A Cool New Private Club for Parents and Kids

After Erin Kanaley had twin sons in 2018, the self-described workaholic—she started her career at Facebook and then pursued interests in cannabis, wine, tech, and private aviation—marveled at how dramatically her life had changed. She and her husband, a director at Procore, both worked from home, and by the time Covid came along, she was even more convinced that something was missing in the market: a stress-free place for parents to hang out with their children.

“Anytime you go anywhere with kids, you’re always on guard: don’t go there, don’t touch that,” she says. “When you sit down at a restaurant, you’re given a fork, knife, and a glass of water—not exactly ideal for a toddler! You’re just never comfortable.”

She began jotting down wouldn’t-it-be-great-if notes about all the things she’d like in her dream place, and then she made it happen—no small feat in a city that doesn’t exactly encourage innovation. The result is Bungalo805, opening February 1. “It’s a cross between an airport lounge, hotel lobby, bar, spa, daycare, and someone’s house,” says Kanaley. “And there’s no need to schedule a playdate or clean up afterward.”

With help from MN Studio and Bottenfield Construction, the 5,000-square-foot building on W. Figueroa (State/Chapala) was transformed into a cool private club for all ages. (There was no choice but to be membership-based, due to the Type 57 liquor license.) Members pay an initiation fee, monthly dues, and an annual renewal fee to help replace furniture and supplies. What that covers: access to the space, of course, as well as self-service food and beverages and programming from the likes of Yellow Bird Music, My Gym, Santa Barbara Dance Arts, Apples to Zucchini Cooking School, the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Crafter’s Library, and more. When there’s no programming, staff members help keep kids entertained. And members can pay extra for food and beverages ordered from the café, as well as services such as massages, chiropractic adjustments, pelvic floor therapy, valet parking, and mani-pedis. (You can’t leave your kids and go run errands, at least not yet. “We’re working toward it,” says Kanaley.)

The ground floor features the Family Room; the Members’ Kitchen, with self-service snacks and drinks; and the Full Café, a restaurant-style kitchen with one menu for adults and kids, alcoholic beverages (including craft cocktails on tap), and no forks, knifes, or glass. And there’s even a back entrance to the public parking lot.

Upstairs, meanwhile, you’ll find the Playpen, an area with programming for kids, whether from staffers or outside partners; the Toy Bar, where books and toys can be checked out; the Media Room; an Art Lab stocked with supplies; nooks to simply chill; and the Boobie Lounge, where mothers can pump milk, warm bottles, and/or make use of jewelry-cleaning and foot-massage machines. And a small adults-only deck has a terrific view.

It’s a complex endeavor, to be sure, but Kanaley appears to have thought of everything and more: gates at every threshold, free house socks (no outside shoes are allowed), touch-up stations by the entrances, a kiosk of free fresh flowers, and a forthcoming parklet for stroller and bike parking. Still to be determined is exactly how many members will be allowed—the goal is that there will always be a seat available for anyone who walks in.

For a full description of the amenities and rates, visit bungalo805.com.

················

Sign up for the Siteline email newsletter and you’ll never miss a post.

Comment:

29 Comments

Erin I Owner of Bungalo805

Hi Robert- Good ideas are subjective. It would be great to hear more feedback that is actionable. Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion though it will be hard to take that into consideration as feedback.

Reply
G

As a parent of 2 littles, I actually love this idea. For a kids spot though…they may want to rethink the boob wallpaper.

Reply
Erin I Owner of Bungalo805

Hi G- Thanks for your feedback. We tried to pull in a lot of conversational pieces that open our minds up to talking about this stage of life, as Grown-Ups and with our Littles. The wallpaper is in the Boobie Lounge which is an oasis for infant feedings, no matter which way it occurs. From breast to bottle, this is the place to embrace!

Reply
Christine_Z28

“G”: did your “littles” come out of test tubes?

That’s not “boob” wallpaper. Those are illustrations of a generalized nude female form. Some bodies have boobs. They aren’t vulgar.

Do you expect your wife to cover her ankles, wrists, and face? Welcome to 2023.

Reply
Erin

🙏🏼, a lot of boobs actually when you think about it … and that’s what keeps many of us on this earth in the beginning. I think they are pretty important to celebrate 🎉

Reply
Courtney

G – I’d love to understand what is so wrong with a boob in a nursery? Do you understand how breastfeeding works?

Reply
Mama

also have 2 littles and love this idea! feedback on pricing: families of 4 who can easily afford a $4k initiation probs already have this covered with nannies, etc. For the *rest* of us who could use this and would like to jump on it the fees are a little high to maintain when you take into account what daycare/preschool are already costing us :)

Reply
Erin I Owner of Bungalo805

Hi Mama!

Thanks for your feedback. I will definitely consider over time how to expand my access. This is just my starting point. If you look at what is included, such as all the Pop-Ins, it is a pretty great rate. Plus each adult gets 25 Guest Passes!

Reply
Jordan

Best of luck to the team at Bungalo! No easy task starting a small business in Santa Barbara these days. Hats off for the creativity and hope it works well.

Reply
Myra

As a mom of 6, I love this! We were not meant to raise families in the isolation that is modern life. Parents need other parents and kids need other kids and adults (aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends.) My kids are all adults, but perhaps I can lure them to SB with the promise of membership!

Reply
Erin | Owner of Bungalo805

Myra! 6!! That is great! You’re so right, it’s been wonderful seeing everyone come together and support each other. Lots of collab parenting in the space. Please come by and visit us!!

Reply
Dom

This will be a place for Montecito moms to drink wine and watch their kids in between Nannie’s well the walk past the struggling mothers DT. Sounds like something you should keep in upper village and call it what it is ?

Reply
TAE

Actually, this is a great place for those nannies to connect with each other, have their children socialize, and have a sense of community in a safe child friendly environment. Working parents, wether in Montecito or downtown, know the benefits of happy/healthy help and this place looks like it would benefit those caregiver members of our community as well.

Reply
Paloma

When a business consistently receives scathing comments that it’s a stupid idea, it just might be. It is utterly out of touch and does not fill any real need for the community. It will be amusing to see how long this business lasts. Good luck, they need it. How ridiculous and thoughtless.

Reply
RK

Fortunately there are a lot of people in SB, and each doesn’t think the same way or value the same things. What you see as ridiculous, others may see a need they have that was just met. Lay off the haterade, you seem miserable.

Reply
Ninette Paloma

This Paloma thinks Erin is on to something fresh and fabulous for Santa Barbara. Looking forward to visiting and seeing that gorgeous boobie wallpaper in person. Congratulations to the entire team!

Reply
Courtney

If you don’t like it Paloma then you don’t need to go to it and keep your mean thoughts to yourself. Ever think of that?

Reply
Dan

Spoken like someone who has attempted and accomplished nothing in their lives. Continue to enjoy the cheap seats in the peanut gallery … boomer.

Reply
Kat

It never ceases to amaze me how awful people can be when they can hide behind the anonymity of the internet. If you don’t want to participate in this business, Paloma, you don’t have to! You’re allowed to decide where to spend your money, just like everyone else. Instead of celebrating a working mom who managed to start a business in town with other moms in mind, you decided to tear her and her idea down. The worst kind of woman tears other women down instead of lifting them up. Maybe you could learn something from the kiddos this was made for — if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

Reply
BW

Sheesh. So much vitriol for someone just trying to start a local business. If you think this is frivolous, don’t patronize it. It’s not exactly the 24 hour caviar delivery service so the derision seems outsized. I probably wouldn’t join but the outrage here is plain rude. Good luck to Erin and her business.

Reply
Beth DuVall

I love this. I didn’t look at pricing, but from the comments I see it’s substantial. The opportunities, though! Love the idea of a nanny socialization spot, in addition to nuclear families. I wish we had this 30 years ago when I was a new Mom. I wish you all success, and thank you for supporting activity for the kidlets and sanity of the parents. Cheers!

Reply
Dan

Seems like a great local addition for those with pretty little ones. Thanks for adding it to the community. With that said, everyone I’ve mentioned it to who have pretty little ones says that it sounds great but the pricing is way too high for them to consider it. Hopefully you’ll find enough of the folks you need to have it be a thriving ongoing success. Good luck.

Reply
MarieG

I am not sure if our city encourages innovation, but I am constantly impressed by the long and continuous history of world wide firsts that call SB home.

It will be interesting to see if this business becomes a refuge for the parent that needs entertainment for their little one, while imbibing, and taking care of the overdue mani-pedi; or a community for nannies where they can network and strategize future career development.

Reply
Darron

anyone complaining about the price — while thats obviously a valid complaint and i agree — you have to just understand its intentional and its clear this space isn’t meant for you; they want a certain type of member/social circle, and the pricing accomplishes that. Theres a certain type of person who can afford that, and thats who they all want to be hanging around.

Reply
Dan

Understood as many expensive establishments (e.g. golf clubs, athletic clubs etc) use this method to filter clientele. The reality though in this case is the city doesn’t allow enough housing and commercial building, which keeps lease costs high and would necessitate a high subscription cost to pay the bills for any business attempting this model. We shouldn’t be shaming local businesses for attempting to get a cool concept off the ground, rather we need to look at our nimby politics and associated consequences in the mirror… in my humble opinion.

Reply