is at the counter with to-go orders welcome, and seating is out on our patio – no reservations needed. See you there!”



Reader Christine showed be the agenda for the June 27th Goleta Design Review Board meeting that says approval for a sign for a new 7-Eleven will be discussed. The address is 5342 Hollister Avenue, which is the home of several businesses including the Water Store and, until recently, Mama’s Bakery.



Reader Bruce let me know that a sign for Sunny Korean Restaurant has appeared in the window at 532 State Street, the former home of Le Petite Bistro, Verde and Zia Café.



Readers Bernie and Primetime tell me that an eatery named Mundos is coming to 901 North Milpas Street, famously adorned with a cow on the roof, and the former home of Sublime, Cities Barbecue, and City Kitchen. A three-story, 50-unit apartment project is also scheduled to come to that area though I don’t know if it includes the actual building with the sacred cow. Previously I reported that Old Skool Cafe was coming here.



Chips and salsa have started flowing at La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant has reopened at 298 Pine Avenue in Goleta under new ownership. The eatery closed in February last year.



My Santa Barbara friends and I take have been taking a group photo (with the exact same pose) every 5 years since 1982 (see In 2012, when we took the last photo, CNN heard about it and did a small story on their web site and it went viral. They got 50 million hits in a week and it made newspapers all over the planet. NBC flew us all to be on the Today Show and we were asked for autographs everywhere we went while touring New York City. While at 30 Rockefeller Plaza we bumped into the US women’s gymnastic team, which has just won gold days before, and even they asked to have a pic taken with us. It was just crazy stuff.

We take our next five year photo this weekend in northern California on June 24th and CNN is covering the story again. I guess with so much politics and terrorism in the news they decided it is time for a happy story. If you happen to be watching TV or browsing the web during the next week and see a series of pictures of five guys sitting on a bench, the Restaurant Guy is the one on the right.

Update: here’s CNN story



Reader Steve H. passed word that Lily’s Flowers at 209 South Milpas Street is now selling tacos, salads, and Mexican -style juices and smoothies. I don’t think they’re related to Lily’s Tacos in any way. They also sell fruit “flower” arrangements (e.g. pineapple/strawberry spears).

Photo by reader Steve H.



I’m told that Babcock Wine is now offered for delivery with Restaurant Connection. Wine is delivered within 1-hour. Also, new on the delivery list for Restaurant Connection is Cafe Stella, Dargan’s, Brasil Arts Cafe, and The Honey B. Visit

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Solstice Saturday will be the last day of The Burger Bus here in Santa Barbara. Here is the scoop from owner Michael Gardner:

“After 8 amazing years of slinging SBs best burgers, it is time for us to begin a new chapter in our wonderful story.  We will be packing up The Bus and heading towards the beauty of Colorado.  It is with both tremendous joy and great sorrow that we end our time here as residents of this most wonderful city.  To all of our loyal BUStomers, we will miss you all so much.  To all our amazing friends who without your support we would have never pushed so hard, we thank you with all our hearts.  And to you John, great thanks for writing about us at the very beginning and showing your support for more than 8 years. It will be a huge change, but one that gives us, our family and our BUSiness such a thrill.  All you amazing Santa Barbarians, please come and support one last time before we leave.  Stop in for lunch, a wave or just a toot of your horn as you drive by. Solstice Saturday will be the last day of BUSiness.  The menu will be eclectic and with our closing, everything must go!!  Thank you Santa Barbara, we will miss you so very much. -Michael Gardner”



Goa Taco has opened at 718 State Street, the former home of Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen, Killer B BBQ,  Kozmo’s, California Crisp, and Fat Burger. Owner and Chef Duvaldi Marneweck, a South African native, opened his first location in New York City in 2014. Within 2 years, in a tiny (230sqf) store front, Goa had made acclaimed publications such as Critics’ Pick of the New York Times and New York Magazine, and the “100 best dishes and drinks in NYC 2015” (Time Out). A second location opened in Los Angeles. Goa Taco offers paratha tacos, with on-site coal-roasted Berskhire pork belly, pickled red cabbage and chipotle mayo. A paratha is a flatbread that originated in the Indian subcontinent and is still prevalent throughout Pakistan and India. Visit



Readers Cris and Foodie Dan tell me that KFC at 5697 Calle Real in Goleta is closed for a remodel until June 26th.

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Last week I passed word from reader Steve H. that a German sandwich place is coming to 413 State Street, the former home of The Mex Authentic, Pace, Momma Donna’s, Billies, and Lettuce B. Frank.

Reader W. tells a different story:


I’m not sure where your tip comes from but the place going into 413 State is called URKEB, and I believe it is to be a Kebab place.

Perhaps the German thing came from this:
But I don’t think that has anything to do with food.
BTW if you google ABC license and an address you can get that info from the first link, much more reliable than rumors.

Your Anonymous Friend,



In 2008 we experienced the “The Cupcake Invasion.” In 2009 we had the “The Frozen Yogurt Invasion.” In 2011 “The Food Truck Invasion” rolled into the South Coast. 2014 was officially the year of “The Build-your-own Pizza Invasion.” It now appears that 2017 is the year of “The Poke Invasion” as numerous poke restaurants have popped up or are scheduled to arrive soon. Reader Don got a sandwich recently at Ike’s Love & Sandwiches of Isla Vista when he noticed that another poke place is coming our way. I’m told that the name of the restaurant will be Poki Rito and that the address is 6530 Seville Road, the former home of Shave It Nation. PokeCeviche will be opening nearby on Pardall Road in addition to a adding a location in Paseo Nuevo. HiWi Tropical Fusion of Isla Vista opened in January and includes poke on the menu. Pokemee now serves the popular dish in Hollister Village Plaza as does the new Big Eye Raw Bar in Santa Barbara Public Market and Kanaloa Seafood on Chapala.

Photo by reader Don



Reader Fay gave me an update about La Hacienda which will soon be reopening at 298 Pine Avenue in Goleta. She said the doors were open at La Hacienda in Goleta recently and so she poked in her head in to ask “how soon is coming soon?” I am told that the lady inside doing clean-up said hopefully La Hacienda will open next week.



An alarm went off in my inbox last week from nearly a dozen readers who were mourning the loss of nightly dinner service at the popular Cody’s Café at 4898 Hollister Avenue in Goleta. Dinner will be available by appointment for parties of 15 or more. While I visited the premises at about 6 p.m. to confirm the news, car after car drove up to Cody’s for dinner and I had to let each of them know the news and encouraged them to come back for breakfast and lunch, which is still available, or schedule a group meal for evening hours. One of the regulars who drove up told me that Cody’s usually has a line out the door for breakfast, and that dinner, though not packed, usually had a healthy supply of customers. There were many customers for dinner while I was there though they couldn’t get in. Readers tell me that Cody’s liquor license is being sold and that they will continue to serve beer and wine.

A sign on the front door of Cody’s Cafe reads as follows:

“Hello and thank you for dining at Cody’s! Some changes are happening here at Cody’s and we are really excited about them. Starting today, Monday June 5th, our new hours are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will continue to open in the evenings for parties of 15 or more. If you are interested in scheduling a fun dinner with us please speak to the hostess or call and talk to a manager. We have some exciting new menu items as well, so please look over the menu and enjoy your meal. Thank you so much and we appreciate your patience and understanding during these changes. Thank you! Cody’s Management and Staff”



Reader Ted spotted a change of ownership sign at 5599 Hollister Avenue in Goleta, the current home of Sage & Onion which continues to be open for business as usual. I called Sage & Onion and was told that the eatery was purchased in April by Worker Bee Cafe which has a location at 973 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria. Worker Bee Cafe will retain a few menu items from Sage & Onion and complete the transformation in a few weeks.



Last week I mentioned that a drive-thru Starbucks is coming to Santa Barbara or Goleta and that the location is unknown. Reader Alex says that Starbucks is building its new drive-thru location on the vacant lot at the south-east corner of Turnpike and Calle Real between In-N-Out Burger and IHOP. This information has not been confirmed so it falls squarely under the “rumor” category for now. This is the same location where a sign was posted briefly two years ago that read: “John’s Burger and Mixed Use Development.” If this rumor is true you will someday be able to cruise Turnpike for a Double-Double and Frappuccino without ever leaving your car. Perhaps IHOP will consider adding a drive-thru so we can complete a mobile trifecta with Buttermilk Pancakes.



Readers tell me that Cody’s Cafe at 4898 Hollister Avenue in Goleta has stopped serving dinner except for parties of 15 or more, and will no longer serve liquor but will still offer beer and wine:

  • Reader Annie 1: “Cody’s cafe selling liquor license “
  • Reader Roger: “Cody’s Cafe at Turnpike & Hollister, which had been open for dinner for many years, is now serving breakfast and lunch only (hours 6 am – 3 pm) effective Monday, June 5. Their web site and Yelp listing has only partially been revised. Rumor is that they have sold their liquor license.”
  • Reader Alisa: “Hi John: after a change of ownership/management about a year ago, Cody’s Cafe at the corner of Turnpike & Hollister has discontinued serving dinner.  What’s the story there?”
  • Reader Annie 2: “I went to Cody’s in Goleta for dinner yesterday, only to find a sign on the door stating that as of Monday (June 5) they close at 3:30pm.  Any idea what’s going on?”
  • Reader Mike: “A sign on the door at Cody’s says that as of June 5, they will no longer be open for dinner.  They will open for parties of 15 or more only for dinner.  New hours are 6-3.”
  • Reader Maureen: “We planned to meet a friend for dinner at Cody’s last night, but there was a sign on the door. New hours are 6:00AM – 3:00PM. They’re only open for dinner for parties of 15 or more. So sad”


This just in from Chad Stevens, owner of Sambos at 216 West Cabrillo Boulevard:

“Hey John, We are going to have a 60 year anniversary party for the week of June 12 to June 17. Sambos will be 60 years old. I plan on rolling back the prices of pancakes to the original prices of the old menu.”



Reader Primetime heard that Bucatini, which recently closed its long time home at 436 State Street, is in early discussions to possibly open in Camino Real Marketplace in Goleta. Previously I reported that they were looking for a new home on State Street which might still be the case.



Reader Primetime says in the next year a drive-thru Starbucks will be opening somewhere in Santa Barbara or Goleta. Currently the only drive-thru full menu coffee places I know of are Zizzo’s in Goleta and McDonald’s on the Mesa and on Fairview. I believe city ordinances allow new drive-thru places to only open where there is an existing drive-thru business so that limits the possible homes for the new Starbucks.



Reader Primetime let me know that Guicho’s Eatery, coming to 901 Linden Avenue Carpinteria (formerly The Beach Bowl), looks like it will be opening very soon.

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Readers Scott and Goleta Joe tell me that Los Arroyos Mexican restaurant has opened a new location at 5764 Calle Real in Goleta (formerly Paloma, Rudy’s and Presto Pasta). Los Arroyos also operates local restaurants at 14 West Figueroa Street and 1280 Coast Village Road in Montecito. In addition to lunch and dinner, on Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Los Arroyos will be offering a small breakfast menu including about 16 items for around $7.50-$7.95. Hours are Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Call 770-8209 or visit



Reader Ocean let me know that Stacky’s Seaside at 2315 Lillie Avenue in Summerland closed its door permanently a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed many a great burger at Stacky’s, which will transform into a Rusty’s Pizza during the next year.



Reader Steve H. tells me that a German sandwich place is coming to 413 State Street, the former home of The Mex Authentic, Pace, Momma Donna’s, Billies, and Lettuce B. Frank.



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 (formerly Sam’s To Go and Bicycle Bob’s)
  • Cajun Kitchen, 6025 Calle Real, Goleta (formerly Rusty’s Pizza)
  • Chicken in a Barrel BBQ, 310 S. Fairview Ave.
  • Cito Street Café, 305 W. Montecito St.
  • Goa Taco, 718 State St. (formerly Gandolfo’s Deli)
  • 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.
  • La Hacienda, 298 Pine Ave., Goleta (reopening)
  • 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)
  • Old Skool Café, 901 Milpas St. (formerly Sublime)
  • Oliver’s, 1198 Coast Village Rd. (formerly Peabody’s)
  • PokeCeviche, 901 Embarcadero del Mar Isla Vista (formerly Jimmy Johns)
  • PokeCeviche, 313 Paseo Nuevo
  • 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 (Stacky’s Seaside)
  • Rusty’s Pizza, 4880 Hollister Ave., Goleta (moving from 149 S. Turnpike Rd.)
  • Sharkey’s Woodfired Mexican Grill, 7000 Hollister Ave., Goleta (Hollister Village Plaza)
  • Unnamed German, 413 State St. (formerly The Mex Authentic)
  • Unnamed Taco, 134 East Canon Perdido St. (formerly Sojourner)
  • Unnamed, 422 N. Milpas St. (formerly Altamirano’s)


Somerset restaurant at 7 East Anapamu Street, which opened for dinner last December, has expanded the menu to include lunch and brunch. Executive Chef Lauren Herman and Pastry Chef Christina Olufson have created a lunch menu made from local farmer’s market ingredients. For lunch, Vegetarian-friendly dishes like a Coal Roasted Leek Sandwich with burrata, broccolini, and Calabrian chili bagna cauda and the Quinoa Fatoosh Salad join a lineup that includes a BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Grilled Salmon Market Lettuce Salad, and a Somerset Burger. For brunch, in addition to the aforementioned, are market driven dishes such as Grilled asparagus, spring vegetables, morels, grits, soft-boiled egg, mascarpone, and sorrel pistou, that are paired with more classic dishes such as Sunny-side eggs, grilled pork belly, broccolini, and romesco potatoes or Buttermilk pancakes, vanilla honey syrup, market fruit and berries.

George Piperis, Bar Director of Somerset, will introduce new spring time cocktails inspired by the changing season which will join current specialty cocktail favorites like Somerset Collins and The Duck Hunter, a duck fat washed bourbon with thyme, gomme, and bitters. As the General Manager and Wine Director at Somerset, Hayden Felice has created a wine list that  “represents great local winemakers and much of what CA has to offer, particularly in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, that additionally focuses on small family run domaines from traditional old-word communes that farm either biodynamically, organically, or sustainably.”

Lunch hours are Monday – Sunday 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Brunch hours are Saturday, Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Dinner hours are  Monday – Friday from 5:30 p.m., Saturday – Sunday from 5:00 p.m. Call 845-7112 or visit

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Reader Justine let me know that Kings Wings food truck arrived in April and is now serving Santa Barbara and the surrounding area from their base at 2234 De la Vina Street near Pueblo Street. The business describes their service as follows: “Kings Wings is a family-owned and operated restaurant that seeks to provide the local community with fresh, made to order meals. We source ingredients that are non-GMO, local, and organically grown whenever possible. Unlike the major chains, our goal is to offer the best healthy options without having to give up good tasting comfort foods, all while being served in a fun and friendly environment.”

Kings Wings offers classic wings plus boneless/mix-match in 3-piece $7.99, 6-piece $8.49, and 12-piece $13.49, in addition to chicken strips. Flavor options include BBQ, lemon pepper, garlic parmesan, sweet & spicy, mango habanero, buffalo (mild), and buffalo (hot). The wings-only menu offers a variety of quantities, starting with 10-piece $10.99 all the way up to 100-piece $78.99. Kings Wings also sells fries, eggs with corned beef hash, kale salad and a curry burrito. Hours are Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and they are closed on Sunday. Call 456-9336 or visit



Pascucci restaurant at Camino Real Marketplace in Goleta is promoting “Happy Month” from now through the month of June, offering happy hour prices all day, all week. Specials include well cocktails $4, well margaritas $5, house Chardonnay and Cabernet $5, domestic bottled beer $3, and import & premium bottled beer $4.