I received stunning news from reader Marty C. early this afternoon: Fresco Cafe has closed permanently. The restaurant moved from their long time home in Five Points last year to the downtown area. Here is a message from management that I have been asked to share with you:

In the twenty-eight years we have been in business we have made many friends and served thousands of customers. We remain very grateful for the opportunity to serve Santa Barbara for these many years. We have been fortunate to work with the best group of people anyone could hope for. We ask that you continue to support small businesses here in Santa Barbara, as they are the center of the community that connects all of us. Best wishes from the Brouillard Family and the Fresco Staff.

I have been enjoying Fresco Cafe since the 1990s and my wife and I continued to visit often. So many great memories and wonderful meals at Fresco. She has been tasked with recreating their Hot Mushroom Combo, my favorite sandwich in town, which apparently is now just a memory. She tells me it can be done which is keeping me from falling into despair.

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  1. Monica says:

    Huge loss, I loved Fresco!!

  2. PW says:

    Very sad news, Mark worked so hard for many years building up a loyal clientele,
    If you have a favorite restaurant ( or any small business) , please support it now… it’s challenging coming out of Covid and heading into a recession, costs are rising and everyones tightening their belt…small businesses are so important to support!

  3. B says:

    Oh man this really makes me sad. The greedy landlord at 5 points pushed him out and was really rooting for him to make it downtown. I hate the loss of such a wonderful place run by the nicest people. I will miss the best short ribs I have ever eaten…not to mention the Shepherds pie.

  4. Vic Walton says:

    I know you’re not The Recipe Guy, but if your wife perfects that Hot Mushroom Combo, please share!

  5. Susan W says:

    Absolutely go-to place when we had to order lunch for management meetings and gatherings. Always a happy bunch of eaters.

  6. Maureen Dougherty says:

    Is there still a Fresco in Solvang?

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Heartbroken. Fresco Cafe was our family’s favorite. We will miss all the delicious fare. This is so upsetting.

  8. Hefe says:

    Clearly not enough folks followed them to the new location. Need an effective marketing plan and budget for a move like that. Out of sight out of mind.

    Are they still operating their catering side?

  9. Jay says:

    Such a huge loss for the community. Thank you Fresco for all the wonderful food and memories! Mark…God bless you and you family.

  10. Gary Sudder says:

    Greedy capitalistic landlords ran that place into the ground. Fresco was amazing. 28 years of excellence, incredible burgers and fries, and good salads.

  11. Hefe says:

    I was surprised to hear Little Alex’s going into the old Fresco location. That space is multiples in size. I would think the old La Salsa space the better fit.

    The bigger question for me is how will they do in Five Points, an “A” center with huge traffic? The lesson may turn out to be saving rent by moving to a lower traffic and visibility location is not a great idea.

  12. Harry Kolbs says:

    So wrong on so many levels. We all loved frisco. What happened bc there’s always more to story in sb bros