••• Venus in Furs, the high-style natural wine bar on E. Cota Street, has closed; it opened in August 2020. (Rascal’s will continue to operate in the space.) The farewell message offers a glimpse at how hard it is to run a restaurant or bar these days, as well as a glimmer of hope that Venus in Furs may be reborn one day:
Well, why the hell are we closing? Due to the timing of our opening date, we haven’t received any significant financial aid from the State or Federal government to assist us through the heavy business restrictions and mandated closures that plagued our nascent business since its inception. No PPP. No RRF. No government financial help at all to help us wash down the sour taste of those mandated closures and heavy business restrictions. Omicron, our least favorite letter in the Greek alphabet, has been the final blow. The economic impact of our community getting sick, or staying home to avoid potentially getting sick, is just too large an economic hurdle to overcome. ***side note, dry January shouldn’t mean not going out! We have delicious non alcoholic mocktails to enjoy if you’re abstaining for the month. Go out and support your local bars and restaurants……or they just might not be there when you’re ready to go back out again.
With this news, we harbor a smattering of hope. The wild energy and wine love/mania that drove us to open a natural wine bar in the middle of a pandemic (as well as during the largest California wildfire in history), will not recede. We love this concept, love our winemakers, love our team, and would love to bring Venus in Furs back in some shape or form in the future. We will keep the Venus social media accounts alive, and we will be hosting wine pop ups/residencies, wine events, wine discos, wine bingo, wine monopoly, wine mario kart, and perhaps, some day, we’ll be able to (re)do this thing right. The space will be available for private events as long as we have a lease so please think of us for your next event, wedding after party, birthday, corporate shindig, music night, or whatever.
••• “Chef Edgar Hernández will be opening a Mexican seafood restaurant named Mariscos Tita’s toward the end of January at 5892 Hollister Avenue in Goleta, the former home of recently closed Wingman Rodeo, Gimeal Cafe, and The Natural Cafe.” —Restaurant Guy
••• Kunin Wines, which was reportedly taking Pali Wine Co.’s space in the Funk Zone, appears to have other plans: it has applied for a liquor license for the former Frequency Wines space adjacent to the Cheese Shop Santa Barbara. (Pali, meanwhile, currently has two tasting rooms in the Funk Zone.) Update: Despite what Noozhawk posted in August, Kunin says that it was never going to take Pali’s space at 116 E. Yanonali, and Pali says it doesn’t plan on having two Funk Zone tasting rooms for long.
••• Calvary Chapel is working on a restaurant at the church: “Initially it will be open on Sundays during the day and Wednesday nights for events related to the church. Eventually the plan is to be open during the week at lunch hour and serve all the businesses in the surrounding area.” —Restaurant Guy
••• Judging from the signage that the Foley Food & Wine Society put up at its forthcoming tasting room/restaurant at the Hotel Caifornian, the establishment will be called The Society.
••• The Jeannine’s outpost on Coast Village Road is closed through January 21 for renovations. Update: R. pointed out that January 21 is already past. I think I thought it was still weeks away. What day is it again?
••• Vietnamese restaurant Phoevermore in Carpinteria has closed. —Restaurant Guy
••• Oat Bakery is now opening at 8 a.m. on weekdays with a limited menu—no sourdough, but coffee and plenty of hygge buns.
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