This just in from reader Maureen: “The Peetniks in town, myself included, are going to be really bummed when Peet’s Coffee downtown [at 1131 State Street] closes next Friday, which an employee told me yesterday was going to happen. The employee didn’t know the reason for the closure but is hoping to transfer to uptown Peet’s, which is apparently going to stay open. ” I called and confirmed the news. The location at 3905 State Street will be open for business as usual. Peet’s downtown opened in November 2008.

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  1. karl says:

    This article sums it up well or Welsh! (as in Nick). i’m sure going to miss this location.

  2. Ed says:

    Yes, this was the better of the two Peet’s locations by far. Great ambience, nice staff, good location. Nick Welsh’s article in the Indy, mentioned above, is a very good summary of the news as well as a nice farewell note. Becoming a cliché to bemoan the continuing downward spiral of State Street, but it’s a sad trend, nonetheless.

  3. SYFoodie says:

    So short sighted by the landlord – pretty sure 10k a month covers his nut so greed becomes the motivator. Bloody stupid when there are so many vacancies on State.

  4. Sbmizzou says:

    So, now we are mourning to loss of the big chain coffee shops? While 10k sounds like a lot, that is $340 a day for rent. That’s about $25 an hour for a location with a ton of foot traffic. They should be able to pay the rent within the first hour they are open. French Press is able to. Peet’s problem was that they were oddly enough always out of coffee. You would try and order something and 1/2 the time you would have to wait or else they would pitch some other coffee with some crazy name.

    I am a little surprised to see it go but it won’t be missed by me. Tired of having to wait while they brewed, I simply started going to McDonald’s for their $1.00 coffee.

  5. Jake says:

    Lol if only it were that simple. You didn’t factor in the cost of the product, the employees salaries or things like water, electricity and/or gas. It costs way more than $340 to run a coffee place per day so I doubt their daily rent was paid in the first hour.

    The French Press is in a different building, owned by different people and has different rent.

    I will agree with you that in the last six months or so, twice I had to wait for new coffee to be made (and this was not during off peak hours) and that had never happened to me before there. So something was up.

  6. Art says:

    Sbmizzou , you must never have run your own business with cost of employees , rent, insurance , I cost o goods, etc. a break even point could be north of 50,00/ month. By the way they were not open 24hours a day

    • Sbmizzou says:

      Art, in fact , i do own a law office with three offices, 19 employees, provide medical insurance for every employee, etc., and I will guarantee you that rent is the least of my worries. I also own two commercial offices and residential property.

      I agree they are not open 24 hours. I estimated that their hourly for just rent was $24 an hour. Since you posted, I looked at their schedule for tomorrow and it looks like they are open 14 hours a day. Assuming 10k in rent, that breaks down to $23 and change. I was pretty close.

      I never said rent was their only expense. It was Nick’s article in the Independent that was arguing that it was closing because of rent. My point was, and remains, that rent was most likely not the main reason it closed as clearly theire are other expenses as well as the fact that you would have to wait for coffee to be brewed. I get tired of the landlords getting blamed because they want to charge market rents. It’s not SIMA’s fault Peet’s can’t brew a cup of coffee.

      • TP says:

        Sbmizzou, as a landlord in SB what do you make of the vacancies on State St.? Is it greedy landlords? Incompetent business owners? The death of retail as we know it?
        I used to think only big corp could afford the rent and I’m still waiting for Cheesecake Factory. But Panera couldn’t make it. Verizon is closing. When is it better to have something rather than nothing? How many junk stores are there next to the Granada? Has anyone taken over the space that used to be Esau’s?

  7. sbmizzou says:

    I am far from an expert on this but I always find Radius reports insightful:

    I do think that the City of Santa Barbara’s mix between retail and restaurants is off (grant it, it was a coffee shop that started this discussion). I think it’s too heavy retail. Small, local shops are in a unique position to survive because the fill a need that is different. Barnes and Noble nearly killed small book stores. The irony is that post Amazon, the only book stores that will survive will be locally owned stores.

    So, I think you will see a push for these vacancies to go to food and residential. Do I think Nordstroms will be here in five years? Probably not. When I was a teenager, it was a fantastic experience (a guy playing piano, etc.). I go through there now, and it feels like it has original carpet/tile. I just don’t think it can survive post Amazon. It would be interesting to see what can be done with that space. As others have speculated, a cool downtown residential complex would be cool for where Macys and Nordstoms were/are.

    Commercial owners are doing well in the areas where they are set up for restaurants. Again, all of us are kicking ourselves for not buying in the funk zone. Not because the funk zone is located in a great location (as it’s basically industrial), but because people had the insight and capital to make it a new zone. If you can make it work in the “Funk Zone”, you can make it work at the 1100 block of State Street. You just need the right tenant. Look at the Public Market. When it opened, it struggled. Why? Because the food was average and overpriced. A couple of the locations closed. An average, overpriced Italian place was replaced by one of the best Mexican restaurants in town (screw it, the world (there is no better taco than the Norteno)). The restaurants that serve great food, have survived and I think flourish in the Public Market. Could the Public Market reduced rents to help out the Italian place? I guess the could have. Thank goodness they didn’t.

    There are some locations that are a little wonky. The Panera location has always struggled. If I remember right, that area very well could become a brewery row. That will be cool for the area.

    If you could get more people downtown (i.e. AUD projects, conversation from retail to residential), you will drive downtown food scene. I have spent some time oversees recently. There are a lot of towns that have blocked off entire downtown areas to just pedestrian traffic. Florence, Italy is a fantastic example, so are some of the small hill towns. I could imagine a situation where you keep Haley and Guiterrez open but everything north of there until Carrillo is blocked off to cross traffic and State Street is closed down. It could be a very cool situation. You could do it for limited hours. That would drive people downtown. Allow restaurants to set up tables all the way out to the street would be cool.

    I don’t think it’s the homeless. I was born in 1970. We have always had homeless. Honestly, it was worse when I was kid. You simply couldn’t go past Ortega/Cota (not that you would want to as a kid).

    As for greedy landlords, I think some of the landlords are buying at such a low CAP rate, they are struggling to have the deal pencil out once they purchased the deal. I suspect that most of the downtown locations are owned by long term owners. In reading the Radius report, the square foot price is coming down as vacancies have gone up (as you would expect). I suspect some have made concessions that don’t get reported. The problem is that tenants talk and so if they give a break for one, the concern will be that everyone will start to ask for a break even if they don’t need it.

    At the end of the day, Santa Barbara is not immune to online sales. Santa Barbara is in a bit of a transition. It will be fine. I think if we get people downtown (AUD should help), make a concerted effort to improve the experience (pedestrian zones, loitering issues, maybe more arts, etc.), and allow the market dictate what should be there, life will be good.

    • Gary says:

      I totally agree with making State Street from Carrillo to Haley pedestrian-only. It should have been done long ago. It’s amazing how this has revitalized downtowns in other cities. As a native of SB, I can’t remember the last time I drove those blocks, anyway — never have a need or inclination.

  8. Susan says:

    State Street used to be a good shopping walk, now, just depressing. Yes, times change, but the dismal situation is a stupid waste of a good,local shopping area. If you are a landlord sitting on empty buildings awaiting a big rent, hope Karma nails you.

    • Sbmizzou says:

      La Cumbre Plaza is the shopping area that is depressing. Not because of the landlord but because everyone is shopping online. What store downtown are you actually missing? I can’t think of one. Downtown is busy during the day with a nice mix of local stores and some chains. Looking forward to the new resturants/breweries opening up.

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