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Green Gables History
updated: Sep 04, 2013, 12:01 PM
By Neal Graffy
A reader asked about the Green Gables Restaurant. Here's one of the Then & Now stories (and rough
photos) that didn't make it into "Santa Barbara Then and Now" but will be in another volume in that
State and Las Positas
I never ate here, but I do remember the Green Gables Restaurant at 3304 State. Back when "outer" State
was just a two-lane road this building, hands down, was one of the oddest looking buildings around.
What was with all of those roofs! Had I counted them I may have had a clue because years before my
arrival in Santa Barbara (and even the world) it wasn't a restaurant, but the true-to-its-roofs, Seven
Gables Antiques, run by and probably built by Lawrence and Ruth Koonce. As their home and business
were all under the same gables they were "green" long before their time spending no time or pollution
in getting to work.
By 1955 the antique store was gone and the Green Gables Restaurant was in. Not too confusing was the
fact that the restaurant's owner, Warren N. Filcher, also owned the Green Gable Restaurant (yes,
singular) at 2710 de la Vina. Warren quickly unloaded the singular gable business (which became
Tommy and Frank's Ali Bi) and kept the plural gables until 1971.
The following year, the unusual building was demolished and replaced with a bank. So far First Federal
Savings, Mission Federal Savings, Home Federal Savings, Great Western Savings, Sanwa Bank, and
currently, First Bank & Trust have all been located here making it just one short of being "The House of
the Seven Banks."
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Neal Graffy is a Santa Barbara author and historian. His books "Historic Santa Barbara", "Street
Names of Santa Barbara" and his latest, "Santa Barbara Then and Now", are available locally at Santa
Barbara Arts, Chaucer's, Tecolote, Granada Books, the Book Den and the Santa Barbara Historic Museum.
They can be ordered online at www.elbarbareno.com
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