cielito-1Based on a tip from reader Steve I called Cielito restaurant at 1114 State Street for an update on changes that will soon be taking place. I am told that a group of investors, that includes proprietor Brendan Searls, has purchased Cielito. Searls, among other things, is the co-founder of Dargan’s Irish Pub in Santa Barbara, and the founder of Brendan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Agoura Hills, Camarillo and Newbury Park. The Cielito representative tells me that the restaurant will be renamed Tu Casa and that the menu will be similar to Cielito’s. Word is that the change will happen in the next few weeks. Cielito is open for business as usual.

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  1. Paul says:

    My 2 star review a few weeks ago did them in.

  2. Rex Of SB says:

    That location seems to be cursed. When the restaurant was Josie’s El Cielito (a far different incarnation from today’s “Cielito”), it was an iconic eatery with roots going back to the original Joe’s. It was a class act. Unfortunately, once El Cielito was sold and became one of the Acapulco chain, the restaurant went steadily downhill. There followed a run of short-lived eateries, some good, some not so good, but all with two things in common–mediocre food and high prices. Attention seems to be focused primarily on feeding tourists, who will accept pretty much anything and not mind what they pay. The fact that Acapulco lasted there as long as it did kind of proves this. Let’s hope that the owners of Tu Casa realize that just because their new restaurant is located at Ground Zero of local tourist spots doesn’t mean that tourists are their only customers.

  3. BRS says:

    We need a BJ’s or Brew House in there, good location for them.

  4. lily says:

    Cielo to was good when chef Ramone worked there. I heard from other restaurant workers that Cielo to earned back the investment long time ago, so whoever sold it did not lose money. They dumb down their menu a lot over the past couple of years.

  5. Sbmizzou says:

    In Alcopolco’s defense, it was mediocre food at a fair price.

  6. Sandy says:

    Cielito was great when it first opened. It was a bit more sophisticated than SB was used to and I noticed that the menu changed pretty quickly (probably) because of that. I’m sad that it was sold to Brendan Searls et cie. Frankly, the food at his establishments is bland and uninspired. Unless this is a vast departure, it will be more of the same.

    Santa Barbara loves it’s monopolies and mediocre chains. In that respect, it should do well!

  7. Art says:

    Made money ? I heard a 2 million $ tax deduction

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