New Biltmore Rumor: It’ll Stay Closed Till It Can Be Rebranded

••• A tipster texted me that Ty Warner has no plans to reopen the Biltmore until his arrangement with Four Seasons ends. The rumor that first came up was that Warner was selling the property, but then he swore he never will—which led me to conclude that the hotel is probably getting reflagged. (As a St. Regis? Mandarin Oriental? A second Belmond property in Santa Barbara?) A related, if not locally relevant, question then becomes: could the iconic Four Seasons Hotel New York, also owned by Warner, be in for a branding change, too?

••• A “new experiential and collaboration space featuring local vendors” called Thick Leaves aims to open somewhere in Santa Barbara this fall. The only other info I have at tis time is that it’ll have “a backdrop of wall-to-wall succulents featuring food by local vendors.”

••• Don’t @ me, but I have never been to the Old Mission Santa Barbara—just driving by the facade dredges up fourth-grade memories of building a mission out of sugar cubes—but I will someday, I promise. I did brave the gift shop yesterday, where I was delighted by the deployment of the eighth commandment in regard to refrigerator magnets.

••• Opening April 1 at Sullivan Goss: “Eighteen works that have been germinating for at least three years will finally be seen just in time for Spring in the debut solo exhibition for Maria Rendón at Sullivan Goss. Vivid colors, biomorphic forms, and other visual cues recall the sensations associated with the mountains, the ocean, the cliffs, and of course, the Spring bloom in Santa Barbara.” This one is gorgeous.

••• Commercial real estate agent Caitlin Hensel posted that an outpost of Board & Brush is opening at 31 E. Canon Perdido. From the chain’s website: “We are your place to build on-trend, farmhouse-classic, inspirational pieces of décor for your home, office or cottage.”

••• The funny thing about this misspelling is not merely that it exists (at Anacapa Street), but that someone fixed the one across the street by filling in the crossbar of the T—and left this one as is.


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A few thoughts:

Make the Biltmore classy again! I’d love to see it returned to something truly elegant. Anyone else remember when the front dining room which has lately been some red and cheetah print Moroccan-style bar (ok I haven’t been there in years but that’s what it was looking like last time I saw it) was a beautiful, classic place to have tea? A remodel for the restaurant would be great, too. I love the Biltmore and hope to see it back soon.

Second, the Mission is great. Check it out! My favorite, however, is La Purisima. I think you posted about this?

Last, I’ve been wondering about the history of these street stamps. We live in the area and I’m intrigued. De La Vina is stamped as Hollister Ave. and W. Padre is stamped as 1st St. (I think). I also love the Pike cement stamps you find in the upper east and downtown. Have you seen those? It’s two fish and very cool looking. It’s little textural and historical details like this that I love and am already preemptively mourning the loss of with time. There is a notable one on Los Olivos right before you hit the Rose Garden if you’re curious.


hehe. “don’t @” you!

I hope the Biltmore will come back. Such a wonderful property with so much history.


The Biltmore story is deeper than you know. Many employees that have been there 30-plus years have gotten the shaft. Thanks to Ty Warner. Sad.

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