••• I went by Riviera Bar—at the former home of the Sportsman dive bar (20 W. Figueroa), and on ice for a year now—to see if there were signs of life. Lo and behold, the proprietor was inside. He’s hoping to have it open by mid-July.
••• The downtown coffee scene gets better and better: Goleta’s excellent Old Town Coffee is taking over the Hook & Press space in Mosaic Locale (on State between Anapamu and Figueroa), once H&P moves to its new location. —Noozhawk
••• Rascal’s pushed up the opening date of its Venus in Furs residency to this Saturday, June 19. Also, on Sundays, the menu will shift from Mexican to smash burgers and fries (but remain vegan).
••• Remember how it looked like a restaurant and bar are opening at 1187 Coast Village Road, in the former Khao Kaeng space and the one across the courtyard? It looks even more like it now that Mike Sheldon, former CEO of Curvature, got a liquor license for those spots. Intriguingly, the license is shown as transferred from Enterprise Fish Co. If anyone out there knows Mike, please tell him that we’d all love to hear more about his plans.
••• The Montecito Journal has a rundown of “two new restaurant concepts” at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara. One is San Setto, “a casual-yet-sophisticated sushi concept […] tucked into Angel Oak’s Terrace.” (Angel Oak is the hotel’s steakhouse, which is gettin a lighter menu for the summer.) Meanwhile, O Bar + Kitchen “has been transformed into a casual Latin concept inspired by savory Mexican and South American cuisine.”
••• The Wingstop chain is opening in Isla Vista near Starbucks and the Habit. —Noozhawk
••• Press release: “Alessio Carnevale, Italian expat now residing in the Santa Ynez Valley, is officially opening his first brick-and-mortar gelato shop, Via Gelateria, in Solvang this summer. The storefront opening marks the first time that Carnevale’s hand-made, frozen dairy concoctions will be available in a larger format retail experience.” Via Gelateria will be at new Parc Place redevelopment project at 1623 Mission Drive.
Sign up for the Siteline email newsletter for the freshest food news in town.