Santa Barbara Airport aviation electronics maintenance guru Tom Smothermon sent me photos of the original Flightline restaurant that was located on the airport property next to where the new Flightline will open later this year in the former home of Elephant Bar and current home of High Sierra Grill.

Flightline photo taken on the south side of the building

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  1. Terry Utterback says:

    I don’t know why there isn’t a photo from the 1960s of the Flightline. It was not behind the location of the Elephant Bar – it was to the right of it in a single story frame structure. It faced Hollister Avenue and was not behind other buildings. If this photo is the real original location with all those planes from the 40s or 50s, this is not where I remember it in the 1960s. Those bungalow buildings shown to the left of the current Elephant Bar building is where I remember it was.

  2. Terry Utterback says:

    To be perfectly clear, when you were on Hollister facing the Flightline Restaurant, it was located to the right of the current High Sierra building. In the photo above, it was to the left (photo taken behind the buildings).

    • John Dickson says:

      I just added another photo of the restaurant. It was taken at the south side of the building marked as Flightline in the aerial photo. Perhaps there it was elsewhere at what time?

  3. I’ll collect more photos of the original Flightline. I have at least one that has Jack Conroy with his Super Turbo DC-3 right outside the restaurant. It’s definitely on the ramp. The building to the right, facing it from Hollister is the current airport administration office. In the 30’s it housed the office of Burt Bundy the founder of what became Santa Barbara Aviation. Santa Barbara Aviation moved into hangar 4 and controlled most the north site of the airport. That lease is now Signature Flight Support. I’ll send John the photo I have.

  4. Blueryder says:

    I too remember the Flightline of the 1960’s. The restaurant I recall was parallel to Hollister. You could sit in a booth and look out a window towards the ocean/runways/old terminal. As I recall it was in a small low building to the right of the Elephant Bar/New Flightline as you look south, towards the ocean. I lived in Goleta/was a kid and it was a big treat and luxury to eat there.

  5. Tom Smothermon says:

    In the photo above, the building directly to the right of the current restaurant, as viewed from Hollister, is the current Airport Administration building. It’s still there. The little building on the now aircraft parking ramp was the original Flight Line Restaurant location.

    Does it look like they could get a DC-3 parked that close to the building with the arrow pointing to the Elephant Bar/High Sierra/New Flightline? You see several power poles, cars and a road where the airplane would have been parked on the ramp side of the photo.

    If you look at the photo with the DC-3, Jack Conroy, Fish Salmon and I think Don Gilbertson There is one power pole behind the building with the Restaurant sign on it. It matches the aerial photo.

    The original Flight Line was a great place and is in many people’s fond memories. John and I went out to its original spot on the airport the other night. It’s no longer here but its memory will live on for a long time.

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