Reader Steve H. says that a food and alcoholic beverage permit application for Joie Di Vino LLC has appeared at 532 State Street, the former home of Sunny Korean Restaurant, Le Petit Bistrot, Verde, and Zia Cafe. 

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  1. Joseph Danno says:

    I can hardly imagine a worse name for a restaurant on State Street but it sounds like food is going to be incidental to a wine bar. It won’t matter in any case. It’s a bad risk because of the restricted floor space.

  2. Liz says:

    I like the name. It’s French and sounds sophisticated. Can’t wait for this to open! Should be a great new spot!

  3. Joseph Danno says:

    There’s a reason all the other restaurants who thought they’d succeed in that place failed. Regardless, take a walk through El Paseo between the Wine Cask and State Street and you’d think you were in Los Olives for all the wine tasting rooms that have opened there. Luring tourists with winery tasting rooms is overdone and will soon be passé. The sheer number of them including those in the Funk Zone, make them trite and boring. Regardless, the layout at Zia’s – a brave attempt to bring Northern New Mexico cuisine to Santa Barbara – and the subsequent string of failures, did not offer enough first floor space for tables. The second floor’s low ceiling is uninviting. The “joy of wine” is an overdone commercial concept even though it sounds sexy in Italian. I wish them well, I really do…..but

    • Thekidwiththeformula says:

      “Joie” is definitely not Italian. And you sound like a very sad and ordinary person to bring such negativity to a situation which is attempting to bring awesome food and wine to the people of SB. Grow up and go drink some wine rather than spew doubt and hate -loser.

      • Joseph Danno says:

        You must think ‘di vino’ is French too. The newest likely failure at that location thinks it’s clever to come up with a name that combines French and Italian. That’s about as lame as you can get. You’re welcome to express your opinion about the proposed restaurant. It looks like doubt is too complicated a concept for you.

        • Thekidwiththeformula says:

          Says the guy who thinks Joie is Italian.. it’s ok buddy. You obviously have nothing better to do with your time except talk shit about something you obviously know nothing about. Perhaps you should donate your time to a homeless shelter or a boys and girls club. It’s a pretty sad place for you here all alone behind your computer spewing doubt and disgust. You probably have a very tiny penis which is why you feel the need to rain on other people’s attempts at doing something cool. At what point did you become an authority on what people do and how they do it? Get a life you short dick man.

          • Joseph Danno says:

            Imagine a proposed restaurant and or wine bar in Italy called Joie of Wine. Combine French and English. A brilliant idea? About as ridiculous as opening a similar venue in Santa Barbara with a name combining French and Italian. Joy of Wine sounds sophisticated and fun when you give it a combined French /Italian name and call it Joie Di Vino. Not. It’s sophomoric.

            Any new restaurant at the old Zia’s is highly likely to fail due to location and inadequate seating. There’s a reason why it’s been a resolving door for failed attempts since Zia closed.

  4. Thekidwiththeformula says:

    I’ve lived in SB for a good long while now and what l love most about this town is how open and excepting people are regarding local support. What l’m having a difficult time with here in this thread is that you’re attempting to straight up sabotage and lampoon a situation that hasn’t even opened. You my friend are doing the exact same thing we’ve been told our entire lives to NEVER DO and that is JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER. So again, fuck you and fuck your entire mission to treat anyone this way. You are what l hate about the world today. These folks might bring some cool shit to the table and here you are bashing them, without ever experiencing the concept based solely upon a name they decided to use. I find your position to be the weakest expression of candor that l have experienced in a very long time. Do you own slaves? I mean seriously guy.. who the fuck are you to talk shit about something you actually know NOTHING ABOUT. Until l told you, you actually that “Joie” was italian. So ask yourself tonight, when you lay down to sleep. “ What am l trying to achieve here? Is it social ego driven recognition? Or am l being a positive person in my community and trying to understand that perhaps a person who’s decided on this name may perhaps be trying to cross cultural boundaries with there name reflecting the fusion of so many cultures in our culinary universe today?
    You have obviously proven yourself here to be nothing more than a shit talker of the worst kind -an ignorant one. Get a real job.

  5. Alan says:

    Joie De Vivre is a famous French saying for the enjoyment of life! The name is taken from this saying but substituting Di Vino for the enjoyment of wine. Joie Di Vino combines French and Italian because it will offer both French and Italian cuisine, varietal wines and champagne. It could have Gioia Di Vino (all Italian) or just Gioia (Joy) what do you all think?

    • Joseph Danno says:

      Alan, I’ve already expressed my opinion that the name Joie Di Vino is too contrived. Asian fusion restaurants combine Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and sometimes Korean cuisines tor wide appeal. None of them do all or most of them well. Patrons are better served by individual Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. I hope the Asian fusion restaurant on Cabrillo Blvd. (the old El Torito) will be an exception (the quality of the food is bound to be good) but I doubt the owner of Opal is planning to serve a range of traditional ethnic cuisines. We’ll see.

      Combining French and Italian food (who does that? – (well, maybe to a very small extent, Opal, which doesn’t bill itself as an Italian or French restaurant) – won’t work at Joie Di Vino. Trust me. Unfortunately, neither will a wine bar concept. The problem is the location, the location, the location and interior seating limitations as well as a very restricted sidewalk space.

  6. Alan says:

    While I see some of your points as the name is a little too contrived I tend to disagree on a few items. The location is on the 500 block on state street has the most foot traffic and it would be the only wine bar on the block. Also while you mention who does French and Italian? I did some research and there is a new movement for French Italian fusion in Paris. Personally, I get tired of the same old Italian or French restaurants I’ve been to a 100 times.. So before we rush to judgement and sabotage this place why don’t we welcome this new venture to SB and let the proof be in the pudding. They are investing in making State Street a better place. Would you rather have the location sit empty with a homeless person sleeping out front?

    • Joseph Danno says:

      Hello Alan. Let me first say, I am not in the restaurant business. I have no friends in the restaurant business and I have no idea who is behind or associated with the proposed Joie Di Vino restaurant. Neither do I have any animus toward the landlord whom I don’t know, unless the woman who ran Zia’s and also owned the building still owns the building, in which case I wish her only the best.

      Thank you for conceding my point that giving the restaurant / wine drinking venue an combined French / Italian name is too contrived. Nevertheless, it’s really beside the point of why I don’t predict it being a success. The last failed restaurant in that spot was Le Petit Bistrot, which Open Table characterized as:

      “Traditional dishes and modern French bistrot classic dishes are offered in a comfortable setting in the heart of Santa Barbara. Featuring French cuisine expertly prepared, Le Petit Bistrot Santa Barbara can be a perfect introduction to the delicious French cuisine, or a reminder to those who already love it.”

      So what went wrong? Beside the question of how much the food appealed to locals or tourists passing by, the interior space was not inviting. It wasn’t appealing beyond a couple of tables closest to the front. Zia’s, regardless of whether you liked their menu, was hampered by the same problem. No one has renovated the interior to make the space more attractive and usable. I’m not sure it is even possible. Stairs in the front lead to a particularly uninviting upstairs room, which though large and open, has a low ceiling and a stuffy atmosphere. It has never been a successful feature of any restaurant in that space. Le Petit Bistrot had one or two front sidewalk tables which attracted visitors but it clearly wasn’t enough. They had high hopes for their venue in Santa Barbara. They thought they had a good location with a lot of foot traffic. It also fronted the Tuesday Farmer’s Market which attracted a cross-section of locals and gave it some ‘oh-look-what’s here’ recognition.

      While the location seems like a good one, it’s actually chancy in no small measure because interior space and configuration limitations are very hard to overcome. I’m know I’m being a bit redundant. We’ll see what Joie Di Vino offers in the way of cuisine and ambiance, but I have a feeling it won’t come together any better than previous restaurants which didn’t make it there. My wife and I used to frequent Zia’s for it’s Northern New Mexican cuisine. There were only two or three tables within the space where the ambiance was comfortable. The restaurant owner also owned the building so she could tough it out for awhile when the restaurant began to fail.

      I’m glad a new restaurant is coming there. The space shouldn’t stay empty. I’d be happy to be wrong about my anticipated prospects for the unfocused new venue. My comments here will have no effect whatsoever on whether Joie Di Vino will be successful. Believe it or not, I’ll be rooting for them to succeed.

  7. Alan says:

    You make a lot of valid points and that location has Failed because no one has done it right. As far the name it is just a name, look at Wolfgang Puck, or French Laundry. I agree for that location to succeed the place has to be completed gutted and start fresh. I think the biggest mistake restaurants make is going in and trying to cut corners to save money and not making it new. I would make it a lounge style wine bar and restaurant with farm to table cuisine. For the upstairs while no one has succeeded there so I would possible Make it a local Art and wine gallery with comfortable couches and tables and chairs for dining.

    I heard a rumor that the Executive Chef is a graduate from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. We will have to wait and see what they come up with but I guarantee you I will be first in line to try it.


  8. Liz says:

    I can’t wait for this to open!

  9. Alan says:

    Me too! Joie De Vino!

    • Joseph Danno says:

      You’ve got some great ideas about what renovation and concept.. Maybe they could also scrap the name Joie of something in favor of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

  10. Frank S says:

    So much hate on this thread. Geeez!

    I too am rooting for Joie Di Vino or whatever it ends up being called. A lounge styled wine bar would be great. I agree it needs some serious remodeling. If they can open things up a bit and make it more inviting, I think it can work. I can’t imagine a Cordon Bleu trained chef would peddle crap food.

    Let’s see what Mr. Vino comes up with. Viva di Vino!

  11. Truth be told says:

    I believe this isn’t about rooting for a new restaurant on State Street. As a graduate of UCSB in the 80’s it is about what a disgrace the city of SB has let happen to beloved State Street. Any new venture on State Street is a very bad risk and I will tell the unfortunate truth. The building and health department has made it one of the toughest cities to do business with yet they say it is acceptable to have the homeless sleeping and peeing on the street. The housing is one of the most expensive in the country yet the city has done nothing to provide for affordable housing. The city and its elite residents have the means to fix this but they choose not to. Any smart venture would put there money elsewhere!

  12. In Vino Veritas says:

    Agreed. But problems can be solved. I have an affinity and sympathy for the homeless but they have become increasingly aggressive and scaring tourism and families away from State Street. Hence the large number of business vacancies on State Street. It has also become a public health hazard.

    ISanta Barbara is too beautiful of a town to let this happen. Take a drive to downtown LA and see the tent cities and fast forward 20 years and is this what will happen to SB while the Uber rich live behind their walls they built and shop on Amazon.

    It one thing to be welcoming and sympathetic for the homeless, it is another to become an enabler.

    It could be fixed very simply

    1. No loitering on state street
    2. No panhandling on state street
    3. No sleeping on state street
    4. No tents on state street
    5 No peeing on state street
    6 Establish better outreach programs for the homeless and build more rehabilitation centers and homeless shelters
    7. Convince the Uber rich in their 10 million plus dollar mansions give back to their community donate the money to pay for it.

  13. Alan says:

    I heard Joie Di Vino had a change of ownership. Like the Queen song… another one bites the dust. Add this to the string of failures at 532 State Street. This location is cursed. Joseph D was right. Any investment on SB on state Street is just a bad risk!

  14. Alan says:

    I think the city of SB should just turn all the unoccupied buildings on state street into homeless shelters. At least they would go to good use and the city counsel of SB could feel good about themselves.

  15. In vino veritas says:

    You are so right! The city of SB should just turn the empty buildings on State Street into homeless shelters and they should be an example for the country to help the homeless and underprivileged. The wealthy in SB should tear down the walls the government is proposing and they protest against and welcome the homeless into their homes with open arms. I would love to see that happen! Hypocrisy is very ironic sometimes!

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