Belching Dragon Tavern Is Opening on State Street

••• Thanks to H&M—no, not that H&M—for noticing that a liquor-license application is posted at 800 State Street (De La Guerra), which Starbucks vacated earlier this year. The applicant is Michael Andrew Sheldon for a business called Belching Dragon Tavern. Sheldon, a former tech CEO, is a rather busy beaver: he’s also opening the restaurant and bar on Coast Village Road. P.S. The only explanation I could find for the Belching Dragon Tavern name is an establishment in Baldur’s Gate, “a series of role-playing video games set in the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting” (Wikipedia).

••• The second Santa Barbara County Farm Day is coming up: “Organized by Mary Maranville, a dairy farmer’s daughter who founded Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture in 2008, the September 18 event offers free tours, tastings, and giveaways at 14 farms, vineyards, packers, and other businesses both large and small. It follows the country’s inaugural Farm Day in 2019 and is modeled after a Ventura County Farm Day that Maranville started in 2013. (That one happens on November 6.)”

••• Josh had an enlightening comment about the new plan for the Blackbird space at Hotel Californian: “The Foley Food & Wine Society is actually the label for Foley’s wine club properties. If you join the wine club (Foley estates, Firestone, Lincourt, Foley at the Bacara) you have a membership at the whole portfolio and reciprocal arrangements. It’s actually an awesome deal, I just hope the new tasting room doesn’t impact the location at the Bacara.” Does that mean the Hotel Californian location will only be open to members and, presumably, guests staying at the property? The club may have its merits, but I’d be disappointed to lose such a prominent restaurant space.

••• Anyone thirsting for wine from beyond the state should check out Barrel Down Selections, a “Santa Barbara–based importer/distributor of select cool climate, organic and biodynamic wines from Germany, Austria and Northern Italy.” We’ve had some terrific stuff from the company.

••• Via Gelateria has opened in Solvang.


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Belching Dragon was a Mad Magazine spoof on a Chinese restaurant menu. Very very funny