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UPDATE: East Beach Grill Lease
updated: Feb 16, 2014, 9:13 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

When the City of Santa Barbara renovates the Cabrillo Pavillion on East Beach next year, it plans not to renew the lease of the East Beach Grill, a beloved institution of locals and tourists alike.

UPDATE by The Restaurant Guy:
"To get to the truth of the matter I spoke with Francisco Aguilera, owner of East Beach Grill, Char West and Great Pacific Ice Cream Company. Aguilera tells me that the story is false and that he has a lease for another 5 years. He says that he loves working with the City of Santa Barbara, that the City loves working with him and that there are no plans to change things. Aguilera says that there are plans to do a multimillion dollar renovation of the Cabrillo Pavilion but this could be years away and that the Coastal Commission has yet to issue a permit."


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

 COMMENT 495246 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 09:28 AM

Nooooo! We love the East Beach Grill!


 COMMENT 495251 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 09:41 AM

Sad. I suppose they will build something very pricey and upscale, and the chance for kids to run back and forth from sand to breakfast, or for the dogs to lie quietly at owner's feet while all enjoy a spot of sunshine, will be gone forever. We will be going to the grill as often as we can, till the sad day comes.


 COMMENT 495265 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 10:22 AM

I hope it doesn't become something like the Boathouse at Hendry's beach or The Beachside at Goleta beach. Unlikely it stays something similar to The East Beach Grill. But I hope I'm wrong.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 10:32 AM

Probably, if it was going to be like the East Beach Grill they would let the real one come back. If anyone hears what is planned, could you please post the information here. Maybe ask at the Grill why it's not going to be there.


 COMMENT 495281 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 11:05 AM

Won't miss it. Never liked it.


 COMMENT 495285 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 11:11 AM

I like the greasy cheeseburger and fries at East beach grill. :)


 COMMENT 495303 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 12:13 PM

Put in a Kahuna Burger. And maybe Panda Express.


 COMMENT 495337P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 02:54 PM

Panda Express? I'm sure you're being funny, but in case you are serious, do you remember that commercial the chain had for its band name steak? Remember how the close up of the steak was all fuzzy and out of focus? That's because that "steak" was actually meat scraps held together with some sort of meat glue - YUM!!!


 COMMENT 495339 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 02:58 PM

That will be horrible! I love the East Beach Grill and know many other people who do too. Wonderful breakfasts.


 MISTA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 03:03 PM

Best bacon-wheat germ-blueberry pancake ANYWHERE... and they serve Peet's Coffee...


 COMMENT 495360P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 04:49 PM

Best place in town for breakfast! Closing East Beach Grill would bring very bad karma for whatever tries to replace it.


 COMMENT 495370 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 05:51 PM

Is there any way to protest this formally?


 COMMENT 495373 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 05:55 PM

Why is the city doing this? I mean, it's a foregone that city officials determine what we like and then do the exact opposite, but what has the East Beach Grill done to piss off the city to the point that their lease won't be renewed?


 COMMENT 495385 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 06:42 PM

What is the source of this information? I doubt the city would say no specifically to the east beach grill. They may open the space up to the highest bidder though.


 COMMENT 495386P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 06:49 PM

So many "real" SB places going down, to be replaced by expensive Disneyland-type "faux-cool" places. I am sad, for example, about losing the community gem of El Encanto which now is a place for super-rich LA types, --cheapest glass of wine with tax and tip is $20, so no longer a place to go to enjoy our beautiful city location and linger for a few drinks. Boathouse also now too "decorated" altho the location still is gorgeous. I am sorry to expect that there will be a designer cool place put in at the East Beach Grill location. Individual personality gone. I love this town and its individuality, and I hope we don't lose our quirky personality and history.


 COMMENT 495390 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 07:13 PM

This can be stopped.

Councilman Gregg Hart was quoted in last week's City Council meeting as saying that he would like to see a "more aggressive and lucrative" concession there. (Not that the East Beach Grill is not busy; the City just wants more rent so they can do more of their asinine doings.)

Well, last time Gregg Hart was on City Council he was pushing an idea to take out a bunch of the public park at Ledbetter Beach and put in some NYC-style basketball courts in cages. The local citizenry raised bloody murder and he had to slink away with tail between legs. He can be made to do so again.

Most Santa Barbarians are not yuppies who eat $40 lunches: most who have a preference like the East Beach Grill just as it is, mediocre food and all. Let the majority rule!!!


 COMMENT 495413 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 08:28 PM

Why did people elect Gregg Hart again when they already knew his misdeeds? Jus asking. Nothing malicious


 COMMENT 495414 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 08:30 PM

Maybe it's time to hold the "progressives" in City Council to task. If you want the grill and they want something else let them know, then vote them out if they don't listen.


 COMMENT 495423P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 08:53 PM

SLSB, I voted for Gregg way back, and I was a student peer of his in the 80's at SBCC. Great guy, I like him, and I'm pretty liberal. Obviously, I've gotten more conservative, AKA poorer than he is. This mess, with him working for SBCAG and my not trusting his spending habits, led me to NOT vote for him this past election. I better get to writing him & other members.


 COMMENT 495434 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-16 09:41 PM

Thank you, 495414. and 495423. Please lets get together and take them to task by writing to all the council members and appearing at the meetings. Let me know when this item and others come up


 COMMENT 495450 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 06:42 AM

I always thought the pancakes there were like man hole covers. No amount of syrup and butter was enough to get them to slide down your throat.

Great location, but no matter what restaurant goes in there, the location will remain the same.

Of course this is all about the money.


 COMMENT 495451 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 06:44 AM

I agree with fist in the air! Greg Hart must not have a soul! This town still has a "feel" of a charming seaside haven, but only in a few places. I've lived here nearly 40 years, since before most of you were born. We have to stop this NOW! SB, thanks to Hart and that band of non-thinking, money grubbing politicos, is fading from memory under the grinding steel tracks of a bulldozer brought up from LA at the Mayor/councils request. They should help PRESERVE SB, not continue to tear down what made it famous and beautiful. Their new, fake SB will be a shabby stucco facade where the rich and stupid can preen in the artificial lights erected on the 10' wall they'll erect in front of the beach to protect them from the ocean breeze and sand you used to be able to see while enjoying blueberry-wheat germ pancakes and a good cup of coffee at the EAST BEACH GRILL. Let's save it! Write Hart and tell him, like I'm going to do. Who's with me!


 COMMENT 495452 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 06:45 AM

I suggest we find out the official word from both the city and the EBG owner before we start acting on rumor. There is no news posted from The Restaurant Guy. I just sent him a note to see if he will investigate so we can get some facts. I'd hate to go raise a stink if the owner wants out of his lease or something.


 COMMENT 495460 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 07:17 AM

We relocated to Santa Barbara 10 yrs ago because of amazing places like the East Beach Grill and the Shoreline. As parents it was nice to have clean, family friendly restaurants right on the ocean. I hope SB will listen to its constituents and find a way to preserve these special places.


 DULCE agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 07:33 AM

Does anyone know the back story of the East Beach Grill? Francisco came to this country as a young man and worked hard, saved his money and was able to buy or open a small restaurant on the beach many years ago. Since then he has opened two more small places on the pier. This is a perfect example of the "American Dream".

Francisco is still working at his places improving both food and service while keeping prices affordable.

Is it within the scope of edhat to start an on-line petition?
If yes, I would be happy to sign. If not, Does anyone know how to do it?


 UPONTHEHILL agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 07:50 AM

Another vote to keep the East Beach Grill as is.


 COMMENT 495471P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 07:55 AM

I'd rather keep the East Beach Grill than see some overpriced mediocre place go in - we have enough of those, especially along the sea front.


 COMMENT 495477 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 08:11 AM

That entire building should be sold. The City of SB should not be in the business of supplementing a few people's idea of a cheap meal or a beach shower. Nor should they be in the public rental space business. This is a place used by a fraction of the population and has long since lost its place in a modern municipality. Sell the building to a private interest and lease the property.

If you want to keep it, buy it and run it yourself. Its not a place that the city should be keeping or spending any money to maintain.


 COMMENT 495479P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 08:23 AM

477 - Agree with you wholeheartedly. Maybe we can have a McDs there with the golden arches stretching from the building to the sand...


 COMMENT 495480 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 08:23 AM

The lease won't be renewed. Doesn't that mean the terms won't be renewed - the operator can still bid or agree to pay the upcharges - right or no?
I'm with many posters here. I love that it is sorta dumpy, friendly and accessible to so many folks - I just wouldn't want another Beachside, Cajun Kitchen, Casa Blanca or another anything....how about keeping it a nice lo key place at breakfast & lunch then switch to a dinner house in the PM? Oh. Probably wouldn't work as it seems everyone who owns/operates restaurants in this town depends on the liquor and brunches to keep them afloat...its a fundamental lack of imagination...


 COMMENT 495498 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 09:01 AM

I'd like to see something new down there. The Boat House has been a fantastic success story IMOHO. I have been in town for +20 years and will go there very rarely for an ice cream; maybe an omelet. I think their food is generally bad, but it's mostly the setup - janky plastic furniture that is not exactly arranged well on the steps... just doesn't really seem like it fits. I'm surprised we can't get some healthier food going down there along w/ the ice cream!


 K8 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 10:14 AM

Love the place - especially the fact that you can walk right out on the sand and can sit there for a while over a coffee and bowl of oatmeal. Only go there real early in the morning - hardly anyone around - great!


 COMMENT 495533 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 11:17 AM

498 - If the Boathouse has been a fantastic success story, then it is not a result of the quality of their food. I have been there three times in groups of at least four people, and all three times, every entree and every appetizer was absolutely horrible.


 COMMENT 495549 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 11:52 AM

They should put in something cheap and easy who wants fine dining at beach -burgers fries shakes hotdogs sounds good too me. How about a be-bop!!!!!


 COMMENT 495578 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 01:56 PM

477 Have you ever heard of public recreation? The pavilion is a treasure to beachgoers. East Beach Grill sponsers many activities. It is the type of food/atmosphere that belongs at the beach. I do not want to eat gourmet food on the sand--It is family and beachgoer friendly. I would like to see it stay that way.


 COMMENT 495601 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 03:09 PM

East beach grill does remind me of the restaurant at goleta beach. Great view, average food at best. I like what happened at Henry's beach. It has a much more "pride of ownership" feel now, run down was the deal there before.


 COMMENT 495634P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-17 06:23 PM

452, 423 here. I too emailed this thread to Restaurant Guy last night. Thanks for being reasonable.


 COMMENT 495672 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:03 AM

My neighbor owns Shoreline Cafe at Ledbetter and he has a dream job. I guess he isn't being squeezed by the City for his lease.


 COMMENT 495684 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:32 AM

Shoreline Cafe, anyone else remember Mr Staley my math teacher at La Cumbre in the 70's, he was the owner for a long time....


 COMMENT 495745 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 10:52 AM

The Restaurant Guy reports that this story is false.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 04:05 PM

Heeheehee these comments I haven't been there for many years but love their pancakes. I hope it stays the way it is but Don't bet on it.


32% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.


*** 2 comments were deleted from this thread by the Edhat Board Nanny for violating Edhat Comments Board policy. Click Here to see them.


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