Montecito Mercantile Has Closed

••• Montecito Mercantile has closed. The U.S.P.S. counter is still open, and there’s some merchandise near it, so maybe you can still pick up remnants. If James Perse is indeed closing its Country Mart store when it opens down the street, that will leave four Country Mart storefronts in play: Montecito Mercantile, James Perse, Mate Gallery’s current spot (it’s moving to half of the old Montecito Natural Foods store), and the other half of the Montecito Natural Foods store. Or five if you count the little one that Oat Bakery is said to have taken.

••• The State Street Advisory Committee meets again today. The agenda description: “MIG, Inc., and City staff will present an overall vision and concept for the State Street Promenade that is based on key themes heard during the community engagement process and prior SSAC meetings. This will include defining three districts with unique identities and potential design elements that support the overall vision for the Promenade. The SSAC will review these elements and provide feedback.” UPDATE: This memo explains the three districts: Old Town (“a vibrant entertainment district full of lively bars, restaurants, and experiential activities that energize the street, day and night, and is enhanced with street performers and interactive games that provide additional life and activity”); Civic Center (“the heart of civic and community life in the City […] with an emphasis on locals and families. Play is emphasized, with small “moments of joy” and iconic features throughout the district”); and the Arts District (“the epicenter of arts and culture in downtown Santa Barbara. It inspires creativity, serves as a playground for artistic and cultural exploration, and celebrates existing institutions on State Street”).

••• Speaking of State Street, the city has placed groups of Adirondack chairs here and there on the promenade pavement.

••• The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara’s Vera Cruz Village building at 116 E. Cota, next to F45 and Dune Coffee Roasters, is nearing completion. I can’t say I love the combination of gray-on-gray palette with boxy, institutional architecture as much the mission (to “serve the special needs population in the Santa Barbara Community by providing 28 new affordable rental studio units, a one-bedroom manager’s unit, and free supportive services. […] All studio units will be subsidized with Project-Based Vouchers, making rent affordable at 30% of a resident’s income”).

••• I view paying for parking as a personal failure and would rather park blocks away and walk. But for the rest of you, the city has introduced a weekend parking deal for locals: “This exclusive permit costs $100 and is valid for six months of weekend parking. Locals can use the permit to park in any of the City of Santa Barbara’s Downtown Parking lots every Saturday and Sunday without paying parking fees.”

••• Highline Adventures, the company that recently opened a zipline park in the Santa Ynez Valley, has debuted a second attraction: a “multi-level adventure course,” or what I’d call a ropes course. It’s $79 for two hours.


Sign up for the Siteline email newsletter and you’ll never miss a post.




Do you happen to know what’s going on at the polo field? Lots of construction and it looks like they knocked down some of the older house on the property


The Vera Cruz Village building is just awful. Why is the City allowing this type of architecture in our beautiful city!


I agree, one of the very ugliest “new” buildings I’ve seen in quite a while.


Welcome to the new Santa Barbara where city officials just don’t get it. This is not my Santa Barbara.

Tucker McElroy

It’s not bestucco’d and dripping with fake Spanish veneer, you’re right about that! I love it.

Tucker McElroy

Haters Back Off! This is a beautiful example of public-private partnership, commitment to ending homelessness, humanizing our unhoused neighbors, and it looks good too. You don’t have to be shodden with red tile and botox to be beautiful, Barbarinos.


“… groups of Adirondack chairs…”, lol, seriously? SB has become an absurd suburb for some of the most excessively clownish transplants. If people wanted promenades and Adirondack chairs, they’d travel to Italy or Vermont, or whatever. This is Santa Barbara, she’s always been special – which is why people used to come here, and spend their money. Some powerful clown, or 2, has moved in and imposed their clownish designs on our beautiful city. Despite the nearly universal objections of Santa Barbara’s actual long time residents/natives. If you don’t like our, “ fake Spanish veneer”, or the, “shodden with red tile and botox” of our architecture, then you’re in the wrong place. Because that IS Santa Barbara. Go to Ventura or Fresno, if you want to build that hideous box of a building, please, and leave our Santa Barbara alone.

Jennifer Lamont

Do you know why the San Roque post office closed before 5p.m. on Monday 10/2/23?