Georges & Nicole Bitar, veteran wine dealers and proprietors of local Italian eatery Via Maestra 42, have purchased the legendary Chase Restaurant & Lounge at 1012 State Street. Generations of fans can rest assured that the name and traditions that made the eatery so popular for 44 years will live on.
“It’s going to remain the Chase and we’re going to elevate everything,” says Chase General Manager Warren Butler. “We’re going to enhance it, we’re going to improve upon it, and we will continue to support Chef Mario Rodriguez. He is the key to the consistency.”
Chef Rodriguez has been with the Chase since its founding in 1979, the food is much as it was then, and his magic will continue. Rodriguez trained with original Chase owners Tony and Angie Caligurie and he prepares everything the same way.
“We are committed to this iconic legacy and will pay it the respect it deserves,” adds Georges Bitar.
About the owners: When Via Maestra 42 first opened at 3343 State Street in 2000, Nicole Bitar was the first manager under the helm of original owner Renato Moiso. She brings many years of Italian restaurant experience working for some of the best Italian restaurants in Santa Barbara and Montecito. Years later, in 2021, Nicole came full circle and has become co-owner of Via Maestra 42 with her husband, Georges. Now they can add local icon Chase Restaurant & Lounge to their extensive resumes.