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Subscriber Comments for
Public Market Opening

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 REDTOP helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 06:34 PM

It's truly lovely!


 COMMENT 510816P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 06:59 PM

How are the prices?


 COMMENT 510818 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 07:25 PM

Very impressive.


 COMMENT 510821 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 07:37 PM

Everything is definitely pricey, but you get what you pay for. The market portion reminds me of a smaller Lazy Acres.


 ROGER DODGER helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 07:50 PM

Thanks Lauren..


 COMMENT 510827P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 07:56 PM

The wine shop has a great selection and the prices seem very reasonable. The whole marketplace is beautiful.

Great pictures, Lauren!


 COMMENT 510831 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 08:04 PM

I am so happy about this opening! Looks terrific. Will go tomorrow.


 COMMENT 510832 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 08:12 PM

Cant wait to try the Asian Noodle House..


 COMMENT 510833 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 08:15 PM

How's the parking?


 COMMENT 510835 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 08:20 PM

I'm sorry to be a downer but I prefer the old Vons.

We already have Whole Foods, Lazy Acres, Fresh Market, Tri-County Produce, plus Trader Joe's, Albertson's, Ralph's and Vons. And any number of specialty shops like C'est Cheese. So which businesses will go down first? Or will these?


 COMMENT 510837 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 08:39 PM

The ambiance seems a little sterile. It's lacking a little color and warmth and vibrancy. Maybe that will improve with some future decorating. But I look forward to checking it out in person.


 COMMENT 510840 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 08:54 PM

I find it interesting that an obviously very expensive food market opens a block away from an area where poor people gather once a week to get a few free produce items from the Food Bank. Nothing like celebrating poverty in the shadow of wealth.


 COMMENT 510843P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 09:34 PM

Am looking forward to being a regular customer. If necessary I can cut other expenses. Living close to this market, I never thought I'd miss Vons, but I did just for the close convenience. For those that don't like to drive much and live near the Public Market, this is a nice addition to downtown.


 COMMENT 510845 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 09:50 PM

come on ya all..the old vons was a beautifully democratic institute. I miss seeing the charter hanging out daily...now we get bunker elite money laundering. .I give them 3 year's before they end up across the parking lot at the bankrupt court...oh yeah that's a great exhat topic.


 COMMENT 510846P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 10:02 PM

As someone else asked, what's the parking like?


 COMMENT 510847 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 10:17 PM

Wow - It looks like downtown got slapped upside the head by Orange County... pretty fancy.


 COMMENT 510848P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 10:18 PM

I've walked by on Chapala and saw an entrance to an underground parking lot but that was during construction, not sure if it's open.


 COMMENT 510850P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 10:55 PM

I miss the Von's too; from the easy parking to the low prices. But, in the end end, civic planning always knows best.


 COMMENT 510843P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 11:41 PM

The old Vons at that location had an average sale of something like $12 - a lot of it cigarettes, junk food, or liquor. The fruits and vegetables used to be almost shriveled. Let's give this Public Market a try - a lot worse could have occupied this space.


 COMMENT 510855P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 12:24 AM

Just looking at these food photos I put on five pounds.

835: You expressed what my first thought was, upon seeing this new "unique" this and "unique" that collection of foodstuffs. I am almost starting to feel sorry for Lazy Acres, with all of these healthier (aside from all of that sugar!) food vendors coming to town.

Does anyone on Edhat shop at Fresh Market, where Scolaris used to be? We gave them the SB welcome, when the coupons for all the free foods were sent to us and haven't been back since. (It's not on our usual shopping loop.)

Another question: Is the humanely-raised meat offered by Belcampo also slaughtered "humanely?"

@ Lauren: "Poultry" is a classification used to designate domestically raised chickens, ducks, etc. "Poultry" does not mean "chicken meat." Unless of course you meant that Belcampo sells live poultry at their counter.


 MESARATS helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 01:30 AM

Santa Barbara Public Market? More like Santa Barbara Corporate Market. Unlike the basic concept of a public market where a individual can participate in a cooperative arrangement as part of a shared economy for the benifit of the community, make no mistake, but this is a high end grazing for the 1%. I have no problem with that, but let's be real. The "public" aspect is for marketing only. As for the comment regarding feeling sorry for Lazy Acres, they are owed by a large corporation also (Bristal Farms) Hey I often shop there myself, but don't worry about them as there is no shortage of patrons that do not think twice about dropping $200 on a few bags of goods. The place will do fine, but just another example of the growing income disparity. Santa Barbara development seems to focus on the very rich and the lower end that serve them. Middle class? Not so much.


 COMMENT 510846P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 07:09 AM

So I guess no one wants to answer the question about the parking situation?


 COMMENT 510861 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 07:14 AM

I have no idea about the parking but I'm just wondering, what ever happened to American Flatbread?? I thought that was supposed to be in there and that's what i was looking forward to most!


 COMMENT 510864 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 07:24 AM

Bikes only downtown. NO "public parking"


 COMMENT 510867P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 07:32 AM

Nicely and comprehensively illustrated article. Question: What is a "soft opening"??


 REDTOP helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 07:43 AM

We're walkers, but when we left the market at about 5:20 on Sunday, the sign on Chapala for their underground parking said: LOT FULL. Don't know what the status was of the parking lot across Victoria St. near Soho. I rather suspect that parking will always be an issue since there's more and more to do and see in this great part of town.


 COMMENT 510827P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 07:47 AM

Vons has been gone from that location for a very long time. And it was gross. Before that was a store commonly referred to as "Spaceway". And it was gross.

I think change is difficult for some. But to write off every single new establishment sight unseen is just a little small minded. For a city to remain vibrant, there has to be change.

And I think a "soft opening" is a chance for businesses to work out kinks before the grand opening.


 COMMENT 510874 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 07:49 AM

Contrary to 821&840 (who's obviously not be there) Forager's is not an expensive food market. In fact, most everything in the building is reasonably priced and the freshness and quality is outstanding. I was able to acquire everything I would have at Lazy Acres or Whole Foods right there, at the same or lower prices! For folks who work downtown, the Public Market offers incredible convenience. Stop in for a great sit-down lunch, do your grocery shopping, buy your meat, fish, bread or fresh pasta for dinner, or fresh cooked "to go", grab some fresh brewed locally roasted Fair Trade organic coffee from Green Star and don't forget the beer, wine and desert! The merchants are super friendly and know their stuff.


 COMMENT 510874 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 08:02 AM

Soft opening: The merchants each invited a number of people, friends, family, business associates and others to help with a live "practice run". It's a couple of days to work out the kinks and get ready for the public. For a number of the merchants this is a brand new business and for many of the employees a new, sometimes first job. So be nice and understanding ;-)


 COMMENT 510876 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 08:09 AM

The Public Market will in a way have the same problem that La Cumbre Plaza has inherited. A lack of generous bank rolled clientele to keep the business afloat. La Cumbre, a charming place for a quiet sit and a coffee, but sadly where the locals are begging for a Walmart or a Target; and where clearly one can see affordable and low income housing is growing fast.

The foot traffic of serious buyers to the market is minimal and will grow sparse as the lookie - loos drift off. One will weary of driving miles for provisions when the first flush of discovery recedes. One wonders if these high end speciality business speculators study in detail the areas surrounding their future investments?

No - not Orange County - nor Thousand Oaks.


 COMMENT 510877 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 08:10 AM

I just like the idea of local foods, local grass fed and humanely raised meats and a fun place to see my fellow Santa Barbara folks, (tourists too). I celebrate LOCAL, HUMANE, CLEAN food. So I am going to give it a try. I know, I know, I am bracing myself for the prices…But maybe its time I start eating less of more high quality foods and beverages.


 SBSURFERLIFE helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 08:20 AM

I love the Public Market!! Its fun and fresh and something new to Santa Barbara. Personally, the prices are more of a 1-2x a week treat instead of daily visits, but it's close to home and I'm going to enjoy shopping there.

P.S. You can also park in the Louise Lowry Davis Rec Center lot, right across the street.


 COMMENT 510891P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 08:56 AM

Lauren is correct using the term "poultry" according to the USDA meat pages. 'Live poultry' would denote barnyard livestock, while 'dressed poultry' would confirm killed, skinned and eviscerated, ready to cook fowl. I know of no one in the U.S that could sell both on the same premises, so the meaning is implicit in the location. Health codes, you know.


 COMMENT 510893 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 09:10 AM

The prices are outrageous as expected. This is not a daily shopping stop, more for occasional specificity items. Crazy Good bread retails at $12/loaf ($7 for a mini). While pretty good it is just hard to justify that much money for a loaf of bread. The other bummer is this is not a true local's market. While there are a handful of local grass-roots operations it is also infected with the corporate elements. Hate to say it but this place may end up a ghost town a la La Cumbre. I would not be shocked if some of the true local places are replaced by deep pocket corporate chain type stuff in the coming months/years as it seems difficult to make $$ there if you are a true mom and pop.


 FLICKA helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 09:10 AM

All this talk of "poultry" reminds me of Percals (sp?)poultry store on Montecito St, almost on the corner with Milpas. When I was a little girl, Mom used to go there for chicken, I think maybe that's all they sold; there were live ones out back. Does anyone have more information on it?


 COMMENT 510896 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 09:13 AM

Thank you to 874 for giving us your "firsthand" experience. I feel that reading comments from people who haven't even tried the new place and only want to complain about something is a waste of time.

I'm looking forward to checking it out. If everything is truly fresh & local & organic & fair trade I will definitely be willing to pay a bit more. .... I am also hoping that I will not be seeing endangered fish such as the majestic Blue Fin Tuna being prominently featured as it is at the top of the menu @ the new bar on Victoria that is owned by Olio Limone. We took one look at that and promptly walked out, but not before telling them why :(


 COMMENT 510901 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 09:18 AM

I live and work within two blocks of this new market. I'll look forward to walking there for groceries. I'm particularly interested in the meat market. We are a meat loving family and I'm more than happy to pay more for grass fed/organic meats. Love the noodle kitchen idea too.

The Vons was ghetto by the way. Horrible, dirty and smelly. It was a blight on my neighborhood.


 COMMENT 510904 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 09:24 AM

You're crazy if you do all your grocery shopping at Whole Foods, Fresh Market, or Lazy Acres. But, these places give us some great choices for quality products. Looks like the Public Market is just another option. It's nice to see the trend going away from large mega stores and moving towards smaller, product specific shops. Be a smart shopper and you'll find plenty of reasonably priced options here.


 COMMENT 510840 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 09:26 AM

874, if you use Lazy Acres or Whole Foods as your price comparison, you're sadly unaware of the financial reality of majority of the people who live in SB. "Reasonably priced" does not mean affordable.

If pointing out the reality of a "market" that caters to the wealthy and those with the financial means to have some flexibility while hungry people wait once a week for some produce from a Food Bank distribution a block offends you, well, I'm sorry for having upset your delicate sensibilities.

I'm sure people will be scandalized when they see someone use their scant allocated funds on their EBT card at this "reasonably priced" section of the market. I'm sure there'll be outraged people screaming about how dare they use taxpayer's money to buy food.

Privilege at its finest.


 COMMENT 510907P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 09:32 AM

What about full of life flatbread??


 COMMENT 510908 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 09:33 AM

MESARATS take your comment a bit further... Bristol Farms is owned by Albertsons!!! But Lazy Acres is still as great as before, Love shopping there and always get exactly what i need and want. Never found everything I needed in the San Francisco Market and since this is supposed to be like that, I see it will be catering to the tourists, who knows what will happen here.


 COMMENT 510911 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 09:36 AM

Plenty of parking less than a block away at the Granada Garage...


 COMMENT 510917 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 09:46 AM

RE: Parking. Not sure if those of you asking about parking are familiar with Santa Barbara or not, or are like me and lived in Goleta your whole live and never make it to SB, but there is a public parking lot on the corner across the street, just behind the "New Vic" theater. It is easy to enter and exit off of Chapala St. Hope this helps. And please, all of you who are going to just complain about how "the man" is going to just going to take his cut by charging you for parking, know that if it takes you more than 75 min to go shopping or eat some noodles, it is taking you too long.


 COMMENT 510919 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 09:56 AM

Just did a quick walk through. It's not quite soup yet. The meat and fish does look extremely fresh and probably worth it for a special occasion. I will try the bread and cupcakes. Bet you can't even get close to the prepared food at lunch, the places are just not big enough. Probably will get some Rori's. The market is nice but I bet they can't make it there, expensive and a lot of perishables that will not sell. Kind of overhyped overall, there is nothing in the whole place that can't be gotten someplace else for less money. Maybe the flatbread and taco place are going into the other unfinished spaces just outside the main market. Still glad it's here by my office. I wish them well.


 COMMENT 510876 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 10:08 AM

With bread at $12 a loaf ( a mini loaf just $7 - goody- let's buy 2 of those!) this business cannot survive on casual clientele offering a weekly “treat splurge”!

Hopefully there are a few eccentric millionaires skulking downtown or a few well nourished Saudis moving in up the hill.

If one had to choose between sugary rich treats and one's weekly pound of meat and If I lived nearby - which I don't - I'd buy my weekly supply of grass-fed meat at The Public Market. But I buy it at Whole Foods - because I can walk to there.

Frivolous investing without deep down area scrutiny.


 COMMENT 510921P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 10:08 AM

We went on Saturday, and were reasonably impressed. It'll be interesting to see how it does, but I am looking forward to the convenience. I bought a cup of Greenstar Coffee on the way to work this morning and plan to stop by to grab dinner fixin's on the way home this evening. Since I pass by this corner at least twice a day, it will probably really make my life easier. No more stopping by Ralph's to just buy a couple of potatoes and some broccoli. Welcome to the neighborhood! As an aside, I noticed sidewalk dining at Arlington Tavern across the street. I hope some synergy develops between the Public Market, new Alma del Pueblo restaurants and existing adjacent restaurants, such as Arlington Tavern.


 COMMENT 510926 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 10:31 AM

All that open duct work, open ceiling, etc could be a problem with dust/ dirt/mold/bacteria. Who's going to make sure that collection isn't falling into the food? Fine for a bookstore or a clothing store but not around food. yuck!


 COMMENT 510927 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 10:34 AM

All of these comments about how these prices are too high and only the 1% can afford them. Well, what do you expect! The young college and university students have been taught for years that they can have the famous free lunch: a perfect place to live, no traffic, views, low density, etc. what they weren't taught was that all of those things have costs. And because those amenities (which I love, too) have made Santa Barbara a wonderful place to live compared to Los Angeles and Orange County, and because we do have a constrained amount of developable land, the demand for that land has raised prices astronomically.

I came here in 1964 so I'm not a newcomer but many of the complainers are relative newcomers. They're here now so it's time stop anyone else!


 COMMENT 510929 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 10:50 AM

About the flatbread place, I heard it was going to open nearby but not inside the actual market.


 COMMENT 510934P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 11:05 AM

Seems to me if you want local foods and to see local people, go to the farmers' markets.... But there are a lot of county employees (and it is close to the county building) with high salaries so these stores will cater to them.


 COMMENT 510947 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 11:41 AM

840 - agree completely. Although I have a hunch that few - if any - "purveyors" at the market will be accepting EBT payments ...


 COMMENT 510949 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 11:53 AM

Full of life is going in next door, under the condo's. They aren't in the public market but are in the Alma del pueblo development.
The public market is nice but very similar to Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Lazy Acres etc...
It will be nice for an occasional coffee or ice cream and to take out of town guests but I wouldn't do much shopping there. The prices are high, not sure if it's justify the rent high or super quality high. Remains to be seen.


 COMMENT 510917 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 12:02 PM

Excited to see if the Ramen will be better than my $.10 stuff.


 COMMENT 510954 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 12:08 PM

Seems like a neat place, will have to check it out. Isn't the public market owned by the Alma del Pueblo folks? wonder if the businesses have any fear of a lockout when that goes into bankruptcy due to lack of sales.


 COMMENT 510964 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 12:38 PM

962 I agree with you, I rarely read the comments anymore because of the negitivity.


 COMMENT 510966P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 12:40 PM

964- Welcome to the internet! There is positivity and negativity on every single website with a comment section.


 COMMENT 510971P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 12:46 PM

To those making elitist comments: Real, healthy food is often grown by us Edhat old cranks in our own yards, or shot (& butchered) by us on our hunts. We know enough to buy good quality, real food at normal grocery stores like Ralphs or Vons. We buy at the farmer's markets when it is reasonably priced, but being old farts, we know the value of a dollar, and don't have as many of them as we'd like, so have to be careful about how we spend them. Going to overpriced "food as art" stores isn't how we spend our grocery dollars. We're more likely to be tending to our vegetable gardens. [Talk about judgmental and out of touch!]


 COMMENT 510876 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 12:56 PM

Right 71P. SB is a full of people who have lived,worked, eaten healthy, and reared healthy families here for over 50 years. Now most retired on a fixed income and watching their pennies they are willing to pay sensible prices for good quality food. Without doubt they know value when they see it, Speaking as one of the latter, I think paying $12 for a loaf of bread is plain insanity.

There are also those rearing families on low to middle income brackets who would love to patronize these pretty, fun and tempting stores, but realistically, with hungry stomachs to fill, regardless it’s Weber or gourmet, they have to buy bread in quantity. At $12 a loaf for a family of 6 that is just outrageous.

For the sake of those cheerful and hopeful hard workers, I sincerely hope this town has enough of the people you mention to keep this attractive market afloat.


 COMMENT 511002 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 02:22 PM

We went there and loved it. We are middle class hard workers. I thought everyone there was very helpful and it was a pleasant place to go. I may still shop at whole foods and the other stores yes including Ralph's down town but as for the market place if you seem to pre judge and not agree with the prices then you really just do not have to go. There is no need to be critical and bounce back to the 1% subject. Just don't go. I am looking forward to another great cup of gold star coffee.


 COMMENT 511009 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 02:52 PM

@896, it depends on which Bluefin tuna. Some (Pacific Bluefin) are not endangered at all.


 COMMENT 510917 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 03:34 PM

Just had lunch at The Market and it was pretty tasty! Got a latte on my way out and WOW, this is a tasty drink! Nicely done Green Star Coffee!


 COMMENT 510876 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 04:53 PM

People seem to think it's a dandy place to "pop in" for the ambience and enjoy a coffee with dessert. Sounds carefree and louche. Until they add they will probably continue to shop elsewhere for provisions. While hypocritically criticizing the many on here who are naturally shocked at the high prices. Coffee and dessert will not keep the place running and the tills ringing. Capital and hours of work have been invested here and it is sad to see.


 COMMENT 511067P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 07:57 PM

The difference between the SBPM/Alma de Pueblo and La Cumbre Plaza is that SBPM is located in a densely populated area full of local and tourist pedestrian traffic. Even if the current vendors don't make it in the long run, the development is really nice and ties well into the Arlington architecturally. I just hope it can stay local, albeit high end, rather than seeing chains go in there as on State St. There are 37 condos there--hard to believe it's that many, but that's what it says. They have garden plots for the tenants on a terrace upstairs… I wonder how that will work out--are there a lot of green thumb millionaires? They preserved the great mural from the Vons building. The tile and stucco work are nice and low key. The "modern" interiors are not my thing but the exteriors are great. I looked into the Public Market last night and it didn't look forbidding. There's a lot more commercial space there along Victoria street that's still being built out, so we'll see how it goes.


 COMMENT 511071 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-14 08:16 PM

Walked through the market today and was pleasantly surprised. It's not cheap food but it's a good addition to downtown shopping. I'd rather buy a little good food than a lot of junk. Everyone whimpering about how they miss the old Von's... oh please! I've lived downtown for a lot of years and in the beginning Von's was my neighborhood store. I DON'T have money to burn but even my friends and I would call it "third world Von's". It was awful. And it's been gone a long time. Who cares.


 COMMENT 511183 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-15 09:26 AM

@071: I used to call it "Psycho Vons." It was a tossup as to who was crazier, the customers or the employees. One jarring note was that your feet would stick to the floor of that Vons. I can't say that I miss it at all.


 COMMENT 511301P helpful negative off topic

2014-04-15 02:19 PM

I shopped at the old Vons for years. Although the store was old and small, my feet never stuck to the floor and the employees were definitely not crazy.


 COMMENT 511427 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-16 09:21 AM

@301P: Oh, the stories I could tell you about some of the more...colorful...employees of that store, ranging from a manager who was fond of racing his motorcycle at highly illegal speeds over San Marcos Pass, to a bagger who dropped two tabs of LSD one afternoon before going to work, forgetting it was Halloween, then fleeing the store in terror when costumed zombies, etc., started filtering in--directly into the path of a Jeep Cherokee in the parking lot. Not all the employees were crazy, of course, but the number of those who were was certainly more than "a few."


 COMMENT 511468 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-16 11:31 AM

I'm so excited!!! I have a few friends who are vendors, and this is such a great opportunity. Yes, it will probably be a little pricey, but did you know American's spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than any other country? I'm willing to spend a few extra dollars for good quality food. I am not in the 1 %, but I also don't eat huge proportions, so I can still afford to buy the good stuff ;) Some people just have different priorities than others. Mine priorities are my health and well being.


 COMMENT 511672 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-17 07:29 AM

I'll definitely check it out maybe once or twice but can't afford to go regularly. I will stick with The Fresh Market on Milpas - good food, all in one place, easy parking and affordable!


 COMMENT 513623 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-24 01:19 PM

This place if FABULOUS!! Love it and will continue to frequent!


 BROSE805 helpful negative off topic

2014-04-25 12:09 AM

The place is sterile as Hell. Maybe that will change over time. Today ordered a panini from Culture Counter, cuz they advertise hot sandwiches. Was told it would take 20 minutes to heat the grill. Took a handmade sandwich from their fridge as they recommended. Asked to have it heated and the guy with the french accent was visibly annoyed. Couldn't have felt any less welcomed. Asked four basic questions about the place to various vendors and no one knew the answers. With lack of guaranteed parking, I'll shop here on rare occasions. Too bad. Was really anticipating something terrific.


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