El Paseo Restaurant update

After a tip from reader Kerry I called El Paseo Restaurant at 813 Anacapa Street to find out their status and was told that they continue to be closed because of COVID-19 restrictions even though their voicemail says they are open. The eatery gets the majority of their income from taco buffets, brunch buffets, and events with large groups, none of which are currently allowed. I’m told that if they opened now it would be a financial loss so they are going to wait until can offer the services they are famous for.

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7 Responses to El Paseo Restaurant update

  1. Sbmizzou says:

    I am always surprised how this place doesn’t do better. There are nice resturants in LA that will have full mariachi bands that go through out the night and the places will be packed with people. El Paseo could be some place special. Instead, it is known for a taco buffet.

    • Rex Of SB says:

      EXACTLY! Back in the day, Restaurante del Paseo (its official name) was THE downtown hot spot. Its happy hour was legend, always crowded with downtown business people. It was a quality restaurant with a genteel Santa Barbara ambience and a menu similar to that of today’s Harry’s Plaza or Joe’s. There was no taco bar. The restaurant was where Bill and Pat Loud broke up on nationwide TV during the filming of the PBS series “An American Family” in 1973.

      The decline began years ago, when the quaint little stores and coffee shop in El Paseo were shut down in favor of turning the paseo into charmless business offices with no visitor appeal. No visitors, no business for Restaurante del Paseo. And there, as they, say, went the neighborhood.

      There’s nothing wrong with today’s El Paseo, but as Sbmizzou says, it certainly deserves to be more than just a glorified taco bar.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Thank you for your opinions. May I ask have either of you ever own or operated a restaurant?

    Foodie SB.

  3. Rex Of SB says:

    I, too, have never had any restaurant experience, but I echo Sbmizzou’s comment about having that prime restaurant property devolve into the nonentity it’s become. I hasten to add, however, that the current mediocrity didn’t really start until the charm and quaintness of the entire El Paseo complex was ruined for all time when it converted into soulless offices, which replaced the myriad little shops that made the Paseo so wonderful and visitor-friendly.

  4. Gary Sudder says:

    It’s mostly sad and underwhelming-that’s SB food scene.

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