Validation Ale Is Opening a Second Location

••• You have to love a local success story: Just over a year after launching Validation Ale in the Funk Zone, Brian and Briana Deignan have firmed up plans for a second location, Validation Annex. It’s on upper De La Vina, in the corner space near Grocery Outlet, and they’re shooting to open next summer. (But first, a big renovation.) The Deignans say that while they won’t be brewing onsite, as in the flagship, the rest will be along the same lines, with “TVs showing the beer menu and validation status, about 28 taps with our seltzer and guest hard kombucha, cider, sparkling mead, wine, just like we have now. Full kitchen with the favorites from HQ along with a full pizza operation.” UPDATE: 8/30: There was much confusion about exactly where Validation Annex is opening, due in good part to my posting the wrong rendering. The space in question is yellow in the floor plan below, and the rendering above is the correct one. “There will still be an approx. 1600 sf space available between VA Annex and Fatte’s Pizza,” explains Caitlin Hansel of Hayes Commercial Group.

••• Local success story, part two: Lisa and Michael Amador of The Nook are branching out into pizza. An oven has been installed in an adjacent space, and the current thinking is that it’ll be called Funk Zone Pizza. From Michael: “I’m very excited about learning and working with legendary Nancy Silverton at Mozza. (She’s not involved with this project, just a friend who offered to take me deep into pizza-making). We are looking to show a lot of classics as well as some exciting creative offerings.” They’re aiming for late October.

••• Mattei’s Tavern chef Rhoda Magbitang will cook at an Outstanding in the Field dinner at Rancho Sisquoc on October 26.

••• The San Ysidro Ranch ran an ad in a local newspaper touting its “newest outdoor dining venue,” the Veranda. I called to find out more and was told it’s one of the event spaces that gets used for restaurant seating when no event is planned, and the menu is the same as at the Stonehouse. It’s hard to imagine paying Stonehouse prices anywhere other than the restaurant’s magical setting, which may be why another ad mentioned a $39 prix-fixe lunch at the Veranda.

••• Cajé is working on a café in Ventura. —805 Foodie

••• The Independent profiled Soul Bites, “Santa Barbara’s only Black-owned café and music lounge. Soul Bites invites locals and visitors alike to experience the heart and soul of Black American–style soul food and hosts events that transcend the conventional dining experience, merging Southern cookout flavors of fried chicken and collard greens with the rhythms of jazz, blues, and more.”

••• “Tickets are now on sale for Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley, the four-day, six-town celebration of the region’s bounty held each fall. The festival will encompass nearly 24 separate events” from September 28 through October 1. —Noozhawk

••• Gipsy Hill Bakery is baking on a regular basis again. Follow on Instagram to discover the weekly menu, and then you pick up your order at the Daisy. I can personally vouch for the cardamom buns. And you’ll also be able to find Gipsy Hill treats at Golden Line’s pop-up at Aperitivo next weekend.


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We always sit on the downstairs patio when we go to SYR. It’s my favorite spot and as beautiful as any patio I’ve ever sat on for dining.


Will Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley offer VEGAN options at ANY of their events?

Checking to see if Mattei’s Outstanding in the Field Event will provide VEGAN options, but I doubt it since they basically offer zero acceptable vegan dishes at their restaurant and tavern (salad, avocado toast, and buffalo cauliflower doesn’t cut it).

Anybody else disappointed at the lack of vegan options in SYV?? For now, I’m sticking with the farm stands and farmer’s market, but it would be nice to go out and enjoy an organic plant-based dish. Shout out to Nella’s who has been the only restaurant IMO that politely and professionally curates high quality vegan modifications here in the Valley.


Maybe try New Frontiers- they have the sushi bar, hot bar and cold bar, always many options as far as I can see. Maybe try pony Espresso- they do breakfast & lunch. Vegans represent 4% of the population at this point- demanding a western centered populace provide this is a little LA esque.


New Frontiers’ prepared food section is quite appalling and disappointing in terms of sophisticated selections and how the staff does not seem to be well-trained in food safety and prep etiquette. They should take notes from Erewhon to see how it’s done.

Christine, not sure why people think being vegan is “LA-esque” or snobby. Maybe if people were more properly informed about food then it would be viewed differently, embraced more, and offered more widely.

Not impressed with Pony Espresso’s food options many, if not all, of which are not vegan. And yes, I’ve also tried… just to name a few …

Peasants Feast (big thumbs down for service and quality).

Full of Life Flatbread (way too many chunks of meat ready to carve laying around, gross).

California Tacos (vegan burrito is soggy and soupy).

Panino (#24 greek sandwich sub cheese with avocado is ok and basic in an emergency but definitely not organic so the veggies are pretty lackluster in taste).

SYV would be a much better destination if it offered vegan options, showcasing what our local farms provide. I know many people who don’t care to return precisely for the reason that vegan restaurant/bar options are scarce or not creative.


Hi Jenna,

What makes you think there is actual business to be done selling to vegans who are such a small demographic.
I have a wonderful idea. Why don’t you open up a place and offer the quality you speak of to the numerous vegans that will keep your business thriving?

I’m out!!


@FoodieSB Sorry you are so misinformed, rude, and unhealthy. Carry on and good luck.


Jenna, please don’t be sorry just don’t be acting like the world needs to cater to you because of your choices ( vegan ) oh and good luck to you! My luck is wonderful. I can find a lovely place to dine anywhere o go.



Let’s have lunch- Hitching Post’s outdoor lunch area is a fantastic place to enjoy a steak salad!


Coming from a carnivore, she’s right that there are extremely limited vegetarian/healthy food options in Santa Barbara or The Valley. It would be nice to have somewhere to go for a quality salad once in awhile.


Hi Jenna
I totally agree. Asking for SYV to actually showcase all the wonderful produce grown there seems reasonable to me. Offering vegan options has nothing to do with the percent of vegans in the world. Many non-vegans are also trying to eat healthier and will order vegan meals. The world would surely be a better place if people ate a more plant based diet.


I don’t understand why people. ( Jenna & healthy living ) think that just because they want something they should get it.

Like I said before if you feel so strongly about this why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and start a restaurant that offers all this amazing product you speak of??

I swear these people that think the world revolves around them.



So I guess the pizza place is leaving the corner spot in the Grocery Outlet building? Do you know if the brewery is taking the entire space from the corner down to the end (old Chinese restaurant space) ? I wonder if the liquor store is leaving too. Not exactly thrilled to have another bar going in this neighborhood

Erik Torkells

The Validation Ale folks say that “Currently we have about 2300sqft plus a small patio at the corner facing los agaves. It’s about two-thirds of the old Chinese restaurant.”


Erik Torkells August 28, 2023: The Validation Ale folks say that “Currently we have about 2300sqft plus a small patio at the corner facing los agaves. It’s about two-thirds of the old Chinese restaurant.”
The Chinese restaurant didn’t have a patio, though. Maybe they’re converting some parking spots? Seems odd, as I think that’s a loading zone?

“Full kitchen with the favorites from HQ along with a full pizza operation.””
So they’re taking over the pizza location that was on the corner and is now closed?


Sorry/Correction: Fatte’s Pizza is still open. It was SB Woodfired Pizza that closed.

Seems odd to offer pizza next to a pizza joint.


I’ll have to give Gypsy Hill a shot! Related – anyone who loves sourdough should absolutely be supporting Riviera Bread. Order window opens online Sunday morning, closed Tuesday morning. Deliveries to various shops for pickup on Wed and Friday from Goleta to Carp, home delivery for an additional fee. Their sourdough may be the best bread currently being baked in CA – no joke. Literally everything we’ve had from her, down to the simple Sandwich Loaf, is utterly stellar. Don’t sleep on the Sesame Spelt ring either, it’s unreal.


Near grocery outlet on de la vina side but I’m wondering exactly where too. There is the empty spot formerly occupied by a restaurant but it’s not on the corner. The pizza place and liquor store are on the corner area. Awaiting an answer.

Jack Look

The “veranda” has always been available if there is no event in what used to called the “Wine Cellar “ it is even more charming than the patio for the Plow and Angel. It is right next to the P&A patio ( the P&A side has a fountain the other a fireplace- same structure)