A Visit to Mollie’s Italian Deli in Carpinteria

••• I stopped by Mollie’s Italian Deli in Carpinteria, a couple of doors down from the Food Liaison. While you’ll find some produce and Italian pantry items for sale, it’s definitely more of a restaurant, at least at this point, with the kitchen taking up most of the space and a homespun vibe. I ordered the prosciutto panino, which chef/proprietor Mollie Ahlstrand suggested I let her put some homemade pesto on. I don’t generally feel this way about sandwiches, but I think you could split it.

••• There was confusion about exactly where in the Grocery Outlet complex Validation Annex is opening, due in good part to my posting the wrong rendering. The space in question is the yellow one in the floor plan below. “There will still be an approximately 1600 square feet of space available between VA Annex and Fatte’s Pizza,” explains Caitlin Hansel of Hayes Commercial Group.

••• More news from Caitlin Hensel: We knew that Third Window had leased the former Simple Feast/Wildwood Kitchen space on E. Haley, but not why; she says it’ll be used to serve burgers.

••• Refugio Ranch‘s tasting room in Los Olivos has expanded its outdoor seating, linking it with the cabin next door. Plus, “a bountiful farm stand stocked with produce from the portfolio’s organic farm now fronts the building [….] Indoors, the historical structure now boasts a tasting bar-adjacent marketplace displaying locally sourced items such as honey, coffee, tea, pickles, olive oils, lavender products, and bath goods, plus other farm-inspired merchandise and wares from local crafters.” And more exciting, “The expanded entertaining areas have opened the door for internal food pop-ups, the first of which will launch Saturday, September 9. Running Saturdays and Sundays only, the evolving pop-up menus will feature signature food items from Gleason Family Vineyards chefs Peter Cham and Lee Gottheimer, such as the duo’s swankier version of Chips & Onion Dip (crème fraîche, chive oil, pickled red onion, charred onion powder), a little gem wedge salad with proprietary Roblar Farm produce, cider- and BBQ spice-braised pulled pork tacos, and a return of the locally loved Chamburger, a double Wagyu beef smash burger loaded with onions, pickles, American cheese, and secret sauce.” That’s it below, from a photo by Heather Daenitz.

••• And Vega Vineyard & Farm has opened its own “farmstand and mercantile store” with “fresh produce, eggs, dips, and sauces aplenty from our culinary team.”

••• The cookie shop opening in the former Good Cup space is apparently an outpost of The Cookie Plug chain, not Cookies & Dreams. —Restaurant Guy

••• I never realized that Metropolous Fine Foods has a 30-minute parking space in back for staff and customers.


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I think Third Window has been using the old Wildwood Kitchen for a few months. They now serve their smashburger’s during the week also and everything comes out of the kitchen faster. Love their patio and love the avocado jalapeño burger.


My daughter hit up KIN this am- and said the black sesame seed cream coffee and POG donut was amazing. Kind staff and worth every penny was her report!

Barbara Farish

So happy Mollies has reopened in Carpinteria…
Can’t wait to see her! ❤️

Erik Torkells

The building and the business are both for sale, separately. I don’t typically mention when businesses are for sale (although I’m sure there have been exceptions), because the fear is that people will frequent them less, even though they may take a long time to sell (or never sell at all). Realistically, pretty much every business is for sale, for the right price.

And even if a business does end up with new owners, it may not change in substantive ways—in which case the change of ownership isn’t especially noteworthy.


I do hope that is the result- if the business changes hands, it remains the same or similar- there is always room for improvement…just don’t change the sandwiches or breads.