Harbor Restaurant Temporarily Closed

What's up? (Edhat)

Does anyone know why the Harbor Restaurant on Stearns Wharf is temporarily closed?

There’s no information on their website but Google Reviews say it’s closed and the restaurant laid off all their employees.

Apparently they were promoting a Christmas dinner feast and then cancelled it last minute.

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    • Hi guys, thank you for asking. Yes, we are renovating the restaurants in this large building on Stearns Wharf but working with the City to get permits issued was more involved than anticipated. Unfortunately the building has been unkept for many years and deferred maintenance led to a massive need to remodel. This was complicated by major water damage and flooding during heavy rains. We stayed open over the holidays as much as we could; accommodated as many holiday parties as possible; and hosted a buffet for the Parade of Lights; but the need to fix real health and safety concerns was too serious to keep going. We only laid off staff as needed and to help them get unemployment benefits. Longboards was open until a few days ago. Now, we are working hard to get the City and Health Department requirements satisfied to reopen as soon as possible. Of course we want our staff working, and we want the restaurants to be open to locals and visitors who love dining on the pier, so we are moving as quickly as the City will let us. We hope you enjoy the new look, food, and feel when we finish and re-open.

    • Yes, this is exactly what is happening. It was posted on a different Facebook page, around the middle of December, that they cancelled all reservations and laid off all employees due to starting a renovation of the entire property. Employees appeared to have been caught off guard with it being so close to Christmas, and were trying to find employment asap. Many people were upset with their Christmas Day reservations being cancelled kind of last minute.

  1. I cannot be more excited for their planned renovations — my birthday is August, so I’m just hoping it will reopen in time for me to order my favourite $22 burger with a side salad instead of fries in celebration. I bet that the cost of the reno will mean they no longer do a free birthday ice cream, but that’s ok!

  2. Bizhawk 12/14/23
    Attorney John Thyne III, his wife, Olesya Thyne, Gene Sanchez and his wife, Carolina Jimenez, have purchased The Harbor Restaurant and Longboard’s, and they have plans to elevate the restaurant to new levels.

      • The business and general community will not let the Harbor Restaurant fail, and Mr. Thyne, even though I’ve criticized him, has connections to money and knowledgeable people. The Harbor Restaurant will not fail — not with that location.

        I had a lovely Christmas work lunch there, that I obviously still remember and treasure, in the late 80’s. lol, yeah, I’m ancient. But I was very young then too.

        • I’ve also had appalling service at Longboard’s, where one does not expect much, years ago.
          It’s pretty bad when you can’t even get paper napkins from your server!
          Or have to explain to them what a simple drink is. But that was years ago.
          I never had these issues at Brophy’s.
          There’s a reason I haven’t eaten at the Harbor or had a drink at Longboards in many, many years, even prior to the pandemic.

          • This is precisely what we plan to correct (along with reversing decades of neglect). It is a huge project that will take time but I look forward to letting you know when you should be able to return to a much nicer experience.

  3. Why couldn’t htey have kept the place open for a couple more weeks, through Christmas and the New Year?
    John Thyne is huge in SB. I find him to be a picture of a big-dollar heartless developer, especially with this action.

  4. I emailed the Santa Barbara Waterfront web page yesterday to point out that they’re advertising the Harbor restaurant as if it’s business as usual; got a prompt reply to say they’re “looking into it.”
    I read some Yelp reviews too — ouch, really bad.

  5. It ain’t easy dealing with SB City Hall, permitting, and the County Health Dept. They all put up big barriers to businesses around here, and that’s not a compliment. I get the sense the new owners already know this and will handle their stuff quite well.

  6. Mr. Thyne, congratulations on your acquisition and I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with the place! That restaurant has been in serious need of some TLC for a while.

    It’s funny how many are complaining for no other reason than the fact that you are able to afford such an undertaking.

    In regards to those alleging health violations, Thyne is actually addressing the very issues that would cause health concerns. The wharf is a particularly sensitive location and there are a lot of factors at play in property upkeep there. It’s a cultural backbone of our small community and I feel confident this restaurant is now in good hands

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