Category Archives: Restaurant News

NICK THE GREEK OPENS APRIL 23

In August 2023 I broke the news that Nick the Greek restaurant, offering “authentic Greek street food,” is coming to 508 State Street, the former long-time home of Natural Cafe. Reader Brendan says that the new eatery will be offering … Continue reading

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OLIVER’S TO CLOSE

Plant-based Oliver’s restaurant at 1198 Coast Village Road, which spent 5 years remodeling the former home of Peabody’s, before opening in October 2017, plans to close on April 20th. Here is a message they have posted about the changes: It … Continue reading

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CONSTRUCTION STARTED AT MACKENZIE MARKET

In February 2022 I reported that the family behind Omni Catering and Teddy’s By the Sea in Carpinteria bought the building at 3102 State Street, the former home of Mackenzie Market and Yanni’s Greek Deli which closed February 2021 after … Continue reading

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PETRA CAFE OPENS

Last July I broke the news that Foxtail Kitchen at 14 East Cota Street was planning to close and the owner, Falah Maayah, would replace it with a new concept. His new creation, Petra Cafe which serves Jordanian cuisine, is … Continue reading

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OYSTER BAR COMING TO MOBY DICK

Reader Franco, owner of Santa Barbara Signs, just installed a new sign at Moby Dick restaurant on Stearns Wharf that highlights a future oyster bar option. I am told that part of the restaurant is currently being remodeled to accommodate … Continue reading

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POKE HOUSE COMING TO PASEO NUEVO

Reader Franco let me know that Poke House is coming to 811 State Street, Suite D, which is in Paseo Nuevo mall next to Pickles and Swiss. From the look of the photo I received they appear to be in … Continue reading

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ISLA VISTA GIOVANNI’S UPDATE

Reader Henrietta recently told us that she heard that Giovanni’s Pizza is trying to reopen in Isla Vista. Rincon Brewery replaced Giovanni’s at 6583 Pardall Road in Isla Vista in May 2017 and then Rockfire Grill took over that address … Continue reading

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SANTA BARBARA RESTAURANT WEEK

The sixth annual Santa Barbara Restaurant Week (April 26th – May 5th) is your chance to experience the  Santa Barbara’s food scene at a fraction of the normal cost. Presented by Santa Barbara Uncorked, LLC and sponsored by Jordano’s Foodservice … Continue reading

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SNEAK PEEK: THE ELLWOOD

The Ellwood is coming to 5905 Sandspit Road Goleta, formerly Beachside Bar-Café. In late 2022 construction had just started when winter storms battered the facility, leaving it full of sea water which was obviously a big setback. I stopped by … Continue reading

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EASTER AT RENAUD’S

Here is a press release about Easter options at Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro: This Easter, Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro, Southern California’s gem for authentic French patisserie and bistro dining, is delighted to present a sumptuous Easter chocolate collection that promises … Continue reading

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NEW MURAL AT LUCKY PENNY

I am told that a new mural has been added to Lucky Penny restaurant at 127 Anacapa Street. Here is a press release I received about it: Lucky Penny, and Artist DJ Javier, in partnership with the Santa Barbara High … Continue reading

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MUNCHIEZ ADDS MEXICAN

Reader Suzette asked me a question about Munchiez: Looks like Munchiez at the corner of Nogal and Hollister is gone. The green awning now says Mexican Food Restaurant. Anyone have information? Thanks! I stopped by that address a few weeks … Continue reading

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WEXLER’S DELI UPDATE

Last July I broke the news that Wexler’s Deli is coming to the Santa Barbara Public Market. Reader IMissRexofSB tells me that the eatery will open on April 8th.

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GOLETA FINNEY’S UPDATE

Last December I broke the news that Santa Barbara’s wildly popular Finney’s Crafthouse & Kitchen at 35 State Street is coming to Goleta’s Camino Real Marketplace where Hollister Brewing Company used to be at 6980 Market Place Drive. Reader David … Continue reading

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EASTER AT SAN YSIDRO RANCH

With Easter just around the corner, I want to ensure that San Ysidro Ranch’s Easter Champagne Brunch is on your radar. It will be hosted on March 31st at the Stonehouse Restaurant. The menu was created by Executive Chef Matt … Continue reading

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NEW SIGN FOR SUNSHINE

Goleta Signs has just finished installing a brand-new sign for Santa Barbara Sunshine Cafe at 5711 Calle Real in Goleta which replaces the tarpaulin banner they have been using since the eatery opened last December. The upper State Street location … Continue reading

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LOWER STATE STARBUCKS OPENS

Reader Primetime tells me that the new Starbucks has opened at 120 State Street near the waterfront, next to McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams and Melville Winery. Photos by Primetime

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EASTER ROUNDUP

Jellybeans and chocolate bunnies might be delicious, but they don’t exactly fill you up. So, if those egg hunts leave you with an appetite for something more, hop over to one of the many South Coast restaurants offering an Easter … Continue reading

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VIA VAI STOPPING LUNCH APRIL 1

Reader Robert sends an update on the Via Vai story: Hello Restaurant Guy. Re: Via Vai Trattoria Pizzeria on East Valley Road, Santa Barbara/Montecito – “Upper Village”.  A 20-year-old favorite is stopping lunch April First – the sign says on … Continue reading

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FORMER HOME OF TAZA UPDATE

A prolific tipster shares some news: Ciao John, The owners of Apertivo are taking over the former space of Taza Mediterranean at 413 State Street. It will be a food/wine/beer restaurant. They have a name for it, but wouldn’t reveal … Continue reading

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DRY AT CODY’S

This just in from reader Elvis about Cody’s Cafe at 4898 Hollister Avenue in Noleta: March 2024, re Cody’s liquor license: About three weeks ago, we were having our usual lunch with a Margarita, and server told us that this … Continue reading

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Hi! I am trying to find a restaurant I used to go to in the late 90s to early 2000s. The location is 12 W. De la Guerra Street, Santa Barbara. The website lists a restaurant located there closed at … Continue reading

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THE NUGGET IS COMING TO CARPINTERIA

The original Nugget in Summerland opened in 1970 and continues going strong as is the Nugget at 5687 Calle Real in Goleta which opened in 2009. Some “experimental” Nuggets came and went at 21 West Victoria Street (2015-2018) and 5096 … Continue reading

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INDIAN TANDOORI KINGDOM OPENS

Reader Brendan says he walked by 1026 State Street today (former Oppi’z and Palazzio) and said that it looks like Indian Tandoori Kingdom has opened there. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Call (805) 284-2603 or visit indiantandoorikingdom.com

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MCCONNELL’S LAUNCHES NEW FLAVOR WITH HOOK & PRESS

On March 22, two beloved Santa Barbara institutions – McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams and Hook & Press Donuts – are joining forces to launch a collaborative offering that merges McConnell’s artisanal ice cream with Hook + Press’ gourmet donuts. The … Continue reading

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SHALHOOB’S TO CLOSE IN THE PUBLIC MARKET

Reader Steve C. says that Shalhoob’s, which opened in the Santa Barbara Public Market in March 2022, is planning to close at the end of March 2024, just after their two-year anniversary. The company is still on track to open … Continue reading

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WYLDE WORKS LAUNCHES COFFEE HOUSE

This just in from Wylde Works at 609 State Street: Wylde Works is a fine meadery that serves as a community hub of creativity. We recently celebrated our two year anniversary and are excited to announce we are expanding operations … Continue reading

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AUGIE’S REOPENS

Reader Steve M. tells me that Augie’s has reopened at 700 State Street, and address once occupied by Panera Bread, Left At Albuquerque, and Ma Dolce Vita. Hours are Friday-Saturday 4-10 p.m and Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Call (805) 664-0516 … Continue reading

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EASTER AT ROSEWOOD MIRAMAR BEACH

Here is a message from our friendly neighborhood world-class beach resort: Hi John, We wanted to keep you in the loop on some spring culinary happenings at Rosewood Miramar Beach, from Easter festivities and a Friends of James Beard Benefit, … Continue reading

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WINEMAKER DINNER SERIES AT THE BACARA

Here is a press-release from the Ritz-Carlton Bacara: The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara–the premier oceanfront resort along the Gaviota Coast–welcomes premier central coast winemakers for monthly wine pairing dinners – Paul Lato Wines in March, The Hilt Estate in April, … Continue reading

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SEATTLE BAKERY POP-UP

Here is a message from Piroshky bakery in Seattle which is doing a local pop-up on April 19. I have not confirmed the exact location. Hello Restaurant Guy, Piroshky, a unique, one-of-a-kind, Eastern European-inspired bakery with our flagship location nested … Continue reading

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SPRING AT MATTEI’S TAVERN

This just in from Mattei’s Tavern at 2350 Railway Avenue in Los Olivos: Embracing togetherness and connection is built into the ethos of The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern, Auberge Resorts Collection, rich with history and new discoveries. This spring, Mattei’s … Continue reading

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EASTER WITH ACME

Acme, which operates a variety of popular food and drink destinations in town, is gearing up for Easter. – The Lark will be serving up decadent Easter brunch favorites by Chef Jason Paluska and offer a dinner special of Spring … Continue reading

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GIOVANNI’S RETURNING TO IV?

Reader Henrietta says she heard that Giovanni’s Pizza is trying to reopen in Isla Vista. Rincon Brewery replaced Giovanni’s at 6583 Pardall Road in Isla Vista in May 2017. Rincon Brewery then closed in June 2018. Rockfire Grill subsequently opened … Continue reading

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Hi John, Any update on the old Mackenzie Market site on Upper State? I heard a rumor that the owners of Brass Bird in Carpinteria were trying to open up a coffee shop there. We just visited the location in … Continue reading

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LIGHTHOUSE COFFEE OPENS ON CALLE REAL

Chris Chiarappa, owner and CEO of the Santa Barbara Restaurant Collective, tells me that he has opened a new location for Lighthouse Coffee at 5690 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Outback Steakhouse which closed their doors in … Continue reading

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SPEAKING OF CALLE REAL

The Nugget Bar and Grill at 5687 Calle Real in Goleta now offers brunch from 11 a.m-2 p.m. every Sunday. The flagship Summerland location at 2318 Lillie Avenue offers a weekend brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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NEW NIGHT LIZARD OFFERINGS

Reader Franco tells me that Night Lizard Brewing Company at 607 State Street now offers food options from several nearby restaurants including St. Bibiana Pizza, Yona Redz, and Soul Bites. When you order at your table the meal is then … Continue reading

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ANCHOR ROSE AVAILABLE FOR NON-PROFITS

Erik Hoegh-Guldberg, manager of The Anchor Rose at 113 Harbor Way, tells me that the popular restaurant is now available as an event location for nonprofit organizations. “As a pledge to support the many area Non-Profits and all of the … Continue reading

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ST. PATRICK’S DAY WITH CARP KITCHEN

Carp Kitchen Grocery Store, which opened at 4945 #A Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria in 2021, is offering a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Special to-go on Sunday, March 17. The meal includes a slow-cooked Corned Beef, Colcannon Potatoes (mashed potatoes, sauteed … Continue reading

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