Category Archives: Restaurant News

505 is alive

Reader Primetime tells me that there appears to be remodeling going on at the empty space at 505 State Street, the former home of Crazy Jim’s Tacos y Mas (2020-2021), Ana’s Taco Bar (2014-2020), Mad Dogs (2006-2014), and Open Door … Continue reading

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Juice N Things closes

Reader Primetime tells me that Juice N Things, which replaced Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at 4991 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria in May 2021, is not only closed but there is also a “Notice to Pay Rent or Quit” sign … Continue reading

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Restricted hours at Turnpike Starbucks drive-thru

Reader Primetime forward this message that says the drive-thru window at Turnpike Starbucks has restricted hours because of an employee shortage: Public service announcement: the Starbucks drive thru on Turnpike has temporary restricted hours: they are only open 8:30 – … Continue reading

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Harbor Restaurant update

Last June I wrote that iconic Harbor Restaurant/Longboards Grill was for sale for $1,750,000. The owner John Scott is retiring after running the business for four decades. The sale includes Type 47 (general), 58 (catering), 77 (events) liquor licenses. On … Continue reading

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Visual updates

I stopped by Dutch Garden (which plans to reopen) and the former home of Outback Steakhouse in Goleta (which has been leased) and took some photos of the interior.

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Phoevermore closes in Carp

Reader Kim sent me a tip that Vietnamese restaurant Phoevermore at 1017 Casitas Pass Road in Carpinteria has closed. A message to you from management: “To all our friends and neighbors, with a heavy heart we had no choice but … Continue reading

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Mariscos Tita’s Mexican seafood coming to Old Town Goleta

Chef Edgar Hernández will be opening a Mexican seafood restaurant named Mariscos Tita’s toward the end of January at 5892 Hollister Avenue in Goleta, the former home of recently-closed Wingman Rodeo, Gimeal Cafe, and The Natural Cafe. “Mariscos Tita’s lets … Continue reading

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Tea Tea Closes

Reader Don says that Tea Tea at 901 Embarcadero Del Mar in Isla Vista has a sign posted out front saying that it is permanently closed. With its distinguishing features such as a TV as a media and gaming hub, … Continue reading

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Goleta Coffee Company to close after 25 years

From Valerie Cantella for Goleta Coffee Company at 177 South Turnpike Road: Goleta Coffee Company celebrates 25 years; Loca Vivant Kitchen transitions to a new model After 25 years as the neighborhood coffee shop where locals gather for delicious coffee, … Continue reading

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Harbor Snack Shack takes a long awaited break

Instead of watching the COVID-forced slow down in passersby at their Harbor Snack Shack, the owners are taking a break this month, says reader Primetime. Richard and Dolly Lawrence have locked up their small site near the harbor boat launching … Continue reading

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Montecito Jeannine’s Bakery reopens

Reader Primetime let me know that Jeannine’s Bakery at 1253 Coast Village Road in Montecito reopened January 20th after having been closed since the beginning of the year for repairs and renovations. Photos by Primetime taken January 16th.

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Texas Tacos opens

Texas Tacos has opened at 910 Embarcadero del Norte in Isla Vista, sharing space with Dublin’s Sports Grill. The eatery offers Texas-style breakfast tacos from their mobile trailer Sunday-Thursday 7am-3pm and is closed Friday-Saturday. The restaurant was founded by Elvis … Continue reading

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IV Blaze Pizza closes

It looks like I’ll need to come up with new plans for March 14th. This is known as Pi Day and, before Covid hit, Blaze Pizza at 6546 Pardall Road in Isla Vista would celebrate March 14th by selling pizzas … Continue reading

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El Patio Evening opens

Reader Lisete tells me that El Patio Evening has opened at 3007 De la Vina Street, sharing space with The Patio Cafe during evenings. El Patio Evening offers a selection of Argentinean and European dishes and is open Thursdays 6-11pm, … Continue reading

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Hummus Republic coming soon

Reader Don let me know that a new restaurant named Hummus Republic, a “modern Mediterranean kitchen” chain founded in 2013, is on its way to 6546 Pardall Road in Isla Vista, the former home of Blaze Pizza that closed last … Continue reading

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Calvary Cafe coming to the Funk Zone

A full service restaurant tentatively called Calvary Cafe is coming to 1 North Calle Cesar Chavez Ste. 21, the home of Calvary Chapel. Initially it will be open on Sundays during the day and Wednesday nights for events related to … Continue reading

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Peasants Deli & Market opening January 27th

Chef Michael Cherney and his wife, Sarah Cherney, owners of Solvang, California restaurant, Peasants Feast have expansion plans in place for the growing hospitality group with the Thursday, January 27, 2022 grand opening of Peasants Deli & Market (peasantsdeli.com), also … Continue reading

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Happy Hour returns to Cafe Stella

This just in from owner Philippe Rousseau at Cafe Stella, 3302 McCaw Avenue: Hi John, Cafe Stella update: By popular demand, we are bringing back our Happy Hour! Come enjoy a great selection of cocktails, beer, wine, and nibbles. Join … Continue reading

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Brass Bird Coffee coming to Carp

Reader Richard says the Carpinteria planning commission has posted documents that say a new coffee shop named Brass Bird is coming to 4835 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria, the former home of Omni Catering and Taqueria El Tapatio. Apparently the new … Continue reading

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Wingman Rodeo closes, being replaced by Mexican seafood

This just in from reader Jonathan C.: Hey John, longtime follower. Tried to go to Wingman Rodeo in Goleta on Hollister and it was cleared out with a Mexican seafood place opening up in the future. Didn’t last long in … Continue reading

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Funk Zone update

Reader Steve C. tells me that entrepreneurs Ted Ellis and Greer Ellis are opening a restaurant named “We Want The Funk” at 210 Gray Avenue in the Funk Zone. This is a particularly funky part of the Funk Zone, just … Continue reading

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Lighthouse Coffee coming to Turnpike Center

Last July I wrote that six new restaurants are coming to the Turnpike Center in Goleta. Businesses include Dave’s Drip House ice cream shop (run by the founder of Dave’s Dogs), Kin Bakeshop, Jersey Mikes, and a yet to be … Continue reading

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Trader Joe’s hunting for a second location in Goleta

About a decade ago I was told by staff at Camino Real Marketplace that, at one time, Trader Joe’s wanted to open a second location in Goleta where Best Buy is now. Apparently they wanted the Marketplace to split the … Continue reading

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Embermill closes, plans to relocate

Embermill restaurant at 1031 State Street, that opened in August 2019, served its last Caribbean Creole meals Sunday night, January 16th. The eatery is run by Harold Welch who is originally from Barbados, came to Santa Barbara decades ago, and … Continue reading

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Broad Street Oyster Co. opens downtown

Reader Gem tells me that Broad Street Oyster Company, which launched its first location in Malibu in 2019, has opened at 418 State Street, the former home of Cubaneo. The restaurant is in the Kim’s Service Dept. building and shares … Continue reading

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Goleta Coffee Company to close

Readers Rach, Peter, and Annie let me know that the Goleta Coffee Company at 177 South Turnpike Road will be closing February 16th after 25 years in business. Ownership of the java joint changed hands in September 2019. Rumor has … Continue reading

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The Crystal Ball Knows All

After intense concentration and a wave of my hand over the all-knowing crystal ball, my eatery oracle has revealed a list of food and drink locations appearing in your future: Alma Fonda Fina, 1024 Coast Village Rd. (formerly Little Alex’s) … Continue reading

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Mesa Cafe ditches dinner

New Years news from reader Gary: “I saw a notice posted on the door of the Mesa Cafe [at 1972 Cliff Drive] that they’re no longer offering dinner service due to ‘Covid related issues.’ Only open for breakfast and lunch.”

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Lilac Construction

This just in from reader Steve H.: “Hey John, Lilac Patissérie Is temporarily closed. Construction for expansion. Expected reopening mid-February.” Photo by reader Jennifer.

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Santa Barbara Public Market sold

The Santa Barbara Public Market which opened at 38 West Victoria Street in April 2014 has been sold in a deal that includes adjacent real estate. The $10 million property was purchased by Montecito residents Alistair Winn, and his wife … Continue reading

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Thomas W. Dickson 1929-2022

My father, Tom Dickson, the most prolific Restaurant Guy reader there ever was, passed away on Monday, January 3rd. He had been relatively healthy physically and mentally at age 92 and his passing was unexpected, yet it wasn’t. Fortunately all … Continue reading

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Broad Street Oyster Company coming to downtown

Reader Steve C. tells me that Broad Street Oyster Company at 23359 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu is opening a new location at 418 State Street, the former home of Cubaneo. Their website broadstreetoyster.com describes the business as follows: “Founded … Continue reading

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Goodland BBQ coming to Goleta

Last year Goleta lost a Woody’s BBQ after decades in business. Reader Kay Lee tells me that a new BBQ restaurant is on its way to Goleta: Goodland BBQ.  The eatery will be replacing Alphie’s at 5725 Hollister Avenue which … Continue reading

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Stearns Wharf 150th Anniversary Specials

Stearns Wharf is more than a nice place to watch boats or fish, it’s a structure that changed the face of Santa Barbara-literally. 150 years ago, Santa Barbara, being surrounded by mountains, was an isolated pueblo. There were no roads … Continue reading

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Bedda Mia to replace Mollie’s

Last month Elaine Andersen Morello, owner of Olio e Limon Ristorante and other local eateries, told me that they were hired to operate a new restaurant at 1218 State Street, the former home of Mollie’s. Morello asked me to share … Continue reading

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Padaro Beach Grill reopens

Padaro Beach Grill at 3765 Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria has reopened after a small kitchen fire on December 12th.

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Saigon closes on State at Victoria, Beans BBQ to replace it

Last November I wrote that Beans BBQ, a quality catering company, is going to open a brick and mortar at 1230 State Street (near the Granada) in February. At the time I thought it would be located between Saigon and … Continue reading

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JJ’s Diner closes

Reader Eric sent word that  JJ’s Diner at 413 State Street has paper on its windows and a “permanently closed” sign on the door. They were a classic American breakfast diner open for breakfast and lunch daily. JJ’s Diner opened … Continue reading

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2021 Year in Review

My foodie duties for the year wouldn’t be complete without summarizing activity at food & drink destinations on the South Coast. Undoubtedly this was a difficult year for local restaurants because of policies enacted in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. … Continue reading

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Red Pepper opens in Isla Vista

Dumpling King, which opened in August 2017 at 966 Embarcadero Del Mar Ste. C in Isla Vista, has closed and Red Pepper Chinese Food Express has replaced it. This is the second location for Red Pepper in recent years which … Continue reading

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