Speaking of pizza, I have been unable to reach Persona Pizzeria at 905 State Street. Like most restaurants in town they suspended operations in March, but unlike most area eateries, they have remained closed and have not posted any updates on social media in months. If you have any information about their status please let me know. Hopefully they reopen soon!
Insomnia Cookies is coming to 430 State Street which is a few doors down from Craft Ramen. The dessert destination was founded in a college dorm room in 2003 at the University of Pennsylvania, by then student, Seth Berkowitz and has expanded to more than 100 locations nationwide. Insomnia Cookies started opening in California in 2018 with most locations delivering from 10am-3am daily. Visit insomniacookies.com. Thanks to reader Steve H. for the tip.
Readers Steve H. and Primetime let me know that Jeannine’s Bakery at 15 East Figueroa Street has reopened. The eatery is the last of the bakery’s four area locations to resume business. Hours are Wednesday-Sunday 7:30am-1:30pm. Call 805-966-1717 or visit jeannines.com
Photos by Primetime
These are good times for Victoria Street. Scarlett Begonia recently moved to 21 West Victoria Street, Olio e Limone and Ca’Dario have returned to the scene, and now “Wine Country Cuisine” icon bouchon has reopened at 9 West Victoria Street. bouchon offers “as-fresh-and-as-local-as-possible” cuisine prepared with care and is open for dine-in and take-out nightly from 5-9pm. Their wines reflect the quality and character of our region and work in concert with the cuisine.
While it may look a little different, bouchon is unchanged in their commitment to providing an outstanding dining experience. Safety protocols include distancing, UV air filtration, hand sanitizer stations, enhanced sanitation procedures, screening all team members health including daily temperature checks, and requiring face masks for all bouchon staff and guests. Visit bouchonsantabarbara.com
Olio Pizzeria at 11 West Victoria Street has been open for weeks and now neighboring Olio e Limone has returned, offering dine-in service with properly distanced inside and outside tables, and all health and safety protocols in place. You can takeout both lunch and dinner with à la carte or order from prix fixe menus for both dine-in and takeout. Lunch: Tuesday-Saturday 11:30AM-2:00PM, Dinner: Tuesday-Sunday 5:00PM-Close. Reopening Mondays soon. The third member of the Olio trinity, Olio Crudo Bar, will open in a couple of weeks. Visit olioelimone.com
Dutch Garden restaurant at 4203 State Street ran out of food Thursday and decided to close their doors early instead of at the end of Saturday as planned. The eatery had been run by the current ownership for 35 years and served customers under the Dutch Garden brand for 75 years.
I was driving up Milpas Street today and noticed that the famous Cow atop 901 North Milpas Street is social distancing.
Readers Eagle Eye and Ted tell me that Subway in the Magnolia Shopping Center at 5146 Hollister Avenue in Goleta has closed. I am told that there is a for-lease sign on the window with no letter from management.
Reader Primetime spotted this message at Lucky’s Steakhouse, 1270 Coast Village Road:
On June 25, 2020, an employee of Lucky’s Steakhouse in Santa Barbara tested positive for COVID-19. We have contacted the Santa Barbara County Health Department and are working closely with them to follow recommended guidelines.
We are committed to adhering to the most stringent health and safety measures recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the local health authorities and continue to implement the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness at the restaurant. We will be temporarily closing the restaurant for further cleaning. In addition, our entire staff is being tested for COVID-19.
The health, safety and security of our guests and employees remains our highest priority.
On behalf of the Lucky’s Steakhouse family, thank you.
Photo by Primetime
Readers Primetime and Jose let me know that a new 7-Eleven has opened on 700 State Street, the former home of Panera Bread , Left at Albuquerque, and Ma Dolce Vita. Panera Bread has another location at 3851 State Street in La Cumbre Plaza. Jose tells me that the new 7-Eleven has cold brew coffee machines, touch screen Slurpee machines, instant hot coffee/espresso machines, and-fresh baked items (as opposed to prepackaged treats).
Photos by Primetime
Reader Jennifer spotted this message at Deux Bakery, 824 Reddick Street:
New Operating Hours: Starting June 29, 2020 Deux Bakery’s pastry and bread shop will be offering its’ complete line of products at our new downtown location inside our restaurant Scarlett Begonia. Located at 21 West Victoria Street right across from the Public Market. Open 7am, 7 days a week. The Milpas location will only be open to the public Wednesday thru Saturday. So please take note! Looking forward to serving you at our new downtown location….with seating!
I arrived at 11:15am today for my last meal ever at Dutch Garden and it was overflowing with fans who had a similar idea.
Update: the restaurant ran out of food and closed their doors for good on June 25th.
The South Coast is about to say goodbye to another local dining icon. Last month we lost Enterprise Fish Company, a Santa Barbara institution since 1977. This weekend the Dutch Garden restaurant, which has been dishing up German cuisine to area residents since 1945, will be serving its last meal, the restaurant confirmed today. “Unfortunately Saturday the 27th will be the last day for us. Sad 😢 ,” said head server Leslie Walbridge.
Dutch Garden restaurant opened in 1925 as Poppy Cafe. In 1945 the eatery changed hands and the new owners originally wanted to call it the German Gardens but sentiments surrounding World War II were such that the euphemistic name Dutch Garden was used instead. German food used to be plentiful in this town but I believe it disappears locally when Dutch Garden departs. Thanks to readers Steve W. and Primetime for the tips.
Update: the restaurant ran out of food and closed their doors for good on June 25th.
Photos by The Restaurant Guy
Reader Steve H. says that Denny’s on upper State reopened about a week ago. I am told that they are not open 24 hours yet.
Here is a message from Jill Shalhoob, owner of Jill’s Place at 632 Santa Barbara Street:
“Our place is re-opening Friday, June 26th. We have new outdoor seating, inside is spaced for social distancing, and our staff is ready to go. We cant wait to serve up Santa Barbara Locals’ favorite food & drinks! We serve lunch 11am to 3pm, Happy Hour 4:30 to 6pm, and dinner from 5pm. Be sure to check out our 8am – 2pm Saturday brunch during Farmers Market.”
Reader Josh let me know that drive-thru Zizzo’s Coffeehouse & Brew Pub, which opened at 370 Storke Road in Goleta in January 2009 in the former home of Storke Road Drive Inn, closed last Saturday. The coffee spot had expanded to three locations within a 3 block radius by 2016 then trimmed back to just the original. Of all dining destinations in Santa Barbara County, Zizzo’s happens to be the closest to my home so I walked over to confirm and saw this message for you on the front door:
A SAD DAY – ZIZZO’S IS CLOSING PERMANENTLY
To our valued and cherished customers: Due to circumstances beyond our control, it is with heavy heart that after 12 amazing years, Zizzo’s Coffee will have to close. I speak on behalf of the Zizzo’s teams past and present in saying that it has been an absolute pleasure serving you, the community.
Many customer relationships have been built over the years. We have attended customer birthday parties, weddings, and sadly, funerals. We have watched our youngest smoothie loving customers grow up to be college graduates, we have witnessed numerous first-dates, and couples fall in love and start families. We have provided a location for numerous PhD candidates to study and eventually defend their doctoral thesis; in fact, Zizzo’s has even been listed as a contributor to one PhD candidate. We have observed screenwriters pen the next situation comedy, with one of the characters actually named Zizzo. Our objective was to be local, not corporate; we hope we achieved that.
We didn’t make much money on this place, matter of fact we lost a lot of money, however we felt we were providing a much-needed community-building service. Building relationships were far more valuable to us. It was never about making a ton of money it was “Good Friends, Great Coffee” which has always been our motto and we sincerely believe we lived by that.
So long and farewell good friends, please stop us if you see us around town and say hello. Because it is you, our customer who drove us to keep this place going.
Michael and Sue Casey, Val, Sean, Tami, and hundreds of Zizzo’s staff over the years
On June 18, 2018, I announced that Bristol Farms was replacing now-closed Vons market at 3855 State Street next to La Cumbre Plaza. Reader BristolFarmFan now tells me that they reached out to company representative Denis Lacy and were told that Bristol Farms’ goal is to open on Thursday, August 20.
Sprouts Farmers Market is scheduled to open Wednesday, September 2, at 29 South Milpas Street, the former home of Trader Joe’s (which moved up the street). Sprouts opened their first area location at 175 North Fairview Avenue in August 2016.
All Ca’Dario restaurants are now open for dine-in as well as take-out. Locations include Ca’Dario Ristorante, 37 East Victoria Street; Ca’Dario Pizzeria Veloce, 38 West Victoria Street; Ca’Dario Cucina Italiana, 250 Storke Road, Goleta; and Ca’Dario Montecito, 1187 Coast Village Road, Montecito.
Coast & Olive restaurant has opened at the Montecito Inn, 1295 Coast Village Road, in a space formerly occupied by The Monarch and Montecito Cafe. Unlike the previous two tenants, Coast & Olive is operated by the Copus Family who also own the Montecito Inn. The long term plan is for it to be an all-day restaurant to serve both the guests of the hotel as well as Montecito and Santa Barbara locals. Initially Coast & Olive will only serve dinner. Entrees on the menu include Trout Almondine, Pan Roasted King Salmon, Potato Crusted Pacific Halibut, Housemade Potato Gnocchi with Maine Lobster, San Francisco Style Roasted Chicken, Asparagus Risotto, Tabil Dusted Pork Chop, Tuscan Rubbed Bavette Steak, Pair With 7oz Filet Mignon, and Prime Ribeye 16oz.
Brazilian husband and wife team Ana Luiza Amaral and Paulo Roberto have opened Oakberry Acai Bowls in Paseo Nuevo at 819-B State Street, next to Sushi Tyme. Famous for their all organic products and unlimited toppings, Oakberry has outlets throughout Brazil and continues international expansion with Santa Barbara being their first store in California. The fast superfood chain has over 220 locations worldwide.
Through their exclusive Acai recipe, with an organic product, all natural, without adding colorants or agrotoxic and being trans-fat and cholesterol free, Oakberry offers to the clients three bowls and smoothie sizes (classic, works and The OAK). When ordering an Acai bowl the consumer can choose unlimited toppings from a list with over 20 options (see menu), like banana, granola, coconut, chia seeds, organic peanut butter, organic honey and others. For the smoothies the customer chooses up to 3 toppings from a dozen options on the menu which are quickly blended into your meal.
“We believe that the people became more careful with their eating patterns these days,” explains Georgios Frangulis, who founded the company in 2016. “With the ever-shortening amount of time that the average person has for a meal, we want to give the customer the opportunity to choose between a common fast-food and a fast SUPERFOOD. From the order to the handover, the client waits for only 2 minutes.”
Oakberry is open from every day from 8:00am to 8:00pm. Call 805-284-8540 or visit oakberry.com/en
Co-owner Paulo Roberto with Isabella Macioce at the new Oakberry Acai Bowls in Paseo Nuevo. Photos by The Restaurant Guy.
Reader Steve H. let me know that Romanti-Ezer at 701 Chapala Street closed permanently on June 11th. The restaurant originally opened in September 2006. I stopped by the restaurant and noticed a message on the window for the public:
It is with sincere regret that we inform you that Romanti-Ezer Restaurant last day of operation will be Thursday June 11th, 2020.
We are with deeply sadness to inform you about this decision as we couldn’t have done this without our loyal customers. We, want to take the time to say Thank you for the great 10 years that we had, for the loyal customer that continued coming back, for all the events that we had and for everyone that found our food to be authentic.
This was not an easy decision to make, due to Covid-19 we tried as hard as we could to keep the doors open and unfortunately as many small businesses, we were not able to continue keeping the doors open.
Once again, thank you to all of our loyal customers, we are however going to continue running our food truck. Upcoming times and days will be posted in our Instagram and Facebook.
With great gratitude,
The Phamous Cafe is locally owned and operated and is now taking online orders at phamouscafe.com or on their Facebook page. Orders can be placed with a pick up time of usually 20 minutes or ready at a specific time. Phamous Cafe is open 6 days a week (closed on Tuesdays) at 7127 Hollister Avenue in Goleta. Call 805-845-9881
Dine-in service in Santa Barbara has been blooming like daisies in the spring, which means that far more is going on in the local culinary scene than The Restaurant Guy can keep track of. Here is a sample of what I can see with my binoculars while gazing at the horizon from the food news control tower: Moby Dick restaurant on Stearns Wharf opened June 15th. Initially the hours are 11am-4pm daily. Bluewater Grill at 15 East Cabrillo Boulevard opens June 18th. Harbor Restaurant on Stearns Wharf starts dinner service June 19th 4pm-close, then begins brunch service 10am-4pm on weekends only. Farmer Boy restaurant at 3427 State Street and Live Oak Cafe at 2220 Bath Street open June 22nd. Giovanni’s Pizza at 3020 State Street has been offering to-go service throughout the COVID-19 crisis and is currently planning to begin full service on June 26th. Bouchon at 9 West Victoria Street is offically reopening June 27th, offering dinner service nightly 5-9pm. Bella Vista restaurant at the Biltmore was originally scheduled to reopen in mid-June but will now debut dine-in sometime in July at the earliest.
I was biking in the backcountry on Friday, June 12 and, while passing Cold Spring Tavern, I noticed people dining out front. It turns out I had come across the restaurant on their first day open since they shutdown in March from COVID-19 restrictions. Seating is extremely limited so don’t expect the glory days with Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan to return right away.
The restaurant is doing social distancing inside and out and seating is reduced inside. Cold Spring Tavern is doing full table service only (inside and out) and they don’t have music yet. They are having the same weekend tri-tip barbecues outside but they don’t have the single sandwiches deal you might be used to – it’s a full meal that you order. The bar room is open but not as a bar; it is used for full service restaurant dining. Take-out is available.
Hours are 11:30am-3:30pm Thursday-Monday. During a future “phase 2” they will open for breakfast at 8am on Saturdays and Sundays. Dinner service will be unavailable until they get back into the rhythm of running Santa Barbara’s oldest restaurant that is operating in the same location, and run by the same family, since it opened in 1941.
Cold Spring Tavern strongly recommends you make reservations to minimize your wait time and ensure they can maintain social distancing in the front of the Tavern. Call 805-967-0066 to make reservations.
Photo by The Restaurant Guy
Rosewood Miramar Beach reopened June 12th with new programming and protocols designed to facilitate an extraordinary summer season and to once again bring to life the magic of Miramar. Caruso’s, the oceanfront restaurant at the Miramar, features al fresco seating over the sand with views only the South Coast can offer. Malibu Farm at Miramar, a farm-to-table concept, offers all-day dining in a “refined yet laid back” setting. Miramar Beach Bar, the Miramar’s oceanfront oasis, invites guests to enjoy an array of craft cocktails and snacks
“As we navigate the new normal, we remain steadfast in our commitment to facilitate a safe and happy stay for all of our guests, as well as a positive working environment for our associates,” said Rick Fidel, resort manager at Rosewood Miramar Beach. “Our team has been hard at work identifying opportunities to come back even better than before, and we’re delighted to reopen the doors to Rosewood Miramar Beach to all travelers and introduce innovative experiences blended with enhanced health and wellness protocols that safely allow us to do so.”
In accordance with guidelines put in place by local public health officials upon reopening to all travelers, Rosewood Miramar Beach is currently operating at a reduced capacity with the available selection of accommodations strategically spread out across the property’s vast, outdoor acreage. The resort’s six restaurants and bars and the recently introduced Miramar Food Truck are open for dine-in service for resort guests and the local community.
Photo by The Restaurant Guy
On April 30th I reported that Endless Summer Bar-Cafe and Chuck’s Waterfront Grill, both located at the Santa Barbara Harbor, have closed permanently. The owners of the restaurants had been seeking to sell the businesses for awhile and found a new owner by the name of Aaron Petersen. Mr. Petersen is an experienced local businessman who has been involved in the restaurant business since 1997. He currently owns and operates three restaurants in Solvang including Chomp, The Coffee House by Chomp, and Brekkies by Chomp. He is also co-owner and operator of Mortensen’s Danish Bakery located in downtown Solvang.
Reader Primetime sent me details about plans future plans for the restaurants. The second story lease space, formerly Endless Summer Bar-Cafe, will be rebranded as The Salty Beach Bar and Grill. The Salty Beach Bar and Grill will focus on casual food and drinks in a family-friendly environment. The ground floor space, formerly Chuck’s Waterfront Grill, is proposed to be similar to Mr. Petersen’s Chomp restaurant in Solvang and feature burgers, fries, and shakes, catering to families, young adults, and retirees. Also included on the first floor would be a small area for customers offering wines, beer, and prepared food and drinks for carry-out orders. Mr. Petersen also plans to operate a mobile coffee cart on the front patio dining area. The coffee cart would offer fresh coffee and pastries, no other food is to be prepared on or at the mobile coffee cart. Both the upstairs and downstairs restaurant operations may offer brunch on weekends and holidays.
Mr. Petersen assumed ownership of Chuck’s Waterfront Grill and the Endless Summer and exercised the first of four, five-year options to extend the term of the lease. Mr. Petersen‘s original business plan included running the restaurants with minimal change through the busy summer season and closing down in the fall for a complete renovation of both restaurants. However, the rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed that original plan.
Photo of the now-closed Chuck’s Waterfront Grill by reader Primetime
Yoichi’s at 230 East Victoria Street, which offers a traditional Japanese multi-course dining experience, has been temporarily closed due to Covid-19. The eatery started offering curb-side special to-go items starting Friday, June 12th. Check out the limited time, special menu in the “To-Go” section on their website yoichis.com. Reservation are required and service is available Friday- Tuesday 5:30-9pm. Call 805-962-6627.
Petros Kafe which moved from Santa Barbara in 2017 to 487 Atterdag Road in Solvang has closed for good. I am rarely notified by an establishment that their last meal has been served so often I have to gather information from a variety of sources to come to that conclusion. In this case the clues are: their website is down, their phone is disconnected, Yelp says Petros is closed permanently, and Open Table says Petros is closed permanently. In early May 2020 Petros put out an announcement on Facebook about specials being offered so the closure must have been relatively recent. Consider visiting Yanni’s Deli at Mackenzie Market, 3102 State Street, for great Gyros.
An employee at Whole Foods in Santa Barbara has tested positive for COVID-19, the grocery chain has confirmed, and the worker is currently under quarantine. For more on this story visit KEYT.com.
This just in from food popup Secret Bao:
We’re Secret Bao, currently a popup restaurant from the former Executive chef of Loquita, Peter Lee and former Executive Sous chef of Loquita, Felicia Medina.
We were in a lease agreement to take over the old Roost space but pulled out due to the ongoing pandemic and have switched to doing popups.
We are doing a popup at Handlebar Coffee on De la Vina Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM – 12 PM.
Menu mainly consists of various baos, bings and some snacks.
Looking forward to doing more frequent popups!
When the Covid19 pandemic hit, Campus Point Coffee at 6560 Pardall Road in Isla Vista was forced to close permanently, but the coffee lives on. Campus Point Coffee has announced the relaunch of their brand and its coffee sales through their new website: CampusPointCoffee.com. In response to the Covid19 pandemic Campus Point Coffee has restructured their business, shifting the sale of their coffee online and now shipping bags of coffee straight to customers anywhere in the world. Campus Point Coffee pledges that each purchase will help to employ future Beach Clean Up Warriors, who are working hard to clean up and remove plastic and garbage from our oceans. Campus Point Coffee offers its customers a diverse product line including signature coffees, espressos, and decaf options, as well as merchandise. Sustainability and eco-consciousness are at the forefront of the Campus Point Coffee’s mission and they soon will offer 100% compostable bags. Campus Point Coffee was founded in 2019 by former UCSB students who had a passion for three things: Great Coffee, Fostering Community, and Clean Oceans.
Reader Steve H. let me know that Lighthouse Coffee has opened at 711 Chapala Street, the former home of Breakfast, which didn’t actually serve breakfast. Lighthouse Coffee opened their first location on the Mesa in 2018, at 1819 Cliff Drive, replacing The Good Cup. The coffee shop is owned by Chris Chiarappai, who also owns Mesa Burger and the brand-new Corner Tap. Lighthouse Coffee offers coffee drinks, tea options, pastries, toasts and breakfast sandwiches. Hours are 6am-4pm daily.
Photos by reader Steve H.
After 84 years it looks like the Rose Cafe on Haley Street might have served their last meal although that is not for certain. I’m hoping for a comeback. Reader Mo tells me that the Rose Cafe on Haley Street has not yet reopened from the Coronavirus shutdown and their phone number is now disconnected. After hearing that I emailed sister restaurant Rose Cafe on the Mesa and this was their response:
“From my understanding, they are going to close permanently. I’m just not sure if it is official yet or not. Once I know, I can let you know.”
This just in from Foxtail Kitchen and Bar at 14 East Cota Street:
Foxtail Kitchen and Bar is back open for dine-in and take out. We started since May 26. New hours: Tuesday-Sunday 4 pm -11 pm and Mondays 5 pm-10 pm. Also we got a new park list on Cota street in the front.
Hope to see u guys soon,
This just in from The Black Sheep restaurant at 26 East Ortega Street:
“Welcome back to The Black Sheep restaurant. We are excited to serve you and to share new dining options we have created for you. In our main dining room, we are proud to offer 2 options of rotating 4 course tasting menus, for your dine-in, table service enjoyment. And in the previous Wine Shepherd location (36 East Ortega Street) we are happy to bring you, Black Sheep Express! This new counter service option provides you with easy access to all of your Black Sheep menu favorites in an affordable, mix n match setup. You can pick them up to-go, or have a seat and enjoy with one of our carefully curated retail wine bottles. For our friends who wish to enjoy food with love from the comfort of your own home, we continue to offer online delivery of our Express Menu, through Restaurant Connection. We look forward to feeling you all! Cheers!
Reader Mimi said she heard a rumor that the Funk Zone’s Brass Bear Brewing & Bistro was opening a second location on De la Vina Street near Cajun Kitchen. I spoke with owner Seth Anderson who tells me that they were looking there at one time, and a few other places, for a second location before Covid but that search is now on pause for a while. Anderson also tells me that they have greatly expanded their current location to include an outdoor beer garden with lots of tents, tables, and chairs. I’m told that Brass Bear is now one of the biggest spots in the Funk Zone.
Corner Tap has opened at 1905 Cliff Drive, the former home of Giovanni’s Pizza. The business is owned by Chris Chirarappa, who also owns Mesa Burger. Corner Tap offers more than two dozen local craft beers, a dozen different wines by the bottle, and a kitchen that serve flat bread, wings, and other appetizers.
Photo by reader Primetime
Sambos restaurant, which opened in 1957 at 216 W Cabrillo Blvd, has reopened and changed its sign today to read “Peace and Love.” The new sign was constructed and installed by Imagine Graphics. “We are changing the name of our restaurant, what the future name will be is still uncertain, however it will not be Sambo’s,” says owner Chad Stevens who is the grandson of the founders. “Our family has looked into our hearts and realize that we must be sensitive when others whom we respect make a strong appeal. So today we stand in solidarity with those seeking change and doing our part as best we can.”
This just in from the Breakwater Restaurant at the Santa Barbara Harbor:
We’re open again!!!!!!
The Breakwater Restaurant is excited to share that we have reopened as of Saturday, May 30th. We will be adhering to all regulations put forth by the State, County and City to ensure we have done everything to meet the safety protocol put in place. Please remember to bring your mask.
We will be altering our opening time slightly, now 8 AM everyday but will be serving breakfast until 3 PM daily. Closing has been extended until 8 PM nightly.
We look forward to serving you again!
The DeDeckers and the Breakwater Team