A Bunch of Restaurant Updates

••• if you didn’t make it all the way through the recent post about 12 restaurants opening soon in Santa Barbara, here are some pieces of news broken therein:

—Sprouts says its market in the old Trader Joe’s space on Mipas (between Quinientos and Carpinteria streets) will open September 2.

—”I hear Low Pigeon is going in the Anacapa space, which would be awesome,” commented Janet about Los Arcos, the multi-tenant development at Anacapa and Ortega (pictured above). Low Pigeon would neither confirm nor deny it.

—The official opening date for Coast & Olive, the all-day restaurant at the Montecito Inn, is Thursday, June 18.

—Roman-style pizzeria Noemi in San Roque is soft-opening June 27.

—And Aaron Petersen sent in a through explanation of his plans for the former Chuck’s Waterfront Grill/Endless Summer spaces at the harbor:

First floor: CHOMP. The concept is a little retro dinner, with booths and fixed red stools. In addition to burgers, we serve a variety of old-school favorites—Reuben’s, pulled pork nachos, chicken burgers, vegan and vegetarian as well as salads and fun finger meals. A large kids’ menu is a must. Shakes and malts are handmade, and we have wine and beer on tap. While not fancy at all, we will have waiter/table service and of course a to-go menu, including grab-and-go cold sandwiches for walk-by traffic and the boating community. There will also be an outside coffee cart in the mornings and evenings. Huge patio with great lights and a covering. I’m calling the Santa Barbara CHOMP concept “CHOMP on the ROCKS burgers, fries, shakes.” It’s a play on the fact that I have a full liquor license and we are on the rock breakwater. My daughter Emilie came up with the name.

The second-floor concept will be similar to Endless Summer Cafe, with a large bar, seating both inside and out (two large patios), an expanded menu featuring salads, fish items, tacos, gourmet hot dogs and sausages, burgers, vegetarian and vegan items, and sharable plates.  Full alcohol license, beer and wine, a lot of speciality drinks. The design is to maximize the view of the harbor and keep it light and bright. We’ll continue to have six or seven TVs both inside and out and some live music so there will be a bit of a sports-bar feeling, but it’s not the only focus. The harbor is the obvious focus of the second floor—the views are amazing. The name is “SALTY on the BEACH bar and grill.” Again, it’s a full-service restaurant.

Given the Covid issue and the need to deep clean and paint the places (also adding new tile floors throughout), opening is around mid to late August for SALTY on the BEACH. CHOMP on the ROCKS will most likely open around September 1.

••• The San Ysidro Ranch ran an ad in the Montecito Journal announcing that it will open for dinner on June 18, which is welcome news, but when I called to confirm that both restaurants would be reopening, I was told that only the Stonehouse is coming back. The Plow & Angel will follow at a later date TBD.

••• Bell’s in Los Alamos is reopening today for lunch (walk-in only) and dinner (five-course prix-fixe), about which you can read more here. Most interesting, to me, is that the restaurant is adding a 20% service charge: “After making the necessary economic adjustments to retain all employees during the enforced closure, we are committed to taking the next step of stabilizing and equalizing our staff’s livelihoods with a 20% service charge added. This shift will also make it possible for us to budget appropriately allowing us to offer health care to the Bell’s staff. This as most of you know is difficult and a rarity in any small restaurant let alone any small business. This means that the tipping line has been removed and that you will see a 20% service charge as line item on your check. We feel strongly that this model is a step towards helping independent restaurants.” I wholeheartedly support a service charge, although many restaurants that have tried adding one have found it hard to sustain.

••• The Rosewood Miramar Beach announced that it has a new “event space,” a.k.a. a ten-top out by the train track. Time your event wisely….

••• Love these “coffee cats” by Alden Marin at Lucky Llama. In fact, I bought the one at the top.

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