This just in from manager Warren Butler:

Hello John,

We are still open at this time.  I am doing everything possible to keep the place open. The transition from High Sierra to Flightline has been halted by the Airport Administration/City of SB.They have denied the assignment of the lease because of a potential future conflict of interest with my lender.So my major lender who was just trying to be helpful has backed out and we are back to square one. Imagine having to send back $500,000 because of a future potential conflict of interest.

Now High Sierra is considering their options which one is to sue the airport/city for not allowing High Sierra their right to assign the lease to Flightline and for not negotiating in good faith. With the request to approve the lease assignment they are required to be timely, reasonable, and not try to improve their situation in the lease. Violated all three.

High Sierra may have no choice but to close temporarily and maybe even permanently if something cannot be worked out. I will continue to look for partners/investors in order to make Flightline or something similar a reality and keep the place open and 40 employees employed and a great place for the community to gather and eat and drink and be merry!!

– Warren Butler

Update 9/1/19: “Looks like High Sierra is closing up for a couple of days,  At least Monday and Tuesday of this coming week. Hopefully something can be worked out and we can reopen soon.”

Update 9/2/19: “High Sierra has decided to close as of today. Hopefully we can get it reopened soon!”

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  1. Christine says:

    There’s a little more info: https://www.noozhawk.com/article/flightline_loses_its_funding_from_aci_jet_restaurant_may_close_soon_tempora

    “The restaurant has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years” Yikes. What a shame, such fun memories at EBar years ago. Maybe it’s just the end of an era.

  2. AHH says:

    The lender was just trying to be helpful, haha… Ya, that’s all…

  3. Wahl Quentin says:

    The Country of Santa Barbara should be ashamed. They are only experts in saying no.

  4. socalcitizen says:

    Honestly happy they didn’t give Mr. Butler the lease. Sounds like they’re just being responsible stewards of the public interest.

    Butler comes off amateurish and unprofessional in his quotes in all of these articles, the business has continued to lose money, and he doesn’t exactly have a string of successes in a his past. A long-term lease to him wouldn’t be worth the headache that would come if/when the restaurant defaults.

  5. Hefe says:

    There was a piece in another local news outlet indicating this potential investor does airport catering services and the city was concerned with Fligtline having an infair advantage in upcoming bids for these contracts in 2020. According to the article the proximity to the airport as a result of this investment/partnership is the issue. Seems like an over reach by government to me and smart business by the Flightline group. Does someone in local government have an interest in the current contractors?

  6. Mattie says:

    I’ve lived here my whole life. I thought the airport was in the city of Goleta.

    Why is the city of SB involved with this at all? Doesn’t Goleta have cityhood? Or did the city of SB retain the airport from before Goleta was a city?

    Regardless, there’s more to this story and I think Hefe hit the nail on the head. There was an actual conflict of interest here.

    This isn’t the first time I’m rolling my eyes at a city decision. It might be the first time I’m not rolling my eyes at the city, though!

  7. Mattie says:

    Joshua, thank you for that! Literally learned something new today.

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