Via Maestra 42 Is Opening a Wine Bar Nearby

••• A Restaurant Guy reader heard that Via Maestra 42 is opening a wine bar, so I reached out to co-owner Georges Bitar, who invited me over to talk about it. He’s turning the former Jenny Craig storefront—around eight doors to the west—into Via Maestra Enoteca. It’ll be a wine shop (mainly during the day) and wine bar (mainly in the evening), with wines from Europe and North America. The food situation is still being worked out, but you’ll definitely be able to order takeout from Via Maestra proper and eat it there (including at tables out on the sidewalk). The new space will be a handy place to wait for a table at the restaurant or host a private event.

••• “Can anyone find out why Plow & Angel at San Ysidro Ranch is closed and for how long?” asked L. This was news to me, so I called the hotel. Apparently, construction on the interior is underway, and when the venue reopens in coming weeks, it will have a new name—which leads one to assume it will have a dedicated menu again (instead of the Stonehouse one). UPDATE: Two readers weighed in that they’ve heard it will be a “speakeasy”—whatever that means in 2023.

••• Dang Burger soft-opens this Friday in the Sunburst space on Carpinteria Avenue, with an official opening on Saturday. UPDATE 11/10: The new liquor license is delayed, and until it comes though, Sunburst and Dang are 21 and over only.

••• Companion Hospitality—parent company of Bell’s, Bar Le Côte, et al—has expanded its footprint in Los Alamos: Companion “will be partnering with our friends, Bodega Los Alamos, in their operations and programming. [….] We couldn’t be more pumped to align forces and amplify what Bodega has to offer: dynamic wine selections, events, overnight stays and programming!” That includes “a Beaujolais Nouveau event on Thursday, November 16, at Bodega. Details are still getting finalized but expect a lot of Gamay from French and local producers along with some tasty cuisine from none other than Priedite Barbecue.”

••• Signs of progress are visible through the window at Silvers Omakase, the restaurant that former Sushi Bar Montecito chef Lennon Silvers Lee is opening on Helena Avenue in the Funk Zone. I don’t think it’ll be opening this year, as hoped.

••• Hayes Commercial Group’s third-quarter report says that Northern California chain Poke House is coming to 811D State Street in Paseo Nuevo, and San Luis Obispo’s SloDoCo Donuts is opening at 290 Storke Road (near Target).

••• Pueblo Pollo has opened in Isla Vista, says Restaurant Guy. The name is now Pueblo Del Pollo, and the while the online menu is Mexican-ish, the website describes the cuisine as “Halal Mexican/Indo-Pak food,” so maybe the Indian/Pakistani specials popular in the old location will be offered.

••• In my book, Christmas decorations shouldn’t be put up until December—but panettone is welcome anytime. Bree’osh‘s Pierre Henry gifted me one, but that’s not why I’m saying it was excellent. He has cracked the code.


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For those of us who don’t know the Sunburst space on Carpinteria Ave, Dang Burger could maybe put their address on their website. They just say Sunburst Wine Bar…no town, no address…

Dina Tecimer

Thank you but where is Sunburst? We eat at Zookers all the time but would live a new option!


I heard a rumor about the plow and angel being redesigned and turned into a speakeasy.

Leslie W

Wish Pueblo del Pollo would have come to Carpinteria or in this direction at least! I loved their “hidden” indian food menu in an “mexican” restaurant – very nice family as well (dad cooks, mom and daughter at the register…)


Is vía maestra still charging a separate 4% service charge to offset restaurants expenses?

Thanks H.


All of these places charging extra service charges will be out of luck. Newsom passed a law stating no more hidden fee or service charges starting summer of 2024.