Is More Change Coming to Montecito’s Upper Village?

••• I hear a rumor—totally unsubstantiated, despite trying, so take it as a rumor—that Pane e Vino and Via Vai in Montecito’s Upper Village will be closing. Pane e Vino opened in 1988; Via Vai in 1994. The liquor licenses for both restaurants expire in August. (Update: Sometimes I use “liquor license” as shorthand to include beer-and-wine licenses, too.) UPDATE 1/20: P. says that the owner told her neither is closing.

••• Azul, the Mexican restaurant in the former Somerset/Smithy/La Cocina space on Anapamu (State/Anacapa) is soft-opening tomorrow at 4 p.m.

••• Another new Mexican restaurant, meanwhile, has retrenched a bit: Augie’s has updated its menu and lowered prices—six oysters went from $27 to $21, the tasting of three moles went from $49 to $39, the mixiote de barbacoa went from $45 to $39, and so on.

••• Dawn and Dusk, as the café and bar at the Drift hotel on State Street (Cota/Haley) are respectively known, are due to open this month.

••• The Ellwood, as the restaurant at Goleta Beach Park will be known, was damaged by last week’s storm. —KEYT

••• Bedda Mia has closed for the month of January.


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Very shoddy work to report rumors that are not true yet. Also they don’t even have a liquor license at Pane E Vino or Via Vai.

Weird to write about other people’s livelihood when you don’t have proof or evidence. Also puts pressure on the family that worked so hard to provide us a place we love to go to.

Disappointed from this and now unsubscribing – your work has really fallen off lately


I’ve been trying to get a martini at both for over 25 years! Neither have licenses to lose.


hey erik- I probably wouldn’t use “liquor license” as a shorthand for anything but aa actual liquor license. A beer and wine license is quite a different thing. not trying to be snarky. just trying to provide some constructive criticism.


I wonder if anyone can ever make the Anapamu spot work. It’s such a nice place and it’s a shame to see its tenants constantly shuttering. With some privacy screening, it would make a really cool (though pricey) home if you ask me.


The Arts and Letters Cafe was there for 20 years. It’s a good location and has a beautiful patio out back. Really too bad. Hope this place makes it.


You know, despite having grown up here I never made it there. And by the time I moved back home, it was sadly closed. I agree – hope one of the restaurants there will finally be the right fit. The patio is indeed stunning!

ES Corchero

I miss Arts & Letters. The food was delicious and such a great spot for lunch and dinner. Its always been a mystery to me why this can’t be a local favorite?


Aren’t these the guys that tried to use the owner of a successful SoCal chain to get accepted by the city to win the lease for the beachside and then they stab her in the back by kicking her out and then changing the name to Ellwood. Then the weather takes out the restaurant, seems like a bit of fate or as we call it karma at it’s finest.


According to feng shui, putting up a wall in front of the front door blocks the energy. Could that have caused the turnovers? I know that wall kept me away.


i’m happy to hear that Augies has lowered the prices ! we ate there one time, four of us , we each had one drink. we had shared 3 starters and a main each. They should stop charging for chips and salsa!
our bill was $400 without tip. ridiculous . Locals don’t want to pay those prices! Playa Azul here we come!