Local icon Enterprise Fish Company closed for good in June. Here is a message to you from the restaurant:
To the Santa Barbara Community,
As many here in Santa Barbara know, my partners and I have closed the Enterprise Fish Company restaurant after 43 wonderful years. In the mid 1970’s, Randy LaFerr and I graduated from UCSB and wanted to open a restaurant that grilled fresh seafood over charcoal with seating around an exhibition kitchen. We found the right site at 225 State Street, in a property built around 1925 with an iconic brick facade and smoke stack, previously home to a commercial laundry. We decided to call the restaurant Enterprise Fish Company to honor the legacy of that business.
When we started the restaurant in August of 1977, we and the staff we hired were mostly in our twenties, so there was a tremendous sense of camaraderie. The energy of the staff was felt by the customers, and the Enterprise quickly became one of the top places to eat in Santa Barbara. It was bright, rustic, comfortable, and fun. Standing in the restaurant on a busy night and feeling that energy took my breath away!
What makes one business successful while others struggle? For us, it was the people who worked there. They made the restaurant what it was, showing great spirit and pride until we had to close this year with the pandemic.
I took my last walk around the Enterprise a few days ago, and I thought about the last 43 years. The building is so full of memories. I would like to thank all of the thousands of people who have worked there over the decades. I am tremendously grateful to the customers, both locals and tourists, who came in night after night for our lobster special, happy hour, birthday dinners , or just a regular meal with loved ones. We love being part of the Santa Barbara community because it is a community that is grounded, giving, generous and supportive. I knew that I wanted to find a way to stay in this beautiful city and eventually raise a family here. Thanks to the Enterprise Fish Company, I was able to do that! I will be forever grateful.