Enterprise Fish Company in Santa Barbara closes permanently

If there were a Mount Rushmore of Santa Barbara restaurants, it would be difficult to argue that Enterprise Fish Company wouldn’t deserve one of the spots on the face of that mountain. Sadly, I received messages this week from concerned fans of the Enterprise Fish Company at 225 State Street that the eatery’s phone number was disconnected. I then received a message yesterday from a reliable source that the popular local restaurant, that was set to celebrate its 43rd anniversary this fall, has notified employees that it has decided to close permanently. Today reader Primetime says multiple employees have revealed that the Santa Barbara location of the company, which also has a restaurant in Santa Monica, told local staff it will not be reopening its South Coast eatery. I am told that until very recently, plans had been in place to reopen June 1st.

For years the Enterprise Fish Company has consistently been the winner or runner-up for “Best Happy Hour” in the Santa Barbara Independent’s Readers Poll. The downtown dining destination was opened by founding owners Michael Bank & Randy LaFerr in 1977.

Photo by The Restaurant Guy

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13 Responses to Enterprise Fish Company in Santa Barbara closes permanently

  1. Greg Hamm says:

    Wow, worked there ’83-2004, another COVID death

  2. Richard says:

    A sign of these troubled times, I suppose. I am sure COVID contributed, but had heard they were planning to sell well before the virus hit. When I first moved to SB in 1979 to go to UCSB, it was “de rigueur” to eat dinner there, or enjoy oysters on the half shell with a Bass ale a couple of times a month. They certainly had a good run for a long time, but still sad to see this icon go.

  3. Angelo Castagnola says:

    Just such a sad thing to hear. I’ve been going there for years and have always enjoyed the good food
    and friendly servers. It was one of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara. To me it’s like looseing a
    best friend.

  4. Tom White says:

    Holloway, Christina, Mitch, Gregg, Pooch, Toni; so many great people, so many great times. Such a great seafood restaurant!
    Nobody did it better, I hate to see that great show end. Congratulations to Mike and Randy, and Schmidtchen for doing such a great job for so so long! It was a privilege to be a small part of the Enterprise.
    Tom White

  5. BRS says:

    Not sure about Michael Bank & Randy LaFerr opening the Enterprise. I remember being invited by Ray Klein’s mother to attend the grand opening of “Ray’s new restaurant” the Enterprise.

  6. ahs says:

    I also remember Ray Kein opening it.

    • The Restaurant Guy says:

      My info came from a press release that was put out for their 35th anniversary. With 2 votes for Ray I am starting to doubt my info!

  7. Judy's Older Brother says:

    Darn. Although ads in the Indy had the building for sale.

    Will miss it. Have been going there for 43 years. Last time I saw my Grandmother was over a lunch there.

  8. El Guapo says:

    I’ve seen a lot of places come and go here, this one really hurts though, damn.

  9. Soren Hansen says:

    Hi John-
    From what I have heard Mike and Randy sold it. And the new owner bought some nearby properties as well. Keep us up to date, I as well worked there from the early 80’s to 2006 so my blood, sweat and tears are soaked into the floorboards.

  10. Gary Sudder says:

    Maybe the silver boughs or monarch can come back to santa barbara? great food, great times.

  11. Harry says:

    Say it isn’t so!! The best place to eat in all of Santa Barbara !! Very very sad news: >(