Readers Nick, Tabitha and Mike let me know that in the coming days Creekside Restaurant & Bar will be opening at 4444 Hollister Avenue, the former home of Boondocks and the legendary Creekside Bar. This weekend was the original plan for opening day but rain might bump the date a few days.

I stopped by the other day and quickly realized that this is not just a new coat of paint. Creekside owner David Burkholder, who also owns the The Neighborhood Corner Bar & Grill at 235 West Montecito Street, has extensively renovated the property. Creekside, which used to be a 21-and-over bar is now a full restaurant and bar for people of all ages and it’s very family friendly. When fans of the Creekside come for a visit the first thing they will notice is that things have been turned inside out. Among many upgrades, the space that used to contain a large indoor dance floor is now an outdoor dining area. Behind the restaurant is a huge space for private parties, one of the largest outdoor dining venues anywhere on the South Coast.

Barbecue fans will rejoice. “What I have done is a Southern barbecue-based menu with California influence,” says long time local Chef Kyle Jones. “We have the traditional stuff like the baked beans, coleslaw, and mac & cheese then I’m bringing California influences like roasted Brussels sprouts and a watermelon feta salad. Were doing farm fresh salads to appeal to what we think the Santa Barbara area wants. Then you have southern things like smoked chicken wings with Alabama white sauce, jazz apple & celery. We’re doing house-made sausage, smoked chicken, ribs, tri-tip, pulled pork, and we have vegetarian-based salads. You can get ala cart meats to go with your salad. We’re doing craft cocktails [by General Manager and Mixologist Richard Hollowell], wines by the glass, wines by the bottle, and we’re outsourcing local wineries like Brander and Ballard Lane. We’re trying to get a real approachable feel, basically a smaller end, middle end and higher tier wine selection. Quality is our focus all the way across the board.”

A glimpse of the new back patio and private events area at Creekside Restaurant and Bar.

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  1. Rex Of SB says:

    As a barbecue aficionado, I welcome the new Creekside!

    One suggestion I’d make is that they serve beef dishes other than exclusively tri-tip. While tri-tip is, of course, delicious, it seems to be the only beef ever served at most SB County BBQ places. Beef brisket would be a VERY welcome menu offering.

    • Tess McKC says:

      Who can enjoy food when there are 50+ kids screaming and yelling, tripping the servers on the stairs, hashing up the pool table in the bar area and did I mention screaming and yelling? This place is for kids, their parents that want to allow them to run wild around a restaurant unattended, putting money into the Karaoke machine, jack up the pool table and again run wild around a restaurant while the parents and their friends either hand out and drink the day away (super understandable) or just sit around and suck up table time for soda and water refills. Just tonight we witnessed two servers, with food and drinks on a tray, almost take a dive on the newly cemented stairs to the lower patio because unattended and unruly kids were under their feet. Talk about liability; it’s all fun until a kid cracks their head or gets kicked on the stairs due to their parents’ lack of supervision or maybe it’s because kids need to eat shit to learn how not to eat shit, and they sue the owner. Look for it. This place should be called Chuck E. Cheese because that’s what it felt like tonight for 4 adults having an early dinner at 5:00. Spent some $$ there but could not wait to get the rock out of there midway through our second bottle of wine. Some nugget banging loudly on the ping pong table with his paddle every 15 seconds, wanted to smack him with it, only to escape into the bar to hear 6 other grommets screaming around the pool table as they scratched it up, screamed and screamed some more. It was utterly ridiculous, nothing I would have expected had I not been at Chuck E Cheese. Good luck if the owners are looking to capture adults that want to spend money escaping their kids or enjoying their lives without kids…..we’ll see. Perhaps making the former “Bourbon Room” a kid free zone would work in their favor. Such a shame for bar folks to have to deal with kids in a bar…..or what was a bar. Just call it what it is: Chuck E. Cheese. with their over run and unsupported service staff having to dodge unruly kids while trying to keep their sanity and deliver food, wine and cocktails. Manager??? Maybe it was one of the kids there because they were clearly running the show at this mayhem of a restaurant.

  2. Rich says:

    Looking forward to checking it out, looks like quite the overhaul!

  3. Spank says:

    Can’t wait to try it out being so close to home.

    And Rex, are you ever going to understand the economics of preparing/selling brisket in SB is never going to work? Have you ever watched how Franklin does it and wondered “gee is that possible in SB?”

    • Rex Of SB says:

      Why should brisket in Santa Barbara be any different than anywhere else in Southern California? I’ve seen brisket work in far smaller communities than here. The Oak Pit in Oak View was a huge success until the family that owned it retired. Dicky’s in Goleta seems to be doing well with their brisket. Sorry – I think there IS a market for it here.

      Who’s Franklin?

      • PressDemocrat says:

        There was a great article recently in Meat Digest that Brisket economics have been trending positively with respect to ROI’s, and have finally started to approach an IRR above the historically low discount rate of 5% that has plagued the BBQ-meats industry since Sinclair’s famous muckraking piece. Investor’s initial fears about inflated cap rates seem to be diminishing as the closely tied molasses futures approach contango, with significantly less long perm hedging and options collaring. See Jimmy Dean’s recent thesis for more info.

      • Jim says:

        Don’t see that the lowest Yelp rating I have ever seen (2&1/2) and tied with Woody’s translates into doing well. Maybe since it’s Goleta they will make it as I guess Woody’s is still in business. I wouldn’t eat at either. Franklin is a real BBQ in Austin TX.

        • Rex Of SB says:

          Who has the 2 & 2 1/2 Yelp rating? I’m totally with you on Woody’s. Creekside isn’t in Goleta, though – or even Noleta. It’s quite near Hollister & Modoc.

          • Jim says:

            Both Dickey’s and Woody’s have a 2&1/2 (two and one half) Yelp rating, no one said anything about a 2 rating. Any way Creekside is not in Santa Barbara city, so if not Noleta, I’ll just say out in the county.

      • Spank says:

        Rex do you understand basic restaurant economics? Are you trying to say that running a restaurant in SB is the same as Oak View? Or TX? And as mentioned, Franklin in Austin is the undisputed king of brisket… do some research. You can’t run a profitable brisket business in SB… unless you accept mediocrity.

        • Rex Of SB says:


          No one is advocating a restaurant that sells brisket only.

          All I’m saying is that 99% of barbecue-oriented restaurants in our area serve only tri-tip and ribs as beef offerings. There’s at least one local restaurant that serves brisket, but unfortunately, the chef isn’t skilled in cooking it.

          You seem to think that brisket isn’t do-able in Santa Barbara because it’s expensive. There is a simple way around this: charge accordingly for it, even if it means it may be higher priced than the pedestrian tri-tip that seems to now be our only choice.

          Forgive me, o traveled one, for never having heard of Franklin in Austin. In that regard, you say, “do some research.” To which I reply, if you’re going to cite a restaurant that isn’t a household name outside of Texas, it might be nice to explain what it is in the first place. In your first reference, you just refer to it as “Franklin” and don’t even identify it as a restaurant.

          One doesn’t have to understand restaurant economics to know that any local restaurant can offer beef brisket as an adjunct to its tri-tip and ribs. It’s been done in the past and it can certainly be done now.

          • Lily says:

            Don’t like bbq, never being to Austin, and I have heard of Franklin.


            Line is long and they sell out by noon. Running a restaurant is difficult in SB and Goleta because we have big city rent price, which dramatically increases overhead, and small town palate. Why offer something more expensive and less popular than the typical tri-tip? It takes extra labor, kitchen space, and if less people want to pay the premium, it also means more food waste.

          • Sally says:

            Having a bad day, Spank?

          • Jared says:

            Spank, please don’t assume like a donkey. Arron Franklin and his crew start work in the wee hours of the morning. It has zero to do with rental prices. Plus, David and his wife own the building, so there’s no rent to pay and your point is pointless. Research much? You’ve failed on all fronts. Now, if they can get talented pit masters to come in at 2am or earlier and work LONG shifts, find and utilize large capacity smokers, possibly with red oak instead of Texas post oak, we might have the closest thing to central Texas style BBQ in California, with some upcoming places in L.A. Bring on the slow and low brisket, spare ribs and pork butts!!!

  4. LiliChicken says:

    My husband and I met at Creekside! Our wedding anniversary is this weekend! Perhaps we will be able to celebrate where we met one another!

  5. VT says:

    Wildwood Kitchen serves a decent brisket.

  6. Ray Goldenberg says:

    You should make the trip down to Ventura for some Texas style beef ribs as well as brisket, and babybacks at Wood Ranch. As a native Texan, living for the last 25 years in Carp, I can say that, without a doubt, it is the best in California. BTW, Dickeys in Ventura is far better than the Goleta location. Unfortunately the Ventura location was just purchased by the same owner of the Goleta location. I hope he doesn’t screw it up as he did Goleta. I had such high hopes, as Rex did, for the Goleta Dickeys. Fortunately from Carp I can be at Wood Ranch as fast as I can go to Goleta.

    • Pete says:

      If you like brisket, you owe it to yourself to try Neighbor Tim’s on Saturdays in Goleta. It’s the best I’ve had in California (with the smoking pig in San Jose being second).

  7. mikeyr says:

    nothing to write home about, tri-tip was ok, that is it just ok. The babybacks were bland. No beef ribs, fries were good though. My wife wanted BBQ chicken and the only way to get it was to order the only meal available, the 3 meat combo. I know they just opened but I likely won’t be going back.

    Unfortunately, with no beef ribs at Creekside, Woody’s is still probably the worst BBQ in town and is still the best in town.

    • Bryan says:

      Woody’s is definitely the worst BBQ in town, but I hear that Wildwood Kitchen at 410 E. Haley pretty good. Have not eaten there myself.

  8. Bob says:

    Creek side is long open you need to get it on your listings

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