I called the Elephant Bar (521 Firestone Road, Goleta) today and they told me that they are closing August 18th. I asked what the reason was and the receptionist told me it was because the Elephant Bar could not agree to terms of a new lease with their landlord.

Noozhawk has published a story that says the restaurant is closing for possibly different reasons and includes the quote from Elephant Bar CEO Robert Holden: “The financial loss this location has experienced during the past several years makes this decision necessary from a business point of view.” Thanks to readers Anonymous, Primetime and Marcia for the tips.

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  1. Marcia says:

    The Noozhawk article about this says something different. Who to believe?
    (I know you’re not being dishonest, John.)
    Oh, well. So long, Elephant Bar!

  2. Anne says:

    Great location but the food and service have gone downhill the past 10 years. I hope something good comes along and they clean the place up!

  3. Art says:

    That landlord would be the city of SB. I believe that it is on airport property.

    • Mary Anne says:

      City of SB needs more money? IN THE FORM OF RENT?From a
      good, solid tax-paying, job providing, decades -old pillar of the
      community? THEY are going to OPT FOR ZERO rent,,for MONTHS Risking
      perhaps YEARS of lost MONEY for the CHANCE TO GET MORE! While they
      SAY NO TO RENT! For now. I KNOW how the RENTAL market plays in old
      SB! Prime Real Estate! At the AIRPORT! I thought that was a tough
      place to unload on a GOOD day, in ANY city. Make them LEAVE! We
      have the technology! We can get MORE! MORE! MORE! I hope it sits
      there EMPTY and FORLORN for DECADES,causing distress among the
      MORONS who thought it was an good idea to JUST THINK OF MONEY. Who
      is running the ASYLUM? Where WILL the HARD WORKING, HONEST people,
      who are losing their STABILITY and ABILITY via EMPLOYMENT to pay
      taxes and rent, and support kids, and LIVE in said City, going to
      DO? GUESS! Now that SB City has shot them in the foot and STOLE
      THESE SHOTS? HOW do you even GET to THAT PLACE? I BET they will
      eventually HAVE to raise PROPERTY taxes, or initiate a MUNICIPAL
      code outlawing FLIP FLOPS on every-other TUESDAY in months with NO
      “R”, to justify the COST of LOST REVENUE (the RENT, at the ULTRA
      CHIC Prime Corner Lot at FAIRVIEW and ELEPHANT BAR ROAD!) AND as a
      result of being WHACKED with the STUPID STICK, the ENTIRE LITTLE
      BITTY COMMITTEE of MORONS, for no apparent reason will, no doubt,
      begin the WELL WORN HOKEY POKEY side -stepping flight of the
      BUMBLEBEE they know so well, by losing their balance,resulting in
      questioned about the above -mentioned decision to remove jobs,
      destroy lives, cause MORE UNSTABLE economic chaos, HARM the
      citizens they are supposed to REPRESENT because they feel like
      there is still more BLOOD in the turnip they KEEP SQUEEZING,
      sacrificing the support of countless voters and shredding the
      FABRIC of this COMMUNITY, even denying themselves COMMON SENSE, In
      order to…..What?.UNBELIEVABLE. Thank GAWD I moved to COLORADO!
      LOVE it here, Reminds me of my HOME IN Santa Barbara in the 80’s I
      Tell people here, I”M FROM LOS ANGELES!…I’m not the only

      • Ned says:

        Mary Anne,

        Wow that is some amazing use of capitals. Did you end with “…….” because your head exploded? I don’t know if I’ve every been so angry. Especially over a restaurant closing. Granted the EBar did have those fans on the ceiling which were sorta cool, and the trashcan in the bathroom I one used to make an R2D2 joke WITH. The drinks were KINDA week but MAN they were FRUITY and FUN.

        And NOW the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX has conspired to CLOSE the Ebar DOWN. The CITY of SANTA BARBARA shall rot in ETERNAL DAMNATION for it’s TRANSGRESSIONS against the EBAR shaking their PATOOTIES all the way to HELL! This is a prime example of OUR ELECTED LEADERS TRAMPLING on the ECONOMY and free enterprise in the NAME OF MONEY. The CLOSING of the EBAR, a mediocre restaurant that is at the airport, is the FINAL STRAW in the collapse of this once GREAT NATION. Before you know it I WONT be ABLE to purchase LIGHT BULBS at the WOOLWORTHS. Oh it’s a SAD SAD DAY.

      • gmgal says:

        Mary Anne, For all your passionate deluge of words… I
        feel the pain of this place closing. Yes, you are correct in that
        that this city appears to do very little in upholding the essence
        of what this community should look like – feel like, and smell
        like. The turnip is being squeezed and this from someone who knows
        what it’s like to rent from the city. We keep giving – they keep
        taking… nuff said!

  4. Kay Lee says:

    Parking lot always looks full, and I always wonder why as the food is disappointing and the drinks are weak. Here’s hoping it becomes a great new restaurant instead of an office building.

  5. Glenn says:

    I always enjoyed the food/ambience/service and the kids liked the theme of the place(w/o having to go to Dland!). Too bad. Maybe they had one too many coupons to make money also as I keep getting them in the mail.

  6. Ed Adams says:

    This is a shame. For the price they are hard to beat. The service and food has always been good (better than the avg chain like Denny’s etc.)

    I think the menu change and school letting out probably hurt their revenue but that was a corporate decision and not local. The new menu has no identity.

    I will miss them plus a lot of good people will be out of work

  7. Scott says:

    I for one will welcome yet another Chase Bank.

  8. Papa John says:

    How about a Disney “Planes” themed restaurant?

  9. Brenda Nancarrow says:

    It saddens me that the Elephant Bar is closing. My late husband, Chris Nancarrow, employed many wonderful people in Santa Barbara. The past success of the Elephant Bar was due to the people who worked with my husband and all of the loyal guests that enjoyed the food, service and ambiance. I thank each of you.
    Chris put his heart and soul into providing a memorable dining experience for all those who walked through the door. He felt honored to be a part of the airport community and had a good relationship with the SB Airport.
    He enjoyed supporting UCSB and other Santa Barbara organizations.
    It is with great sadness that the corporation will close the doors. I thank you for your patronage and support.

    • Mary Anne says:

      Your husband, Chris, managed the Carrows in Carpinteria and
      I want to let you know that he trained me as a waitress there in
      the late 70’s. I will always be grateful for the opportunity he
      gave me, which led to a successful 26 year waitressing career in
      S.B. I remember the EB on opening day…I’m saddened to see the
      jobs in SB dwindle to a trickle as MANY, long established
      restaurants in town close their doors due to astronomical costs,
      and an evaporating clientele. I fear SB is heading for disaster as
      there is NO replacement employment opportunities for the laid off,
      adding more economic stress to a city already burdened by poor
      management. Your family’s business in SB has supported a wide array
      of students, families and those just needing an extra hand in the
      summer..Your contributions in SB are appreciated, and will be sadly
      missed.. A job well done!

    • gmgal says:

      Your husband, you and your family demonstrated what it
      looks like from the top down with regard to management. I have
      never, ever been as satisfied with service as with the E-bar! This
      place shall be sorely missed. The staff shall be sorely missed. The
      level of community spirit that enveloped the minute one walked
      through the doors shall be sorely missed. And now what – another
      chain? Callous and cold – I think I shall stay home. Thank you to
      you! To Chris and your family for providing a shoulder dropper –
      even if only for a moment in time…

    • Charla says:

      Dear Brenda,
      I came across your note in searching for some old friends. I worked as a waitress at the first Elephant Bar in Lubbock, Tx in the 80’s. I am looking for the David and Tom who were the managers there around 1984-1985ish. In particular, I was looking for David.
      Just wanted to connect again.

      Kind Regards,

  10. Terry Utterback says:

    Before the Elephant Bar there was the Flightline Restaurant. It was a simple one-story frame structure, nothing to write home about, that was managed by Roy Scheider (I think that was his name); it was the only place businesses could bring clients to that had good drinks and great food. It was very popular and had a fun atmosphere in its time. Local pilots frequented the place and everyone knew everyone there. It would be nice to see another restaurant go in there that serves the businesses close by like on the Hollister-Fairview corridor and the University.

  11. Betty White says:

    The E-Bar was my favorite restaurant. Always had good food, good help, and a nice, clean atmosphere. Will be missed.

  12. Sheri says:

    I’m sorry, Mrs. Nancarrow, for the closing of a business that you obviously cared about. I’ve always thought the service was fine and they had such a large menu to choose from that everyone in our party could find something they liked. Our family & friends have enjoyed the Elephant Bar for many years and will miss it. Thank you and your husband, Chris, for providing jobs to so many in the community! I, too, hope to see another restaurant go into that space.

  13. Amy says:

    I remember going to fabulous happy hours back in the mid-late 80’s when I was a UCSB student. As an adult, my family has celebrated many an occasion at the Elephant Bar and most recently my daughter got her first job as a hostess there. We’re really bummed that it’s closing.

  14. Hani says:

    It could be that both reasons for closing down are valid. The chain may not have been profitable (as reasoned by Noozhawk) and a reduction in the cost of the lease could have helped them stay open. So without reduced rent (as reasoned by receptionist) they made the decision to close.

  15. HUBBARD says:

    Yes, Pest, but China’s not retiring his number. Houston is.

  16. Don says:

    My mom’s gonna miss the lamb shanks. =(

  17. Danny says:

    Its funny, the food and service were both awful in recent years. But it was one place I couldn’t help but keep going back. I’d love sitting in the bar area/ or outside watching the planes.

  18. Lesley says:

    Maybe they will put a Target there.

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