Bibi Ji Is Moving Farther Up State Street

••• After five years in its current location, Bibi Ji is moving four blocks up State Street, into the former McDonalds space (1213 State Street, between Anapamu and Victoria), and owner Alejandro Medina couldn’t be happier about it. The new restaurant, which he hopes to have ready within six months, will be bigger and brighter, with more seats and a much larger kitchen; the spirit will be the same, but the atmosphere will be “a little more hip and new, with a more visually appealing dining room,” including a chef’s counter, and the plan is to increase the wine bar aspect as well. (Interior and exterior renderings are above and below.) Plus, and this is no small thing, there’s a huge parking lot in the back. P.S. In other Bibi Ji news, its Las Vegas sibling, Dhaba Ji, opened recently.

••• Thanks to the reader who sent in a tip (since confirmed) that Stella Mare’s won’t be closing at year end after all, because its lease has been extended for at least another year.

••• Organic Soup Kitchen‘s new outpost, in the same center as Renegade Wines, is now the place to go to buy soup in person (instead of the old counter inside the parking garage on E. Cota). I love having the white bean and kale soup in the freezer for lunch on cloudy days.

••• The conversion of the Montecito Vons into a Pavilions is underway. The new checkout area:

••• Refugio Ranch Vineyards has given its Los Olivos tasting room an upgrade, and it’s also “in the process of transforming the cabin next door into extended patio space! This means more wines to taste and creating an overall shared experience between buildings! A new farmstand will be in the heart of the space, stocked with organic fruits and vegetables daily. In addition, we’re expanding our offerings to include a marketplace carrying provisions from local purveyors. Think local honey, jams, you name it!” Look for it to open this summer!

••• I stopped by Beast Taqueria, a Corazón-related counter inside M. Special’s State Street taproom (Cota/Ortega), to check out the menu. Haven’t tried anything yet…. And here’s a photo of the smash burger taco, if you dare. UPDATE 6/26: D. says the menu changed after I stopped by, so I replaced the one I posted with the one he sent over.


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Love the new Bibi Ji location. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in town and that space will be a much better fit than lower state.

Sue Sadler

Great news that Stella Mare’s lease has been extended. It would have been a travesty if that beautiful building had been torn down and a really good restaurant lost.


Isn’t it still going to be torn down and redeveloped? Is the project on hold or just delayed?


I believe the building is an historic landmark and cannot be torn down.


I believe it’s still going to be torn down, and is just an extended lease until the new development gets further in the approval process.

Meridith Moore

So excited that Bibi Ji is moving to the new space, and fyi the Smash Burger taco at Beast is awesome!