verdeA south-western restaurant named Verdé will be opening in mid-June at 532 State Street, the former home of Zia Café. Owner Dave Campos was affiliated with Zia Café before the year 2000. “We’re taking the south-western cuisine of Santa Barbara up a notch,” says Campos. “It is more of a unique dining experience, more so than your regular tacos and enchiladas that you’ve seen in typical Mexican restaurants. We will have that but we will have a lot of other special items that we think will fit Santa Barbara. We are going the extra mile by bringing in the right chef, Jim Gartman, that we feel is the right fit for Santa Barbara, with a south-western background.” Gartman is an award winning chef who has cooked from New York to New Mexico and is moving to Santa Barbara from a high-end country club in Arizona.

Campos says he has redecorated the building in its traditional Santa Barbara Spanish architectural design. He brought it back to what he thinks is the original condition of the building which was built in the early 1920’s. Local designer Raul Flores has done all the wrought iron work in the building and all the artwork was created by local artist Karen Fedderson.

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  1. Lily says:

    Instead of Southwestern or Mexican, how about we have an actual Spanish restaurant? There isn’t a single Spanish restaurant here. Spanish food is wonderful and it isn’t so exotic that novice would dislike it or refuse to try it.

    • Jerry says:

      I agree. Been to some great Spanish rest. and real Tapas bars (not in SB) and they are great and very approachable. Some of the finest restaurants in the world are in Spain.

      Oh well, another Mexican Restaurant in SB, Playing it safe. Wish them luck though.

  2. Jan Timbrook says:

    Why the accent mark over the e? Not a word.

  3. Scott says:

    I’m opening a restaurant called Greën. It’s pronounced

  4. Suzie Q says:

    Awwww….. come on everyone. Let’s give them a chance. It’s not easy starting and maintaining a new restaurant anywhere, much less Santa Barbara (where it’s extremely tough). At least they’re not another chain restaurant. I wish them luck!

  5. Jan Timbrook says:

    Vare-DAY, eh? Making up pronunciation that is not SW Spanish does not bode well for the authenticity of their SW food. I liked the old Zia, especially in the old location on Milpas, until they started getting too stingy with their sauce. Throat-cloggingly-dry tamales, ugh. But best of luck to the new folks; it is really hard to start up a new restaurant in SB.

  6. chris says:

    Verde had a soft, soft opening during the Solstice parade. They offered an appetizer sampling and a couple of mixed drinks. The apps were really good – a chicken burrito with a creamy sauce, a SW egg roll, and a stuffed Anaheim pepper. Drinks were mezcal-based with fruit juices. Despite being open only an hour, the servers were fun, efficient, and quick. Even though they were using picnic ware, the presentation was top notch and sophisticated. Great little balcony to watch the parade setup. Met Chef Gartman who looks forward to bringing some different flavors to SB, especially the rich tradition of those magical green and red Hatch Valley chiles from New Mexico. Anybody who doesn’t know Hatch chile has a real treat ahead. They will open again with a full menu in a couple of weeks.

  7. Paul says:

    I’m excited. I went to college in the 4 Corners and I miss the terrific food there, like Navajo tacos and green chile hash browns. If the green chile is good, I’ll be there…

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