A 120-seat restaurant named The Lark is coming to 131 Anacapa Street, the former home of Bay Café. Most of the seats will be out door in 2 large patios. The Lark will offer seasonal, local New America cuisine including new ethnic twists on traditional modern comfort food. The chef is Jason Paluska.

“It’s about seasonal. It’s about local,” says owner Sherry Villanueva. “It’s about connecting as close to the source as possible.” The eatery will offer tapas-style farm-to-table cooking with a wood-fired grill, shared plates and a seasonal, changing menu. Villanueva tells me “The entire reason for doing this restaurant and what the whole concept is built around is community. What I love is what happens to people when they connect with one another over food.”

The Lark will have a full bar using fresh produce, seasonal fruits and vegetables to create mixers for craft spirits and hand crafted cocktails. The bar will focus on small production artisan distilleries. Neighboring wine store Caveau will be managing the wine list. Most wines will be from Santa Barbara County. Some will be small production wines that you don’t see very often.

When I asked Villanueva where she the name of the restaurant comes from she told me that the building at 131 Anacapa Street was originally built by the historic Castagnola family in the 1920s as a fish processing plant on the railroad tracks that shipped to San Francisco and Los Angeles. When the Southern Pacific railroad was running between the two cities there were only two trains that stopped in Santa Barbara, one was called the Daylight and the second was called The Lark which was an all-Pullman supper club train.

The Lark will be opened for lunch and dinner 7 days a week starting early summer.


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  1. SL says:

    Wow, sounds ambitious. Certainty some momentum in the Funk Zone these days. Lots of patio space, wood-fired food, fresh\local ingredients all sound good in my book! I look forward to it.

  2. Lily says:

    Sounds nice. On paper, it kind of sounds like Anchor.

  3. Christine! says:

    so no Full of Life Flatbread? Or inaddition to it? Or am I jumbling 2 seperate places into one?

    either way- The Lark sounds wonderful!

    • SL says:

      The rumor was not related to Full of Life Flatbread. It was for American Flatbread. At one time many moons ago the two were related, but now there is absolute no relationship between the two as far as I know, at least that’s what I was told by Full of Life. FWIW Full of Life puts out a better quality product.

    • John Dickson says:

      American Flatbread rumor was false. Lark is taking the space.

  4. Vic says:

    She lost me at “… what the whole concept is built around is community. What I love is what happens to people when they connect with one another over food.”

    What I love is eating great food. Isn’t it kind of pretentious to say you’re building a community? It’s a restaurant.

  5. WS says:

    When Bay Café was on lower Anacapa Street, my wife and had it our rotating list, enjoying the ambience and food.
    When it moved to lower State, we tried it once, couldn’t have a reasonable conversation due to the overwhelming crowd noises and never went back.
    We’ll try The Lark and see.

  6. Art says:

    I remember the ‘Lark’ . You would get on at the SF station at 3rd and Townsand at 8PM get into your berth and get woken up by the porter and get off in SB @ 6AM
    Those were the days

  7. JP says:

    Does it seem like every new restaurant is “farm to table?” I love the quality but hopefully prices will stabilize.

  8. Garfish says:

    “Farm to Table” has “jumped the shark”

  9. HG says:

    The Lark today was the best food ever in santa Barbara I
    have ever had. This restaurant is a sure smash hit that will rock
    Santa Barbara for sure. Service great, food was to die

    • QuietOne says:

      HG – what did you enjoy on the menu? Generic comments are
      helpful if supported with some specifics. Hope this doesn’t sound
      like a schoolteacher, but details do help in evaluating a

  10. gerald bostock says:

    HG, tell more! What did you eat? How was it prepared? Curious minds and all…
    TIA 😉

  11. Bad 1st date says:

    Nice space , great location in the Funk Zone. Horrible
    start up pains , kitchen is very slow , 2-1/2 hours for final dish
    from order time. Poorly managed floor and kitchen. With as much so
    called talent running this restaurant they don’t show it. First
    impressions are everything as they say and this one wasn’t