Proposed New Development Includes Space for Tri-County Produce

••• Fresco Cafe has closed. It opened in Five Points in 1995 and moved to E. Canon Perdido in October 2022.

••• A public notice went up for a new mixed-use building at 335 S. Milpas Street, site of Tri-County Produce, which sold last fall for $9.75 million. It includes 99 units of workforce housing and a 6,000-square-foot space for the market (which is smaller than the current one).

••• Noozhawk discovered that the Santa Barbara Fish Market is opening a shop in Goleta, which was announced more than a year ago. What is news, however, is that it’ll include a restaurant component: “At the Goleta location, the company also will have a smoker to cook black cod, sable fish, wild salmon, yellow tail and more. The menu will include fish and chips, fish tacos and grab-‘n’-go items.”

••• I was walking by Azul on E. Anapamu and the door was open, so I poked my head in and asked for an update. They’re not expecting to open for at least another two months.

••• Sama Sama‘s back patio will reopen soon, after having been closed for three years. —Noozhawk

••• Mony’s has some fun new merch.

••• “I’ve been seeing street taco tents around town,” reports S. “This one is on the Westside at Mission and San Pascual.” The VC Star recently wrote about them happening in Ventura, where they’re popular but frustrating to legal restaurants and vendors, as well as to inspectors: “Inspectors with the Ventura County Environmental Health Division have shut down unlicensed food stands nearly 50 times since they began cracking down on them last summer, but it’s had little effect on their ubiquity. Most of the time, they’re back at the same place the next night or even later the same night. If the inspectors seize the food, another van full of supplies rolls up, sometimes within an hour. Confiscating grills and other equipment might put a food stand out of business for a day or two.”


Sign up for the Siteline email newsletter for the freshest food news in town.



Sam Tababa

Shut down these scofflaws. Fine the vendors, then the property owners and enforce the laws evenly. We cannot have a functioning society if we only enforce laws against certain people. Shut these food vendors down, take their stuff and arrest them if they continue to break the law. It’s wholly unfair to allow certain people to cheat while forcing others to jump through and pay for every single requirement and process. Food safety and health codes are no joke. People will get sick, someone will die.

Being an undocumented person does not give you license to lie, cheat and steal from all the others who follow the law are active members of the community and who work to build a better city, properly and ethically. Cheating is wrong. Lying is wrong. Stealing is wrong.

Laura Muasher

I live on the westside. There’s another pop up tacos place on the weekends next to la cumbre Jr


Yep. Most days. I saw a police car stop, they seemed ok with it and left.


Leave the unlicensed vendors alone or create an inexpensive, accessible, and streamlined process for granting permits. These vendors fill a needed niche and allow people to start up small businesses with limited capital. We should be supporting these small businesses and finding ways to make permitting easy instead of victimizing people who are trying to make a life for themselves. If you want to go after someone, go after the big property companies that are charging exorbitant rent. We westsiders love the vendors.


N.L., Do you not love what health requirements and property/sales taxes also buy? Ie. A certain level guarantee of safe-healthy food and with business property taxes, schools and libraries? Or do “westsiders love” only quick eats?


Street tacos are, in general, incredibly delicious and fill a different niche than the restaurant experience. If you’re convinced that you’ll die of food poisoning then I suggest that you simply don’t eat street tacos. It’s a shame that these can’t get tied into the CA cottage industry law in terms of food, as they are essentially the same thing, but it’s the street vending that gets in the way, among other things. I once got food poisoning so bad it put me in the hospital and cost me nearly $20k in medical bills, and I got that bug from…..In-N-Out Burger. All the oversight and inspections in the world and you can still get sick anywhere. Related – this town’s approach to food trucks is so backwards it makes my head hurt. A lot of similar (legal and safe) vending could be done from trucks if this city wasn’t so stuck in the past.


I agree with you on food trucks! Ridiculous. I believe our current Mayor was in part responsible for that. ????


For sure ‘ol Randall played a part in the food truck situation as it currently exists. The craziest part about it to me is that in SB, it’s illegal to operate a food truck ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. My mom lives in Marin, and every weekend at the Marin Country Mart there is a food truck gathering. It’s all very high end stuff, no “roach coaches” etc. It brings a lot of people to that mall, and that spills over into the brick and mortar stores there. The idea that someone looking for a food truck experience is somehow a threat to sit down dining is crazy to me – these are totally different experiences in my book. So something similar could happen at the La Cumbre Mall, which frankly from the looks of things could use the extra foot traffic, except the city says “nope, can’t do that here.” Bonkers. Heck, the city could use one of the downtown city parking lots to do something similar, bring people into downtown. Street food can be amazing food, yes it should be regulated, but there should be legal ways of serving food in this type of setting in this town.


I’m pretty sure SB 946 made it next to impossible to shut down street vendors? I’m personally kind of in favor of allowing some amount of easy street vending, and cottage industry stuff, but it’s got to be so damn demoralizing to try to run a brick and mortar in this town where it takes forever to get permits and licenses to do just about anything. The two extremes don’t seem compatible as policy, or conducive to fostering an atmosphere that makes people want to open more traditional brick and mortar businesses.


IF street vendors can’t be regulated, drop the regulations for established eateries. If the southern US border is open, drop the passport requirements at airports. If ADUs don’t require certain permits, drop the permit requirements for existing homeowners. Fairness is a regulator. Make it work.


Exactly. Everyone should be following the same rules. I remember the police stopping a group of very young children from selling eggs at fiesta. While allowing huge amounts of eggs to be sold through out the town by venders making tax free money while collecting all the free services they can. Free medical food kids lunches cheap rent. Yes I know this for a fact because I know some of the families that sell eggs clean homes and garden, all under the table and we allow them to continue by hiring them. We are a hard working family of immigrants also but we work legally so it’s hard to see those who abuse out system


I am now in my 50’s and I was one of those kids that was stopped, so probably 45 years ago! We would sell cascarones during Fiesta for our candy or soda money. Even back then they would not allow us to walk around De La Guerra Plaza to sell, as we did not have a permit (we were in elementary school). We were just a local family, having fun, painting our own eggs and selling them for 10 cents!! My siblings and I were actually approached by police officers and told to stop! Other then saving egg shells for us, our parents had nothing to do with this. We were excited to make $20.00. Amazing what happens today.

The city council puppeteer

The SB city council is a bunch of hippocrates. They can enforce policy on local restaurants however not on pirate food vendors from LA making no effort to become legalized, how is this possible? They’ve also not created city policy around SB 972, to enforce these vendors. By letting this slip, it’s running rampant and is out of control. Set a policy and fine then into oblivion.

The SB police are bunch of wusses because they won’t take action. They’ve specifically been told to do nothing by police management since new state laws decriminalized these food pirates so that it’s not even a misdemeanor to operate illegally.

The SB county has no power and is worthless. They can write citations all day long yet they do nothing to prevent or deter these people from continuing to operate.

The fire department is the only operation in town with the ability to shut them down based on an ordinance that you can’t operate a propane fire on a public sidewalk.

SB 972 is the state wide ordinance that was passed that is allowing all of this. It was a consortium of illegal street vendors out of LA that worked together to get law passed to decriminalize street vending. It’s ridiculous.

Based on the law, anyone can be a street vendor anywhere selling anything and not get penalized. You could literally open a mobile ice cream shop in front of every McConnells in town selling McConnells ice cream for less and out them all out of business. You could sell hamburgers in front of ever hamburger habit, pay no rent, have no permits, get fined, not pay the fines and there’s nothing anyone can do. The whole system is broken.

There was a hot dog vendor selling absolutely disgusting $8 street hot dogs on the doorstep of The Cruisery the other night. They’re brazen and don’t care. This needs to be restricted, properly enforced and stopped.

It is a double standard to every business in town. The city can’t be on the fence on this one. They either need to enforce all businesses to have the proper permits or they need to allow any business to operate without permits, you can’t do both.