In April 2022 I broke the news that the Santa Barbara Fish Market is coming to Goleta. Nearly two years in the making, the popular market and restaurant opens Saturday, October 14th at 7127 Hollister Avenue Ste. 18 in Goleta which is behind Costco and in between Albertsons and the DMV. The eatery has a restaurant, a retail seafood counter, and a grab & go market.
I stopped by their friends & family pre-opening event on Thursday and spoke with the principals involved. Though he opened the flagship location at the harbor 17 years ago, managing partner and founder Brian Colgate tells me that he grew up in Goleta and always wanted to open a restaurant in the Good Land. His popular business started when he became manager of the Saturday fish market cutting room, next to the now-closed Minnow Café at the harbor. When the nearby tackle shop closed, he moved his business to the larger and more visible space.
“My passion in life is allowing people to find happiness and nourishment in life through the ocean” says Colgate. “One thing that is pretty unique to this area restaurant-wise is our raw bar,” says Colgate. “We are doing oysters in a half shell. You can get our live shucked sea urchin, and more. We designed the whole store to cater to our existing fresh fish market customers. We want the shopping experience in Goleta to be similar to the harbor experience. One thing that is huge is our smoker. We are doing fresh smoked local fish, different things, every day. That’s one of the things I am most excited about.”
“I think we really have an opportunity here to offer local California fish and educate the community about some of these species of fish that you don’t see on menus around town and make it accessible,” says Paul Osborne, Chef and Director of Retail and Restaurant Operations. “Petrale sole, Santa Barbara Black Cod – a lot of these fish are shipped overseas and are not seen at a lot of restaurants around town. Our mission is to offer fresh fish, and local fish, to the community, in a casual way that is accessible to everyone.”
“If fishermen are bringing in local fish, chances are you are going to be able to take that home, if not that same day, the next day,” says Colgate. “You are going to be able to sit down and be served it. We are thinking very seriously about how we deal with the product coming from our distribution plant at our processing center. We will be coming twice a day out here. If fish is coming in, and it came in in the morning, that will come to the Goleta location in the afternoon delivery.”
“We are going to have a lot of grab & go here, a lot of curated products, and lot of prepared fish items,” says Osborne. “We have a line of sauces that we’re doing including tartar sauce, cioppino base, chowder base, lobster stock, fish stock, dish dips, and fish salads so you can make things at your house.” Osborne grew up in Isla Vista, went through the Santa Barbara City College culinary program, and spent much of his career in Portland, Oregon working in sustainable sushi restaurants. Locally he worked with Arch Rock restaurant, Elements, the Californian, and was Executive Chef at Rosewood Miramar Beach. “I’ve admired Santa Barbara Fish market for a long time. Their fish is incredible and I enjoy being part of the harbor community. I am a fisherman in my off-time. It is my hobby and I have a love and respect for the ocean.”
The main restaurant menu, which ranges in price from $13-$17, includes Sicilian Swordfish Meatball Sub, SB Rockfish Fish and Chips, Oregon Bay Shrimp Rolls, Confit Tuna Melt, West Coast Salmon Burger, Crispy Petrale Sole Sandwich, SBFM Lobster Roll, Ellwood Smash Burger, SB Whitefish Ceviche Tostada, Avocado Ceviche Tostada, Fish Tacos, and Shrimp Tacos. The Raw Bar menu includes Live Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, East and West Coast Oysters, SB Rock Crab Claws, Peel and Eat Mexican White Shrimp, and Tsar Nicoulai Private Label Caviar. Sides and salads include New England Clam Chowder, Crispy Calamari, Caesar Wedge, Farmers Market Salad, Smoke SB Black Cod, Dirty Fries, Side Salad, and Side Fries.
A grand opening is planned for November. Call (805) 364-3474 or visit sbfish.com
Left to right: Paul Osborne (chef/director of retail and restaurant operations), Laszlo Nemeth (managing partner), Brian Colgate (managing partner/founder)