In May 2012 (yes, more than 4 years ago) I wrote that Peabody’s restaurant at 1198 Coast Village Road was closing and would be replaced by vegan restaurant Oliver’s, owned by cellular phone pioneer Craig McCaw. A rumor circulating around town lately states that Oliver’s is finally opening “in two weeks.” Sometimes the quickest way to get to the truth of the matter is to pay a personal visit and look through the windows, or, if the windows are papered-over, peek through the mail slot. In the case of Oliver’s, the property is surrounded by fences so I couldn’t get that close but I could clearly see the outside is still under construction, with quite a bit of work remaining. I would venture to guess that the rumor is false. I spoke with a security guard nearby and he said that he doesn’t see much activity at the site, but does see progress being made from time to time.

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17 Responses to OLIVER’S UPDATE

  1. Jerry says:

    Wow….more than a 4 yr. wait and all we get is a stinking Vegan restaurant….Tell me it’s not true.
    They built the Empire State Building during the Depression…..in about year. Go figure.

    • Melinda says:

      It was supposed to be a vegan restaurant from the time it was bought and Peabody’s was taken over. It’s not that it’s a four year wait and now it’s a vegan place. It was always going to be a vegan place.

      But it’s never going to open so the point is moot.

  2. Bob L says:

    What they really need in that location is a reasonably priced restaurant/bar that would have an appeal for ladies who lunch to families to construction workers to college grad students. Add to that staying open past 9;30 when the CVR sidewalks are rolled up, and you’d really have something. You could call it… oh, I don’t know.. say, Peabodys. Oh, wait a minute, that’s what they tore out… never mind!

    • Melinda says:


      I grew up in Montecito and Peabodys served this purpose well. I mean, it was filthy. But if someone had taken it over and made it cleaner, slightly tweaked the menu to update it without moving too far away from what made it accessible and fun then it would have been a hit and someone could have been making money on it for the past four years.

  3. Jim says:

    Checked it out coming down Middle Rd. and not much change from a year ago. Might be done about the same time as the Miramar.

  4. Randy and Dolores Wikson says:

    We live in Montecito near Crane school and always enjoyed walking to Peabody’s on summer evenings. We thought the food was good and reasonably priced. We have lived in Montecito for 31 yrs and really miss this charming restaurant. Too bad it’s going to be vegan and most likely way over priced. Oliver’s will not be getting our business any time soon.

    • Kevin Kevinson says:

      I am not too worried about Oliver’s being a vegan restaurant. I am fully expecting that they will soon be out of business. The foolishness that they demonstrated in the construction and misreading working with the architectural review board, inspectors, etc. as evidenced by their 5 year reconstruction. This coupled with the fact that they are going after such a niche market, shows to me that they probably really don’t know what they are doing. It reminds me of the short-lived Maggie’s Restaurant that took up over where the old State and A used to be. They too thought any restaurant concept would work anywhere. And trying to supplant a fancy restaurant in place of a casual eatery, often doesn’t work well. Maggie’s was in business for less than two years and are rumored to have lost 1.7 million. Oh,and like Mr. McCaw, Maggie was not from the restaurant business either. Hopefully Oliver’s will get wise and will drop the “vegan only” idea and serve what locals long for, “Peabody’s”. Casual, comfortable, ‘normal”.

      • Mike Taigman says:

        We used to walk to Peabody’s once in a while, but their food was never great especially if you were interested in something healthy. I’m thrilled to have a second decant plant based option in our neck of the woods in addition to Mesa Verde. Having one that we can walk too is wonderful!!! I look forward to being a local regular at Oliver’s and helping them along the path to sustainability with my wallet!

    • Barbara Keller says:

      We live in the neighborhood and used to walk tp Peabody’s too, the place was filthy and the food was always horrible.
      This new place is fantastic, we went there yesterday, the food is beyond delicious, very creative, the outdoor seating is very attractive, and the staff super nice and helpful.
      Going vegan is not only about preventing the exploitation of animals but it is instrumental for one’s health since there are many scientifically proven benefits to vegan living when compared to the average western diet.
      We will be coming back often.

  5. I am very excited that Olivers will be a vegan restaurant. A plant based diet is the healthiest diet for you and for the planet. There are many delicious vegan restaurants in Los Angeles and they are doing very well. Crossroads. Gracias Madre. Cafe Gratitude. Little Pine.
    My hope is that this restaurant will do just as well. I will make a reservation as soon as it opens.
    Deborah Wilson MD

  6. Thomas Carter says:

    Okay, all you meat eaters, you already have many restaurants to go to in Montecito…Lucky’s, Honor Bar, and the two restaurants at the San Ysidro Ranch. Let us vegans finally have a good place to go.

  7. Gary, Sutter says:

    We live in Montecito and we also have a home in Venice Beach. Olivers has one of its sister restaurants on Abbot Kinney in Venice called Plant Food and Wine. We are foodies and not vegetarians, yet that is our favorite place in Venice for delicious, organic healthy eating. The food is better than any plant based food I ever tasted – you will be surprised if Olivers is anything close to Plant Food and Wine. We look forward to this diverse culinary option in Montecito. As a physician, I also concur that this is a very healthy way to eat.
    Gary Sutter MD

  8. Patrick M says:

    Peabody’s was for indoor eating or outdoor and offered healthful foods along with a full salad bar. I could get a salmon stir-fry, custom ordered for $13.00. Add a glass of Cabernet all the while leaning down occasionally to pet my dog, and yes, I miss the place a ton.
    Patrick M

  9. Peabody’s offered indoor dining, outside dining. Peabody’s had a full salad bar and a full bar. I would get a full plate of stir fried vegetables with salmon, a salmon stir-fry, custom ordered if I asked, for $13.00, healthful it was.
    Add a glass of Cabernet and while enjoying that, I would lean down and pet my Brittany, Mochaman. Oh the memories make me miss the place often.

  10. Jay and Pam Kuhne says:

    We love eating out and we are always looking for our new favorite restaurant. It usually seems that either the food the service the space something is missing…..and along came Olivers.
    Our search has ended. We are over the moon about Olivers!!
    Besides the space itself being beautiful in every way
    the service is exceptional and the FOOD is without question the most extraordinarily delicious
    ever ! ! Job well done.
    Thank you ALL for taking the time the effort the taste the talent to make it just right in order ito present your clientele with such a divine restaurant.

  11. Shelly Cobb says:

    It’s as if Time stood still after the mudslide. Has this restaurant reopened? I was so excited to try it.

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