Category Archives: Restaurant News

Tacos for Chapala

Reader Q tells me that Romanti-Ezer, which closed at 701 Chapala Street on June 11, 2020, will be the future home a taco shop brought to you by Chris Chiarappa (Mesa Burger, Lighthouse Coffee) and Ramon Velazquez (Corazón). No word … Continue reading

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Rare Society to open mid-July

Rare Society is set to open their steakhouse in mid-July in the Funk Zone at 214 State Street, the former home of Corazon Cocina, American Ale, Yankee Noodle, Rebar Coffee, Tri Tip Company, Union Ale Brewing Company, and Couchez. The … Continue reading

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Fresco moving

A rumor heard by reader Kate and second-hand information from reader Annie suggests that Fresco Cafe at 3987-B State Street in the Five Points Shopping Center is considering looking for a new space due to a rent increase. I visit … Continue reading

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Back home

I am back from by quinquennial vacation to northern California and am sifting through the inbox. I’ll let you know what I find.

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Pride Month at Acme

Acme Hospitality is supporting Pacific Pride Foundation this Pride Month with “LOVE IS LOVE” cocktails. For the month of June, $1 from each purchase will go to support programs, outreach, events, and services for over 10,000 Central Coast residents each … Continue reading

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OFF TOPIC

My Santa Barbara friends and I take have been taking a group photo (with the exact same pose) every 5 years since 1982 (see fiveyearphotos.com). We do this at tiny Copco Lake in northern California where my friend John Wardlaw … Continue reading

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Chef Gonzalez to join Augie’s

Augie’s of Santa Barbara, coming to 700 State Street this August, has announced the addition of Chef de Cuisine Eduardo Gonzalez. “You’ll find an amazing selection of agave spirits, modern takes on great cocktails, superb service, and a fun vibe,” … Continue reading

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Father’s Day at Finch & Fork

This Father’s Day you might consider celebrating at the recently remodeled Finch & Fork at Kimpton Canary. From 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., Chef Craig Riker will be adding two specials just for dad to the menu which includes a … Continue reading

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Pride Month

This just in from reader Jordyn at Java Station, 4447 Hollister Avenue in Noleta: “Hi! We are an all girls, mostly queer, coffee shop in Santa Barbara. Java Station is fully decorated for Pride Month and we wanted to share … Continue reading

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Bree’osh Artisan Bakery expanding?

Here is a tip from reader DRGM: “Rumor has it that Bree’osh on Alamar and De la Vina will open its new indoor space and corner patio in June. A worthy successor to Restaurant Mimosa. The space and patio look … Continue reading

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Pascucci raises $4500 for Solstice

On May 25th reader Primetime, The Restaurant Guy & Kid, Mayor Randy Rowse, and many other locals volunteered at Pascucci restaurant to help raise money for the 2022 Solstice Parade and Festival. All purchases at Pascucci that night, including tips, … Continue reading

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La Salsa closed

Readers Josh and TPF were at Five Points Shopping Center recently and said that La Salsa at 3987 State Street Ste. D was closed and giving off “closed for good” vibes. In the opinion of La Salsa corporate, however, the … Continue reading

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Hummus Republic opens in Isla Vista

Reader Brendan let me know that a new restaurant named Hummus Republic, a “modern Mediterranean kitchen” chain founded in 2013, has opened to big crowds at 6546 Pardall Road in Isla Vista, the former home of Blaze Pizza and Pasta … Continue reading

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Question of the Day

Hi John, I wanted to ask if you happen to know who in Santa Barbara makes the patio dining structures for local restaurants. Like the one Crushcakes has downtown. Thanks! James

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Chef’s night out

Chef Justin West tells me that Handlebar Coffee Roasters at 2720 De La Vina Street is holding an event on June 6, 6-9 p.m. titled “Chef’s Night Out.” It will be an evening of unlimited food, wine, beer, and live … Continue reading

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Foxtail update

Reader Jonathan says that there is a sign on the door of Foxtail Kitchen & Bar at 14 East Cota Street that says “closed for renovation until further notice. Exciting things coming.” Reader Steve C. also tells me that it … Continue reading

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See’s Candies coming to Camino Real Marketplace

Earlier this month reader Sande sent me a tip that See’s Candies will be opening a new store in the Calle Real Shopping Center in Goleta. I checked about a dozen empty storefronts in that plaza and all had a … Continue reading

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Mangione’s Italian Ice opens downtown

Way back in March 2019 reader Steve H. noticed that a sign for Mangione’s Italian Ice Company was posted in the window at 1222 State Street, the former home of Spoon. After a near-record three-year run in the Crystal Ball, … Continue reading

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Montecito misfortune

Reader Leonard says that he saw a bright red “Stop Work Notice” for Alma Fonda Fina restaurant, coming to 1024 Coast Village Road, the former home of Little Alex’s. I am told that the sign is dated April 19, 2022 … Continue reading

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Question of the Day

Hi Restaurant Guy, Is it my imagination or was there an Arby’s on the corner of Meigs Road and Cliff Drive way back in the 80s or 90s? I’m pretty sure one was there but no one can confirm that … Continue reading

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Paradise Store 2.0?

This just in from reader Joseph: “As the ‘Restaurant Guy’ I would like you to look into the recent sale of the Paradise Store [at 1 Paradise Road] and its potential of being a restaurant/store again. I live in the … Continue reading

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Rare Society, a retro-inspired steakhouse, opening in June

Rare Society is set to open their steakhouse this summer in the Funk Zone at 214 State Street, the former home of Corazon Cocina, American Ale, Yankee Noodle, Rebar Coffee, Tri Tip Company, Union Ale Brewing Company, and Couchez. The … Continue reading

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Shalhoob’s update

In April I wrote that Shalhoob’s has signed a lease to take over 5112 Hollister Avenue in Noleta, the former home of Woody’s BBQ. I called Funk Zone location and was told they are planning to open at the old … Continue reading

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Red Piano food phased out?

Reader Tom says that he went to the Red Piano at 519 State Street recently and noticed they are no longer serving food. They used to have a contract with Paxi Pizza next-door, they said it has since ended but … Continue reading

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Pascucci – Dine Out for Solstice

Summer Solstice is back and making plans for this year’s Parade and Festival.  One of Solstice’s favorite pre-parade events has been the “Dine-Out” fundraiser, in which fun loving and costume clad Solstice volunteers act as hosts, servers, bartenders and drink … Continue reading

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Carpinteria considers restrictions on chain stores

Reader Primetime says that the Carpinteria city council is asking for an ordinance that could restrict chain or franchise businesses in the future to keep the small town feel. That may include fast-food chains, a limited number of franchise operations, … Continue reading

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Downtown McDonald’s to close

McDonald’s Corporation publicly announced that they are closing all 850 locations in Russia, yet, with little fanfare, their downtown Santa Barbara store was the first to get the axe. I don’t believe the two events are related. Reader Primetime says … Continue reading

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Red Pepper location on De la Vina may have fizzled

Readers Brendan, Bill, Laura, Dianne, and Richard tell me that it looks like plans for a Red Pepper location on De la Vina Street, breathlessly reported in this column in June 2021, have been scrapped. I am told that the … Continue reading

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See’s Candies coming to Calle Real?

Here is a message from reader Sande: “See’s Candies will be opening a new store in the Calle Real shopping plaza. My neighbor’s house is a vacation rental and yesterday two See’s construction crews arrived and will stay there till … Continue reading

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Carp Moon Cafe opens

Reader Stef let me know that Carp Moon Cafe has opened at 4991 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria, the former home of Juice N Things and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. I am told that the restaurant and coffee shop is … Continue reading

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Finch & Fork reopens

Press release: Kimpton Canary Hotel today announces the reopening of its fully renovated signature restaurant Finch & Fork with a brand-new space, concept and menus by Executive Chef Craig Riker, bringing a diverse, California-inspired culinary experience to the thriving Santa … Continue reading

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XO Santa Barbara Ribbon Cutting

XO Santa Barbara at 121 East Yanonali Street will have their grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, May 12th, 3:30-5:30 p.m. XO offers seared brisket-blend smashburgers on a buttered potato bun, crispy fried chicken sandwiches, fresh salads, fries, milkshakes, … Continue reading

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Rodeo Room whiskey lounge opens next week

If you have ever been to the Brewhouse or Neighborhood, you may have failed to notice that there is a nook between the two, hidden in plain sight. This space, at 231 West Montecito Street, will be the home of … Continue reading

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Mariscos Santa Barbara opens

A new restaurant named Mariscos Santa Barbara has opened at 5892 Hollister Avenue, the former home of Wingman Rodeo, Gimeal Cafe, and The Natural Cafe. Karlos Gonzales, a chef who learned his craft at a culinary school in Mexico as … Continue reading

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Carp Moon Cafe coming to Carpinteria

Readers Primetime and Sarah let me know that Carp Moon Cafe is coming to the former space of Juice N Things at 4991 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria. Before it was Juice N Things, this was the long-time home of Coffee … Continue reading

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Crush Bar one-year anniversary

Crush Bar & Tap opened on May 29, 2021 at 1129 A State Street, in the historical San Marcos Courtyard spot previously occupied by Armada Wine Merchant. Owner Shannon Gaston sent me a message about how they are soon celebrating … Continue reading

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Finch & Fork set to reopen May 10

Reopening after a full renovation in Spring 2022, restaurant Finch & Fork is the reimagined vision of Executive Chef Craig Riker, with menus reflecting the multicultural flavors of California and featuring fresh seafood and sustainable produce. Complementing Chef Riker’s cuisine … Continue reading

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Chick-fil-A introduces new cloudberry drink

The popular fast food chain available locally on upper State Street, and eventually, on Calle Real, has announced that it would be adding the Cloudberry Sunjoy drink at restaurants nationwide starting immediately. The Cloudberry Sunjoy drink combines the tart cloudberry … Continue reading

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Question of the Day

Hi John, I have a question for your readers. I’m trying to recall the name of the ice cream parlor that was on Anapamu between State and Chapala in the 1980s. If I remember correctly, the name started with an … Continue reading

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Saint Bibiana pizzeria opens downtown

Reader Nathan tells me that Saint Bibiana pizzeria has opened and that last Saturday he enjoyed an amazing pie at 17 West Ortega Street, the former home of Little Kitchen which closed March 31st. Saint Bibiana is owned by Cindy … Continue reading

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