The Palace Grill‘s popular General Manager and always-smiling face at the front door Errol E. Williams has died after a very brief battle with cancer, I am told. He was born December 1, 1951 and died June 8, 2019. Williams had been with the eatery for decades and is said to have been planning to retire this summer.

Here is background about Williams that is still posted on

Meet Our General Manager: Errol Williams

Born in Jamaica, Errol honed his skills in the food service at the Terra Nova Hotel. His US career started at the Homestead Hotel in Hot Springs, Virginia, where he was soon promoted to Maitre’d, the youngest in the hotel’s history.

Over the years, Errol has worked in several 5-star restaurants but he finally found his home at The Palace Grill. He started as assistant manager and became the general manager in the spring of 2000. Errol is a consummate host whose love for guest satisfaction is unequalled.  After 46 years in the restaurant industry, you’ll still find Errol at the front desk of The Palace Grill – greeting, smiling and talking to new and long-standing customers.

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  1. BC says:

    An absolute legend. Loved this man and he will be missed.

  2. Richard Heilman says:

    Errol (pronounced “ERR-All” in his own Caribbean-tinged voice) was quite the character and his demeanor, personality, and professionalism never changed since I first met him many, many years ago, if I’m not mistaken, when he was heading the front of the restaurant at the Olive Mill Bistro and working with Michael Hutchings there. He is certainly a piece of Santa Barbara dining history, will be missed, and may he Rest In Peace.

  3. Tim says:

    A wonderful man, with a kind and caring spirit. He will be missed.

  4. Fay says:

    Dang, he was such a great man; rest in peace Errol!

  5. Cris says:

    Wow, what a loss. That man was a legend.

  6. Mariana Titus says:

    Errol will always be a live in spirit with me and all who knew him. He was a happy man filled with sunshine and I find it hard to believe he won’t be at the Palace when we go there. He leaves behind a legacy – we should all try to be as kind as he was.

  7. Alan Lerner says:

    It’s been said many times and I will say it again. “Gone but not forgotten”

    He was a pleasure to interact with.

  8. Jacque says:

    A most gracious and kind host!

  9. Brian says:

    RIP, he will be missed greatly. I had the good fortune to also golf with him a few years back. He was smiling and laughing the whole day.

  10. Geoff Grow says:

    Errol was a great guy! He worked so hard everyday to be sure his customer’s always had the “Palace” experience. My favorite restaurant in all of SB, hands down – without question. Errol would generously open the Palace for free breakfasts during the important Santa Barbara holidays like Summer Solstice. A true Santa Barbara treasure. Go to the Palace, sing “What a Wonderful World” with their staff. Sorry for your loss Palace Grill.

  11. Leon Forrest says:

    The world have lost another wonderful person.
    Mr Williams is always smiling chearful and pleasant.

  12. Lawrence D says:

    My dear friend for 30 years, a happy spirit. He inspired me to have a better attitude in life. Better maybe but never as good as his. He lives on in the silver lining of every cloud, the patron saint of don’t worry be happy.

  13. Tim O'Neil says:

    John, seems like more than enough love to get Errol a full page SB Independent obit story. Can you nudge them?

  14. David says:

    Wow, I really can’t believe he’s gone. He has been at the Palace as long as I could remember and has always been the epitome of kindness and great service. He will be missed!

  15. I was shocked to hear the news of Errol’s demise. Errol managed my restaurant, Michael’s Waterside, in the early 1990s. He was a great person and super manager well liked by customers and staff.
    It was always a pleasure to see him, especially at the Taste of The Town fundraiser. It is a loss to all who knew him.

  16. Tom Cantella says:

    Wow, that is some really sad news. Errol was the best. I’ve been going to the Palace for years and I don’t think I ever remember a time when he wasn’t there. We were always greeted by with a smile and he always remembered us by name. He was a big part of the Palace experience and we’ll miss him.

    Sleep in peace Earrol

  17. Daryl says:

    RIP, Errol.

    “I see trees of green…….. Red roses too
    I see em bloom….. For me and for you
    And I think to myself…. What a wonderful world.”

    You made it wonderful, and will not be forgotten.

  18. Brad James says:

    We had dinner at The Palace Grill last night and my wife Sinia and I were shocked to hear of his passing. We have been going to the Palace Grill for over 20 years and Errol was always a fixture there. It just wasn’t the same without him. He will be terribly missed. May he rest in peace!

  19. Michael says:

    Errol made the Palace Grill experience, the “Palace Grill experience”. Such a nice, fun person. It can’t be easy to be GM for a popular restaurant in Santa Barbara, however, he always made it look fun and easy. He will be missed.

  20. LoFiGirl says:

    Errol was such a great man! He inspired me to be a better person. Thank you, Errol. I miss you so very much. The Palace is a wonderful place. Just wonderful.

  21. Montgomery Miller says:

    I knew Errol of the years during his career in Santa Barbara. His was a special story and he always treated people with dignity. My wife, Lisa Karpowicz, enjoyed many dinners there including one of our last Valentine’s dinners in Santa Barbara before moving to Austin, Texas. A year r two ffter we got here, I called the Palace and spoke briefly with Errol. I begged him to come open a Palace Grille here in Austin. It would be a smash hit I told him. He just laughed and said he would to but his heart was there at the Palace in Santa Barbara. He made everyone feel right at home and he was especially talented at remembering names. Rest in Peace Errol, we’ll all be together again one day.