Reader Steve H. let me know that Third Wave Hospitality has published a information related to a couple of restaurants coming to (and near) the former home of El Torito on the waterfront. Third Wave says that their Cabrillo Project will be the “Gateway to the Funk Zone.” They first describe Leadbetter, coming to 23 East Cabrillo Boulevard, the former home of Wheel Fun and L.T. Cinnamon:  “The location will attract tourists & locals with Stumptown Coffee, Craft Beer & fast casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week. Boasting a 2,800 square foot outdoor patio, patrons will enjoy oceanfront dining year round. Santa Barbara’s one and only coffee BAR, also serving delicious, California classic food.”

Third Wave Hospitality also describes Oku Sushi, coming to 29 East Cabrillo Boulevard, the former home of El Torito: “We will bring a sophisticated, sexy vibe to a building that is the Gateway to the Funk Zone for the many tourists visiting our city each day. Oku Sushi will serve Asian Cuisine with a heavy California influence. A full service, sexy bar, sushi bar, private dining room and wrap-around, outdoor patios will bring the ‘in crowd’ down to the Funk Zone. OKU will be THE place to go out, see & be seen in an upscale, hip, club-like atmosphere.”

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Hefe says:

    As long as it is SEXY count me in

  2. BrentC says:

    Hmm… the sushi concept sounds way too ”LA” for me. Meh.

  3. Christine says:

    “A full service, sexy bar,” could be interpreted in a dirty way…

    “Leadbetter, coming to 23 East Cabrillo Boulevard” except Leadbetter Beach is on Shoreline…

    Gotta love these marketing geniuses. As always, hope their food is better than their writing.

    • John Dickson says:

      Leadbetter restaurant is coming to Cabrillo Blvd. That the beach of the same name is on a different street is irrelevant.

      • ted mills says:

        I mean, Harbor View Inn has absolutely no view of the harbor, for one thing.

      • Christine says:

        Tourist to Uber/Lyft/Taxi driver: “I’m going to Leadbetter.”

        Where does this person wind up?

        • Brandon from Goleta says:

          Uber or Lyft? Probably 50 feet or less from whatever location they plug in the app regardless of your feigned confusion. Taxi? Let’s be honest Christine, probably the same.

          • Christine says:

            It’s not my “feigned” confusion, I’ve lived here 45 years. I’m questioning the marketing decision to simply call something “Leadbetter” where something else is commonly referred to locally as “Leadbetter”. Could have been “Leadbetter Grill”. No reason for the haterade.

      • Brandon from Goleta says:

        I wish that Rincon Brewing actually looked over Rincon. Big Northwest Swell and an IPA? But then again I live in the real world.

      • Justine says:

        I disagree, John. I think it’s entirely relevant that Leadbetter Beach is down at the other end, essentially, of Cabrillo Blvd. from the restaurant that will bear this name… and will be located at East Beach.

        Third Wave may be from out of town, but have they looked at a map?

        • John Dickson says:

          I think there will be negligible confusion. Rincon Brewery is doing fine and is not at Rincon beach. That being said East Beach Grill would have been a better choice but it’s taken (and unused).

        • Christine says:

          Thanks, Justine.

        • Brandon from Goleta says:

          Agree that the marketing spiel is lame, but I can’t imagine objecting to their name based on proximity to its namesake much like Fig Mtn Brewing, Island Brewing Co, Chucks of Hawaii, CSU Channel Islands, the Harbor Restaurant, Jersey Mikes, Rincon Brewing and so on.

          Food, price point and service? Important. Distance from what they’re named after? Not so much. Just one man’s opinion. Hope they do well. I miss the breakfast burritos at the outdoor spot.

          • Christine says:

            What a weak argument. I get the feeling you just like to argue and not make valid points.

            Anyhow, without reading this blog and having learned about the new business, if my friend told to meet them at Leadbetter for a drink, I’d bring a tall boy in a paper bag to the beach.

            If that friend said “meet me at Fig Mtn Brew” I’d surely not hike up the local mountains.

          • Brent says:

            Those breakfast burritos at Surf n Sand were the BOMB. I ate many of those back in the day. Never was a fan of the cinnamon rolls, which was actually what they were “famous” for back then.

          • Brandon from Goleta says:


            Your complaint was ““Leadbetter, coming to 23 East Cabrillo Boulevard” except Leadbetter Beach is on Shoreline…”

            Maybe it was a different Christine. I don’t have any vested interest in their businesses, but their success or failure certainly won’t hinge on confused potential customers showing up to the beach with brown paper bagged beers instead of the restaurant. Nor will it be from objections to their name based on the mile distance to the beach it will be named after. You know this.

  4. Russell B. says:

    “attract locals with Stumptown Coffee”…. You can get that crap anywhere….. If they don’t know, locals like LOCAL stuff.

  5. Less frequent diner says:

    The self aggrandising description of the “sexy” whatever is annoying. Like any new business, I wish them well. Nonetheless, they describe exactly what I wish to avoid. Why not concentrate on great food and service. Not who might be in the “in” crowd, whatever that means.

    • peter says:

      I do find these kinds of PR descriptions a bit grating. If you’re going to open a “hip” place I suggest working hard on the design, food and service and the local hipsters will decide if you’re hip or not. Saying you’re hip almost ensures you’re not. That said, regardless of the PR hyperbole, you’d think their website would better provide some background about the expertise of the folks doing this. Other than stating that they have a combined 25 years experience (no mention of their past successes) its a bit thin on substance. Instead they simply state that they have “partnered” with a team that are at the “pinnacle of achievements in their respectful fields”. They go on to name the partners which consist of their CPA, Bank, Lawyer, Realtor, Architect, coffee purveyor, and creative agency. I wish them success, but it seems odd that their first exposure boasts of “creating a brand that will be synonymous with high-end, hip restaurant ventures in Santa Barbara and beyond” but provides no substance to their claims. In the end it won’t matter what they say today if they manage to execute well. I just wish they’d given us something to really be excited about while we wait.

  6. Hefe says:

    As silly as this whole name argument has been I do think it amusing also to name it a location where it is not located. Leadbetter is just so specific. Could open Arroyo Hendrys on The Mesa?

  7. Hefe says:

    Sorry meant just Hendrys

    • Brandon from Goleta says:

      Absolutely. I just hope Hendrys is a legit BBQ joint with a real smoker. Or a Jewish deli with fat pastrami on rye bread made in-house. If not at least I hope they have a decent happy hour. Whether they’re at Hendry’s or 3/8 of a mile from Hendry’s wouldn’t bug me.

  8. dmo says:

    The point is – it’s just more money mongering developers cashing in on Santa Barbara life…with our “local” officials cutting their ribbons and cheering them on.
    3rd Wave Hospitality is going to bring the “in-crowd” to the F-Zone, to “see and be seen”at their “sexy bar”?
    That just makes me feel like projectile vomiting.

  9. Eloise says:

    “SEE and BE SEEN” is a truly turn off statement….NO CLASS!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *