Cajun Kitchen on De la Vina Street closes permanently

Cajun Kitchen restaurant at 1925 De la Vina Street closed last April due to the first COVID-19 lockdown with the hope of reopening. Reader Erik says he lives by the eatery and noticed elements of the restaurant slowly being removed from the interior. Until as recently as two months ago he was told the closure was temporary. I spoke with a representative of the eatery this week and have been told that the closure is now permanent.

In 1984, Richard Jimenez Sr., a Santa Barbara native, took over the struggling Cajun Kitchen on De la Vina Street.  A prep cook with no restaurant management experience, Richard, along with his wife, learned as they went along, raising a family and opening additional locations that have become loved throughout the community as local favorites. You can visit Cajun Kitchen restaurants at 901 Chapala Street, 6025 Calle Real in Goleta, and 6831 Hollister Avenue in Goleta.

Locations in Carpinteria and on Milpas Street closed in 2015 and 2007 respectively, the latter being open only a year and a half. Long ago I worked as a nuclear weapons research scientist at a DoD think tank next door to what I am told might be the original location on South Fairview Avenue in Goleta, near the airport, in a building that has since been demolished – approximately where Three Pickles Deli is now. I am not sure how long the Fairview Cajun Kitchen had been around but I distinctly remember eating lunch there at 1:23:45 on 6/7/89.

Cajun Kitchen on De La Vina in better times circa 2005. Photos by The Restaurant Guy.

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6 Responses to Cajun Kitchen on De la Vina Street closes permanently

  1. debra says:

    I’m so saddened to hear this, the first location. Lots of good memories. Keep us posted on any news.

    • The Restaurant Guy says:

      I changed the headline and removed “original” because I am told there was one in Goleta before De la Vina. Anyone know the truth here?

      • karl says:

        Hi John. That’s a great question. Their website says DLV was the original. I’m pretty sure, the “original” Goleta location anyway, would have been around 420 S. Fairview. The building is gone. It’s about where Three Pickles is now. The music venue The Living Room was in the building behind that. It was there until at least the late 90’s then moved to the Hollister location. Someone please correct me if my memory is wrong!

  2. Vic says:

    I remember eating there back in the ’80s and Dabney Coleman was sitting across from us. I caught his eye, and learned what a good actor he is. He said “Leave me alone – I’m eating my damn breakfast” with just a look.

  3. Gary Sudder says:

    Unfettered capitalism. Sad, more sad stories.

  4. Temmo Korisheli says:

    Really, really sad to hear this news. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t offer takeout like the other locations, but I guess it’s too late now. They had the best ambience of all the locations, the tastiest cooking, and the warmest, most friendly staff. I am in mourning.