I stopped by 5690 Calle Real in Goleta (formerly Outback Steakhouse) to see the status of a future eatery that official Calle Real Center documents once referred to as “Brewhaus.” The former Outback space was split up last year and is now about two-thirds the size that it once was, with Lighthouse Coffee coming soon to the other third. The inside is an empty shell ready for action, while the rear of the property has active construction going on. Workers told me they are installing a grease trap that will be shared by a “microbrewery” that is coming to the space and Lighthouse Coffee.

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  1. Derek says:

    Hi John – enjoy your restaurant newsletter though I’m not a much of restaurant aficionado. Frankly I don’t particularly trust many restaurants! It is a tough business and cost-cutting often happens and shortcuts take place. I worked in enough restaurants in high school and college to know the realities and how difficult it is to succeed in the restaurant business.

    But your great newsletter answers a lot of questions and mysteries. Regarding the former Outback Steakhouse space, I’m amazed that I see so few people working on that project when I swing by on my way to Trader Joe’s in the mid-afternoon during the week. Though as you say there does seem to be (finally) some sort of a major plumbing/infrastructure project going on in the back these days. So something is (finally) happening? I’m assuming the Towbes company in leasing the big space and in this slow retail market gave the tenants a lot of time to do their tenant improvements or get investors or get more financing or whatever they are scrambling to do prior to the beginning of occupancy and beginning of any lease payments. And maybe the permit process has been super slow? Who knows. I’d be curious what else you learn. But it seems that if any established serious business wanted to take occupancy in that space they would have marshaled the resources and gotten the build-out done by now. But what do I know – I’m not in the restaurant business. Maybe the original brewpub tenant deal has collapsed? Or hit some permit or cost roadblocks? And maybe the coffee company is champing at the bit and is ready to build out its space but is waiting for the large restaurant operation to get its act together and build out its wall. And I wonder what is happening with the recently closed Hollister Brewery which you reported on. Not to create rumors or a conspiracy theory, but are they a possible tenant? And maybe permits for microbreweries are much more involved technically, infrastructurally, and in terms of permit process with the California ABC and other state “regulators.” Anyway, keep us posted, and thanks for your newsletter!

  2. Eric says:

    Interestingly, the leasing brochure now lists the space as available and it previously was showing as leased.

    Also of note, the Carl’s Jr space is coming up in 2026…it’s not typical for a space to be listed that far out, but a permitted drive-thru is a once in a lifetime availability in this area

    Lastly, the former Denny’s, which is currently Coast Supply…is back available

  3. Chad says:

    IHOP should have wound up with the former Denny’s space instead of Itsuki’s – Coast Supply was obviously a bad fit.

    And I don’t see how pricing out Outback was worth it for Towbes, it’s hard to see anything replacing it, so it’s not suprising that years later nothing has.