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Maggie's Closes
updated: Oct 22, 2013, 8:42 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Maggie's at 1201 State Street, the former home of State and A restaurant for 29 years, has closed their doors after 14 months in business.

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

 EZ2 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 08:47 AM

Another one bites the dust

 

 COMMENT 461779 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 08:49 AM

Didn't we all see this coming? There was a question about Maggies posted here earlier and everyone was saying they weren't expecting it to last.

 

 COMMENT 461780P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 08:53 AM

Always amazes me how many people can spend good money to buy a going concern just to show everyone that they can ruin it.

 

 COMMENT 461781 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 08:56 AM

How do you make a small fortune in the restaurant business? Start with a large fortune.

 

 COMMENT 461782 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 08:59 AM

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and that Maggie's restaurant will tank.

 

 COMMENT 461783P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 09:00 AM

Wonder what the rent was/is on that prime corner of State?

 

 COMMENT 461789P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 09:15 AM

If you build it they might not come.

 

 COMMENT 461794P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 09:18 AM

Phew. Bad concept, bad food and bad attitude. No, this closure was not because of "landlord greed".

Why does that excuse always come up every time State Street gets discussed. It is tenant greed if someone wants under-market rates for rent; not landlord greed if they refuse to offer it.

The remaining question is what will it take to undo the property decor damage to this site by a new tenant who understands the Santa Barbara market better.

Look no further than the wild success of Soma Soma right across the street to know what works in this town and Maggies, which never did.

This is a great location; it needs a great concept.

 

 COMMENT 461797P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 09:30 AM

They gave it a good shot - but it seemed doomed before they opened. Remember how long it took to get off the ground? And then we they did open, it was like something straight from the Grove rather than S.B. We visited twice and both times thought we spent too much for our experience. Hopefully somebody will reintroduce a polished up State and A concept. That seemed to work from what I remember.

 

 COMMENT 461800 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 09:41 AM

The first time we walked in there and tried to get a table and left without one we knew it was doomed.
Bad attitudes and worse decor.
Surprized they lasted this long.

 

 COMMENT 461802 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 09:49 AM

The decor, the menu, the decor!!

The place was so poorly decorated that it turned me and many others away. Not very many people want to go to Grandma's living room for dinner... Food was good but not special. The atmosphere was just not comfortable or inviting.

 

 COMMENT 461806 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 10:07 AM

Well, that's too bad honestly. Though the decor was morbidly bad and the place smelled a bit as you walked by (not in a good way.) The menu was pretty uninspired and I can't think of any time I ever saw anyone actually eating there. This wasn't straight from the Grove. The Grove wouldn't have even let this place lease a space there. Have you ever actually been to the Grove?

It was amateur hour all around.

 

 COMMENT 461809 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 10:21 AM

The added foot traffic that the cruise ships have brought to town did not benefit Maggies.

 

 COMMENT 461822 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 10:52 AM

Dunkin' Donuts here we come!

 

 COMMENT 461825 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 10:58 AM

Besides a rehash of the State & A, what restaurant would do well in that location?

 

 COMMENT 461827 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 11:08 AM

Maybe something that would commemorate "old Santa Barbara" in it's decor and be casual. There is a place in South Bay call Misto Caffe and Bakery that would be great there!

 

 COMMENT 461830 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 11:14 AM

I vaguely remember a Pepe Degaldo's there in the 70's.

 

 COMMENT 461833 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 11:18 AM

They really need to open up the patio again so it isn't so dank and dark. That is the money spot.

 

 COMMENT 461839 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 11:43 AM

This place bad all around -

 

 COMMENT 461841 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 11:49 AM

did not see that coming.


hahahaha.

 

 COMMENT 461845 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 11:59 AM

Open-up the patio, bring back casual (but good) food, and a really good salad bar

 

 COMMENT 461847 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 12:03 PM

Pascucci could do really well there as could Petit Valentin.

 

 COMMENT 461861 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 12:37 PM

If I were a landlord, I would rather have a good tenant for a long time at below market rents than have to put up with a vacant storefront every couple of years. Where is their income coming from now? Maggie's is bankrupt and they're not getting anything from them. Isn't it in my rational self-interest to get a good tenant? Didn't Adam Smith say something about rational self-interest?

The only exception to that is if my loan from the bank to buy the place made it necessary to cover a large mortgage with a high rent. In that case, only the bank wins.

 

 COMMENT 461864 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 12:56 PM

861 clearly knows nothing, and 794P is spot on. I know for a fact that when they bought the place and took over State & A's lease, they inherited a very rent friendly deal. The owners ran this place into the ground, plain and simple.

 

 COMMENT 461871 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 01:20 PM

This could be a "goldmine" for someone with brains! How about a nice book store/coffee shop? Something with charm. Cozy, with couches, a fireplace and soft classical musical in the background playing? Locals art work on walls. Resident kitty.......

 

 COMMENT 461874 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 01:26 PM

I never set foot into Maggie's. And most of my time in State & A was 20 years ago. The food was okay, never seemed that great to me. And although the outdoor patio was awesome in recent years I would opt for Carlito's and their margarita's.

Pascucci and Arigato were both off of State, moved to State and are a success. I hope another restaurant in town does the same.

And yes, remove the patio roof!

 

 COMMENT 461877 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 01:39 PM

You can't take on a venue like this with a shoestring budget. You can't have a plucky little startup mentality to make it work. I went there once for a work thing and the whole experience sucked in general. This area is a tough market for restaurants - so many come and go. You have all the trendazoids who show up when you first open but then move on to the next big thing. You have to cultivate customers - make them feel welcome, provide them with good service and good food - they will come back. It's the regulars that you want - the tourists are just icing on the cake. Places like Maggies are yet another reason why I frequent Ventura not only for shopping but now for dining (if you haven't checked out Main St yet....you should...it's so much more than chains).

 

 COMMENT 461881 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 01:54 PM

Cheesecake Factory!!! Mmmmm... Yes!

 

 COMMENT 461884 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 01:59 PM

It's time for the previous owners to take the lease back, now that the 6-figure remodel has been paid for by Maggie, ditch grandma's furniture, and reopen State & A.

 

 COMMENT 461886 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 02:08 PM

847- Pascucci is already doing very well why would they risk moving for no reason and be further up State??

 

 COMMENT 461889 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 02:20 PM

Ughg, the last thing we need is another Italian/pasta restaurant downtown, or a coffee house. Enough with the coffee venues. It think that due to the fact there is not one traditional Mexican restaurant downtown, other than the Haley hole in the wall type places, we could use an old school Mexican restaurant on State with a full bar, music on the weekends and maybe some dancers. I see traditional beans, homemade tortillas and tamales with real salsa; none of that stuff with the corn in it like Carlitos makes. That would be nice.

 

 COMMENT 461901P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 02:59 PM

Something like Cafe de Paris, but it has to be open all day and offer small, inexpensive casual items too. Location perfect for a lingering cafe, but it also needs to make money so people can't linger too long.

Nothing wrong with just good plain food, American food, doesn't have to be fancy. Where you can get a good tuna melt, a malted shake, baked potato options, McConnell's ice-cream.

Not a cutesy theme American diner, but just a basic good American cafe. Mac and cheese would be good too.

 

 COMMENT 461907 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 03:21 PM

@889 hits it perfectly. The newish Casa Blanca at State & Gutierrez is too far away from the downtown's "Ground Zero" at State & Carrillo. A NICE Mexican restaurant with a bar at State & Anapamu would nicely fill the void created when Pascual's closed a block away.

 

 COMMENT 461911 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 04:00 PM

I wouldn't invest one thin dime in anything that was suggested. Don't be fooled all restaurants are hurting it a sign of the times.

 

 COMMENT 461922 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 04:58 PM

how bout a taco bell? or maybe we can get burger king back.

 

 COMMENT 461934P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 05:25 PM

There is not much of a discretionary dollar in this town. Too much housing is now dedicated to low or very low-income residents. Particularly surrounding this State and A location.

Maybe a good offer should be made to Soma Soma who is doing just fine right across the street and could really be an addition in this spot, if they wanted to do both the lunch and dinner crowd.

Undoing the decor remains the biggest stumbling block. Wonder how much the owners need to take with them. It needs wood and comfort; not hard surfaces and clatter.

 

 COMMENT 461940P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 05:39 PM

I saw what you did there, 871, thumbs up. But I think it needs to be a restaurant, for more customer turnover to aid income. Not that I think restaurants have much profit margin. Maggie's was labeled a vanity project from the beginning, during the remodel. Seems it was that -- among other things. I hope someone revives and brightens the patio!

(Pascucci's could use more room, in my experience. Love Petit Valentien. Are they ready to grow that much? Would be nice.)
(my real reaction to the story? Finally)

 

 COMMENT 461942P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 05:49 PM

934, yes! not all Diners are kitschy, they are the "basic good American cafe."! that would be so great, especially with some Jewish Deli food. owned by a Greek, so we got some Greek dishes too. They'd stay open late on weekends. I'm dreaming now!

 

 MISTA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 05:50 PM

Someone already mentioned it.."the patio needs to open up..."
If you have a coffee bar, cafe or full restaurant WITH a useable patio in Santa Barbara, you can reel the customers in...
Brophy's should do a downtown satellite cafe there.

 

 COMMENT 461951 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 06:13 PM

934, it's Samasama, not Soma Soma.

 

 COMMENT 461959 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 06:40 PM

That place was bizarre, utterly bizarre. A vanity project gone VERY wrong. The owners attitude was horrible as well. Not the least bit surprised it bit the big one. Miss the days of seeing George Thorogood's surprise jams at the State and A, after work.

 

 COMMENT 461962 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 06:46 PM

Blue Owl with a full bar and coffee house capacity. They could feature local garagiste wines and beer and rock that space.

Or Petit Valentin with a full bar and Teka every night on the patio.

 

 COMMENT 461963 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 06:54 PM

Saw this coming when they opened - very '80s. Would love to see a pan-Asian or accessible seafood like "Lure" in Ventura go in here.

 

 COMMENT 461966 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-22 07:20 PM

Perhaps the downtown version of Hollister Brewing Company?

The "decor" was absolutely unsettlingly hideous.

 

 COMMENT 461992P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 01:43 AM

Petros will be next.

 

 COMMENT 462000 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 06:55 AM

The owners had no restaurant experience. They came from the apparel industry. But even with no experience they had a special anti-talent to build a strong negative vibe not seen since Couchez.

 

 COMMENT 462003 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 07:13 AM

864 knows for a fact some unattributed information. I guess it must be true, because I read it online.

 

 COMMENT 462005 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 07:18 AM

Lure would be a great idea for this location... although my guess is that it would be so packed it would be hard to get into :)

 

 COMMENT 462018 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 08:04 AM

Thoroughgood used to play there?

That's what is missing in SB. Fun. Loose. Relaxed atmosphere where music and art and fun is not squashed by the dancing police or nosey neighbors,

SB must have been awesome in the 70's.

 

 COMMENT 462046 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 09:25 AM

I would be very wary of listening to these comments if anyone with big bucks is itching to launch a concept. Look at this snarky bunch. If they snark this much in print imagine what gossips they are with one misstep at a new place. If a patron loves a place they will tell 2 people.
If they dislike it or had a "horrible" experience they'll tell 20.

Stay classy, Santa Barbara.

 

 COMMENT 462054P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 09:34 AM

You do realize you've just added to the snark.

 

 COMMENT 462061P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 09:44 AM

I can vouch for the veracity of 864. I own a neighboring business. The landlord is not the problem at this location. And Maggie's did not come in with a shoestring budget; quite the opposite. In fact I think if they had thrown less money at the place and just taken over State & A, an operating restaurant with years and years of worth of blue sky (good will) they could have made a great thing of it. Or maybe not them, but someone could have. There was tons of upside potential that was squandered. But I think it could still be saved, now that these folks are out of the way.

 

 COMMENT 462069 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 10:05 AM

The best way to make a small fortune in the restaurant business?? Start with a large fortune! Especially on State Street. 'Nuff said.

 

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 11:48 AM

Bring back Pe Pe Dalgatos!

 

 COMMENT 462178 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 03:11 PM

Satellite location for Super Rica! yum!!

 

 COMMENT 462180 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 03:13 PM

When George Thorogood played the State and A it was more of a really casual "spur of the moment" kind of thing. Not a "show" per se. I guess when he was in town he'd have a coupla' drinks and then get invited to jam at the patio. It was really cool seeing him with only 10-20 other people there. Not a really a fan, but seeing him in that intimate setting he could ROCK!

 

 COMMENT 462219P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 05:13 PM

@178: Super Rica is best left exactly where it is, far away from State Street.

 

 COMMENT 462239 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 06:04 PM

There's a new reader comment on John Dickson's restaurant blog that says Quiznos may have taken over the lease at Maggie's. And just when you thought the choice couldn't have been more inappropriate than Maggie's to begin with....Let's hope this is just a terrible rumor.

 

 COMMENT 462246P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-23 06:37 PM

Rex, the restaurant is for sale. No one's going to take over the lease until the owners recoup some or all of their investment.

 

 COMMENT 462408 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-24 12:22 PM

Indeed--Quiznos now confirmed as only a rumor. Whew! I second Roger's choice--Pepe Delgado's.

 

 COMMENT 462447 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-24 02:46 PM

State and A was filthy and sad looking and I almost never went there because it was seedy. Food was marginal. Maggie's exuded snootiness and seemed very uninviting, like they wanted to keep out the riff-raff. I hope that they did good renovations in the kitchen, and the rest of the basic remodeling can probably be retained. A superficial decor makeover should be fairly easy (change out the furnishings) and make it a place where the locals feel welcome -- if the vibe is right and the prices tolerable, we will flock there, as it is strategically located to succeed.

 

 COMMENT 462462 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-24 03:40 PM

I never went there, so I guess their plan to keep out the riff-raff worked. I started to go in once, but I saw all the plush brocade or whatever it's called and thought I'd wandered into Welch-Bryce by mistake. (Only the hostess at Welch-Ryce was lots friendlier).

 

 COMMENT 462464 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-24 03:44 PM

Stupid spellcheck sez "Welch-Bryce."

 

 COMMENT 462509P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-24 06:08 PM

A commentator, Mary, on Restaurant Guy gave the best description ever of Maggie's: " it was like eating at Assisted living facility in Las Vegas."
Thanks, Mary

 

 COMMENT 462929 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-26 02:21 PM

money laundering. . couldn't sell enough nose powder to break even.. how do you think state and a made it.. lets get to the bottom of all our problems and repeal or modify prop. 13 and see some 'real bussiness decisions downtown. . till then its funny money. and ya all have lost your sense of humor it seems.

 

 COMMENT 463001 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-26 05:25 PM

My son is in the restaurant business here in town. Word is... They finally had a good chef, good service and good food when the owners decided they weren't having fun and closed the doors without giving anybody notice, severance or anything. Rude to the bitter end.

 

 COMMENT 463105 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-10-27 06:07 AM

No restaurant is truly dead until it has been digested by EdHat.

 

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