Restoration Hardware Is Moving to Montecito’s Upper Village

A major change is underway in Montecito’s Upper Village: Lucca Antiques has sold its Montecito store—in the Old Firehouse building on East Valley Road—to RH, as Restoration Hardware is now known. According to someone familiar with the deal, RH CEO Gary Friedman, a Montecito resident, has been a fan of Lucca for years and wanted the location badly enough to pay handsomely for it.

The appeal for RH is clear: the company has been in the market for a new space in Santa Barbara, because its State Street store will be demolished as part of a 30,000-square-foot hotel development, and the Old Firehouse—one of the few properties not controlled by the Borgatello family—is big (for Montecito), prominent, and surrounded by people with large houses and oodles of money.

Lucca, for its part, may be leaving town, but its L.A. showroom will remain open, and the company recently launched online sales.

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Comment:

11 Comments

Will

There’s tons of parking. 2 massive lots, and 1 smaller lot surrounding it. you just may have to walk more than 50 feet.

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Erik Torkells

Those are private lots. If RH wanted to do a restaurant in the Old Firehouse, it would have to come to an agreement with the owners of those lots.

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Jill

I’m thrilled to hear this as I was saddened by the idea that they were leaving the area as so many major stores have. Now all we need is a Crate & Barrel and/or a West Elm to move into the old Macy’s on State Street. And if only we could woo Nordstrom’s back.

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ES Corchero

A chain store in the upper village feels not great — even if it is an expensive studio format, like RH does nowadays to cater to the neighborhood. What’s next? Erewhon in the Montecito Grocery space… Mr. Chow in the Pane E Vino space… and a Soho House in the Presbyterian Church space? Okay… sorry… I might be over-reacting but a Resto in the Upper Village is kooky to my brain.

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Bruce

Oh no! Restoration Hardware invading our upper village is a violation to this community.

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Leslie Westbrook

is restoration hardware considered a big box store? asking for a friend….

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ES Corchero

Sarcasm heard. And this will undoubtedly be a small showroom like the downtown studio. But I think RH is the epitome of what big box is in 2023. Check out their site and their San Francisco gallery: 5 stories, 80,000 square feet. That’s one big (fancy) box in a historic building. Don’t even get me started on their exclusive planes they now offer… Also these stores are fine, they are what they are… and quite beautiful… but wow, a chain like this feels like a big change to the Upper Village, especially when Caruso already has his sites on buying the shopping center next door. Change happens. I get it. But SIGH… all sort of sad if you ask me.

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Laura

That’s disappointing, huge shame, RH has become a bland China-made big box chain now. Can’t believe Montecito would allow a department store/RH in such a prominent charming location. I will make it a point not to shop there in hopes that they have to lease to a more appropriate shop for the community. PS: all the RH furnishings are constructed with significant chemicals – going into any of their locations in the last 3 years is unhealthful. And smelly 😞

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Lilly

My designer has been buying from Lucca Antiques stores in NY and LA for our homes for years, she was overjoyed when they opened here. Montecito lost a real design gem! A shame for those of us who loved going in there to shop…and Ellen! I always saw her there chatting with the owners and buying up a storm. Doubt she will step foot in RH! Agree with your comment, they sell garbage.

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