Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

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Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara
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(Photo: Dutch Garden)

By edhat staff

Local restaurants Dutch Garden and Enterprise Fish Co. are reportedly closing permanently following the shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Santa Barbara's very own "Restaurant Guy," John Dickson, reported the news about Dutch Garden on Monday stating the local hotspot opened in 1945. 

Located at 4203 State Street, near the intersection of Highway 154 and State, the small building served up schnitzel, German beer, and other European flavors.

Fill up on all the schnitzel and German beer you can since the restaurant will serve its final meals this coming Saturday, June 27.

(Photo: Enterprise Fish Co.)

Enterprise Fish Co. located at 225 State Street, has been closed since March. The restaurant created a GoFundMe account asking the community to help support their employees while being shut down due to the pandemic.

Their website offers a "temporarily shut down" message stating the restaurant is following health recommendations. However, reporter John Palminteri states multiple employees have confirmed the restaurant will not be reopening.

The 43-year-old restaurant has yet to make a formal announcement but their phone lines are currently disconnected. 

(Photo: Chuck's Waterfront Grill)

As many have already heard, Endless Summer Bar & Cafe and Chuck's Waterfront Grill at the Santa Barbara Harbor have announced their permanent closures on April 30. 

"Cheers, to the end of an era. We are sad to announce that we have closed our doors for good. We are so grateful for all of our employees, performers, customers, who have enabled us to remain open for as long as we did," Endless Summer posted on Facebook. 

A new local owner is planning to revamp the space into two separate eateries. 

The third restaurant, Chuck's of Hawaii on Upper State Street, is currently open for dine-in and takeout. There have been no mentions of closing this location.

(Photo: Zizzo's/Facebook)

On Monday, Zizzo's Coffee and Brewpub at 470 Storke Road in Goleta announced on Facebook they will be closing for good after 12 years.

"We didn’t make much money on this place, matter of fact we lost a lot of money, however we felt we were providing a much-needed community-building service. Building relationships were far more valuable to us. It was never about making a ton of money it was “Good Friends, Great Coffee” which has always been our motto and we sincerely believe we lived by that," the owners wrote.

The Restaurant Guy also reports the walk-up Mexican eatery at 701 Chapala Street, Romanti-Ezer, permanently closed on June 11. 

"This was not an easy decision to make, due to Covid-19 we tried as hard as we could to keep the doors open and unfortunately as many small businesses, we were not able to continue keeping the doors open," the restaurant wrote.

It opened in 2006 and also has a food truck with the same name, however, it's unclear if the food truck will also shut down.

Lastly, an edhat reader reports Rose Cafe on Haley Street is not planning to reopen, however, the restaurant has not made an official statement.

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Wud Jun 25, 2020 03:40 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

I am so bummed that Dutch Garden is closing its doors. I wish I had visited there more often. Authentic German food that brought smiles to thousands (maybe millions). Have the owners considered selling the business to keep the tradition in Santa Barbara? Can someone qualified please make them an offer?

winter Jun 24, 2020 02:09 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Just drove by Dutch Garden....Huge line doing take out for lunch.
So happy to see !
At least, when the word got out...they have support.
Maybe not enough to save them, or maybe they want to retire.

gnusman Jun 24, 2020 01:43 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

I can understand the Dutch Gardens only because it was 'far out', not a highly trafficked location, but Fish Enterprise? It was there where locals and tourists congregate. Something's fishy.

a-1593051133 Jun 24, 2020 07:12 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

GNUSMAN- Dutch gardens was one of the busiest restaurants in town. I’m willing to bet one of the most financially successful restaurant as well. They are closing due to a lack of success or interest

biguglystick Jun 24, 2020 12:48 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

The Dutch Garden and The Enterprise are two of the most iconic SB places we have. This is devastating news. I worked at the E-Prise in the early 80's, it's where I met all of my lifelong friends. SO sad.

aragorn Jun 24, 2020 11:23 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

A very sad day here in SB that the best longtime restaurants with history are closing down, The Dutch Gardens, Rose's Cafe on the 400 block of East Haley St. And the Fish Enterprise is sadly closing down forever as well. If not the #1 restaurant for seafood, at least #2. Also (if not) the Dutch Gardens is (soon to be was) the only German restaurant in the city of SB. Their burgers were the best of all of SB.

bigone Jun 24, 2020 09:36 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Dutch Garden and the original Rose Cafe were two of my favorite restaurants, both locally and world-wide. I sometimes fancied that they could almost be worthy enough to be included in our National Historic Register, or be recognized as community landmarks. And great memories of the Enterprise Fish Company; it was the place I used to go to get oysters on the half-shell and sit at the bar with a Bass ale in hand after classes at UCSB . I will sorely miss all three, especially "the Dutch" and "the Rose". Please support American-owned businesses and buy American-made products!

a-1593016241 Jun 24, 2020 09:30 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Maybe everyone needs to settle
Down and put yourself in the owners position! Not all restaurants are closing due to covid. We don’t need to start go fund me pages for all the restaurants. Maybe this was planned before covid! Maybe after 30+ years of owning one of the most consistent and busiest restaurants in town they wanted to retire? Before everyone “freaks out” and just makes all these assumptions let’s embrace the last 30 years of great food by ken and Laurie and wish them luck in their next chapter of life. I am saddened like you all BUT also thrilled that the owners can live their lives they deserve (that restaurant owner/operators) don’t get!!!

SBTownie Jun 24, 2020 10:03 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

I totally hear you and I don't disagree. This is why I said I would *ask* them. If they needed help, then maybe the community would step up. If this was planned for a long time, then we're still going to be devastated but don't act like we're going to bully them into staying open! We're all well-intentioned here. I hope you can see that.

a-1593015514 Jun 24, 2020 09:18 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

No offense to these businesses or patrons - but the restaurant business (and retail) in this town was in trouble pre-Covid. State Street was becoming a waste land of empty stores before the stay at home order.

AdamVant Jun 24, 2020 09:06 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

The government was wrong and persisted in being wrong because it suffers no consequences for being wrong. The government imposed tyrannical stay at home orders and crushed and destroyed livelihoods and businesses and put thousands out of work. Now the economic devastation the government wreaked is reality. More to come. Just don't forget that when you pass by the shell of a building that was once a thriving business, wear a mask.

tenoreleven Jun 24, 2020 08:54 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

I will sorely miss Dutch Garden (it is not plural, folks). Ken's duck is the best in town, and his schnitzel is as well. And no more of Laurie's delicious pies, oh no! And perhaps most distressing of all, where will I get Klokke Roeland on tap now?

And to all you who have nothing better to do than yell at each other online, I roll my eyes in amazement and embarrassment for my fellow man.

SBTownie Jun 24, 2020 09:20 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

I am going to try to speak with them tonight. Is there some way this can be avoided? I would contribute to anything - a GoFundMe, whatever. I LOVE Dutch Garden. What has always made this town so special and dear to me and proud to show it off (it's my hometown) is our wonderful local food scene. I'm really worried we're going to lose a lot of my long-time oldschool favorites. This is a huge loss for SB!

Wit n Art Jun 24, 2020 09:09 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

To me this is a sad occurrence that indicates the difficulties of staying in business and re-arranging your facilities to meet current demands that require adaptable change. It is NOT a political battle ground as some comments allude to, but the realities of economics of change. I feel for the current owners who have put their lives into providing the unique German food we as locals have enjoyed thru 3 owner families and serving my family and the community for nearly 40 years. I’d like to hear from the current owners why they feel they must throw in the towel. Is it the hopelessness of the situation, simply tired of a life of toil and work, or feeling there is no local support they depend on. For whatever the reason I’d like to thank them for the decades of wonderful food in a authentic beer garden environment without the travel to Munich. Thank you for your service …please reconsider this decision.

eainca Jun 24, 2020 08:51 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

I remember when Dutch Garden first opened and, if I remember correctly, they only had the front seating area. They served until food ran out for that day and then closed.
As an aside, I do not understand negative comments for ANY of the restaurant closures. This shut down of small businesses has been devastating to most small businesses. This also includes a large majority of the small (dirty word) landlords. As pointed out by others, banks are not prone to forgiving loan repayments so many small landlords are also in a pinch.

giftedinSB Jun 24, 2020 08:47 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Truly sad for everyone involved - the patrons, but especially the business owners and employees. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning. Restaurants across the nation have lost $120 billion in sales in the past 3 months, even if they were able to keep their doors open and pivot to online/takeout orders. COVID-19 has truly decimated the restaurant industry.

haskelslocal Jun 24, 2020 08:03 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

This is devastating news and sadly expected for many more businesses. What we're seeing is fundamental shift in how we eat and are served food. Think about it, if restaurants aren't serving then we're grocery shopping. And we all saw the stress in March from what appeared to be hording. But it was more than that. It was redistribution of the food supply. Shopping and economic structure is built around food and entertainment. So what we're witnessing is the inevitable domino effect pushing over tiles that lead to an entire collapse of the structure we've grown familiar with. Add in that businesses are talking permanent remote offices. Retail stores are becoming obsolete. These and more factors will forever change how we live and function as a community. If Covid and Economy are not managed perfectly going forward and if there is not a quick economic recovery to establish a footing, then we are certain to see an economic collapse the likes never experienced for generations. Yes, there will be green shoots to rise out of the ashes. Yes some will find opportunity where others left off. But the cataclysmic event horizon we're facing is real. There has to be individual but in that a responsibility to community. Function will require all our efforts. Priorities will be necessary that are economically focused to establish the basics of food, water, utilities, shelter, etc. More than anything, if we don't remove the noise of political discontent and argument and the distractions of things then we'll miss the largest opportunity we've ever had to become a better, stronger community that we can all live in peacefully. Remember, some things are right to discuss, but sometimes not right now. Sometimes there's a bigger picture that must be addressed.

biguglystick Jun 24, 2020 12:18 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

I could not agree more! As someone who has worked in the local service industry all my adult life and the past 35 years in Santa Barbara. I also tried (and failed) to open a small pub here in town and it was the most intense experience of my life. Heartbreaking. Spent my life savings, worked my hands to the bone to renovate a condemned (but very cool) building and we received nothing but resistance, obstacles, grief and B.S. from the city and our greedy landlord. It was HELL. I empathize with all the small business owners in town who make Santa Barbara unique and give us our own personality. HATE the chain cookie cutter operations, but with a city government like we have here, that's ALL we are going to get if we aren't vigilant.

PitMix Jun 24, 2020 09:31 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Randy Rouse was a restaurant owner, and couldn't do anything to avoid this mess. Please provide an example of a city that is addressing these issues in the way you like and let's take a look.

SantaBarbaraObserver Jun 24, 2020 08:38 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Excellent comment and a big reason why the worst possible people to lead us out of this mess are NOT the current crop of professional politicians, bureaucrats and academics at City Hall. The entirety of the city's managers are unimaginative, incapable, bumbling bureaucrats. None of these people has ever built anything new or from scratch or turned around a failing business. As evidenced by years of anemic growth and terrible choices, and a $billion+ in debt for your kids to pay... If measured by nothing but past choices and current status, than its clear that our city is run by idiots and fools who DO NOT have the skills or the vision we need. |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Dont you think we've had enough of professional bureaucrats and bumbling, placating, pussyfooting, politicians? Their record stands clear and its just plain awful. Our city managers and elected officials have proven irresponsible and inept and simply not capable of the tasks at hand. Vote them out, kick them out and let those who can actually create and build take us forward.

Luvaduck Jun 24, 2020 08:36 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Valid analysis of the current situation. Notice that many of the restaurants shutting down are restaurants that had older clientelle who need to be cautious or risk their very lives. Those left of us will have a more constricted old age, but those below 50 will be living for a long time with what they are creating. If this pandemic follows the path of some, it will recurrent ever 10 - 12 years as those without immunities--children--succumb to it.

Shasta Guy Jun 24, 2020 07:25 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

We loved the Dutch Gardens and will sorely miss it. They must have been the last place for traditional German food. There used to be several German restaurants in town, but they have all disappeared as tastes change.

seahorse Jun 24, 2020 07:22 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

This is an admittedly petty comment, but it was frustrating that Dutch Gardens did not allow dogs in their outdoor seating area. A truly European themed restaurant should have embraced the European tradition of allowing dogs, as permitted by state law in outdoor areas.

surfergirl69 Jun 23, 2020 11:31 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Why can't they just keep doors closed, put insurance on hold, utilities on hold ...etc until Covid is over ? Could it be that they are still responsible for RENT every month ? If so, why can't the landlords take the hit instead of the Biz?...... Just wondering ....

Bene Jun 24, 2020 06:36 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Luvaduck are you sure about this? I mostly know about residential commercial property, but I don't think there is enough tax break for empty property of any kind to offset the cost of letting it sit there. You still owe upkeep and payments on property with or without tenants. In some places there are also penalties for property empty as well.

Bene Jun 24, 2020 06:27 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Pitmix, I know your question is for SBO, but might I add a thought? Perhaps the reason landlords leave a property empty rather than "under rent" is because there are some draconian new state and local rules that make them very afraid. This could make them hesitate to have any tenant in a property unless compensated at the rate they require or unless under terms that won't come back to "bite" them.

Luvaduck Jun 24, 2020 06:18 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

I don't know the specifics, but commercial building owners get a big tax break when they are empty, enough to keep rental prices up for quite a while.

Bene Jun 24, 2020 06:17 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

SBO, good comment. But I think in today's climate, few care whether a landlord can pay their bills or not . Cloaked under a "human rights" shield, only tenants' rights are of seeming importance. This is why so many small "mom and pop" landlords are trying to sell their properties no matter the financial hit. I am mainly speaking from knowledge of residential tenancies, but if the current thinking continues, I don't think it would be far fetched to think we will see major problems for all landlords. Someday maybe even government seizure of all kinds of property. There is a new ideology gaining traction in our country -- the idea that people's property can be taken from them--that it "belongs to the people," not to an individual. Although I think this ideology may not be so new---for those who have studied history. Just a few interesting things happening currently: In Oakland, unoccupied housing being taken over by "squatters" with impunity, government appropriation of rental housing in Santa Monica, etc. On a personal note, my sister who is disabled and living on only $400 per month soc sec with her meager rental income being her main source of support, has been without ANY rental income for about a year. Had long court procedure in process to evict non-paying tenants before COVID and now with new COVID regulations it could be up to 18 MONTHS more before she could legally get them out in order to re-rent. In the meantime my sister owes the tenants' huge water, electric, gas, maintenance and repair bills. I have to give her money or she would be on the street. Oh--she can't sell the properties to get money either because the tenants basically own them now. There are a myriad of other "tenant protections" that in essence mean the tenant owns the property, not the landlord. If you are not allowed to sell or collect rent, seems like already a kind of "seizure" of property. You seem to be a very logical and fair minded person, as you indicate that the "unnecessary social divide" could be alleviated by financial understanding, I may sound cynical, but I think many people don't care about fairness, they only care that there are increasing ways for them to profit at others' expense.

a-1593045635 Jun 24, 2020 05:40 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

To Surfergirl, Pitmix, and SBO: I had a business in La Cumbre Plaza. The space was less than 1400 sf and my rent was almost $10,000 per month. That was before city taxes, insurance, health dept fees, etc. The company that owns LCP, Macerich, would not negotiate any type of rent reduction and I gave up on the business almost two years ago and let my lease expire. The space is still empty. So I guess these big corporations and wealthy landlords would rather sit there and not collect any amount of rent than try to work with small business owners. If they have enough money to let their spaces sit idle for long lengths of time, they certainly have enough money in reserve to encourage a thriving local business community. I'm sure there are other factors involved, but this type of attitude on the part of landlords is a testament to greed, absurd, and one of the reasons so many businesses are leaving California for "greener pastures", both big and small.

surfergirl69 Jun 24, 2020 03:50 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

I read all replies to my comment. My basic idea is that I think the reason the restaurants can't just "put everything on hold until Covid is over" is because their biggest expense is RENT, and I guess they face eviction or be responsible for back payments. .........I get it that the restaurants rent is the landlords' income........but, especially on State street, could it be that the landlord is a huge corporation that has enough $$$ in the bank to make it through 5 years of Covid ? That the property has been paid off for years ? And IF the owner still has a mortgage...maybe they could be helped, and let the banks take the hit ???? In other words the "Mom and Pop" restaurants (known and loved in our community) are suffering and the corporations and banks are winning again.

PitMix Jun 24, 2020 09:34 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

SBO, your explanation would make sense if there weren't so many landlords willing to let their spaces be totally empty for long periods on State Street with no income coming in. Unless there is a government program to give them money for this that I don't know about? Please provide my missing financial education on this.

SantaBarbaraObserver Jun 24, 2020 08:48 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Surfergirl, its because a"tenant's" rent is the "landlord's" income. If you take away their income, how do they live, how do they pay their bills, how do they pay the mortgage, the taxes, the salaries? -------- I really wish we had better financial education. People need to be taught how business and economics and finance actually function. There is a rather disturbing lack of understanding about how finances and the economy actually work and its creating an unnecessary social divide. Its not "theirs" or "yours", its never that simple...

a-1592985439 Jun 24, 2020 12:57 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

I’m sure the banks would be more than happy to let the “landlords” skip paying their mortgage for the six to 12 months it will take for a vaccine.....right?!

Sara Zen Jun 23, 2020 10:24 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

No tears for these over-priced, over-rated price-gouging restaurants that most SB folks can't afford anyway; they serve the 1% and the tourists---F*ck 'em!

a-1593020223 Jun 24, 2020 10:37 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

SARA ZEN speak for yourself. These weren't over priced. If you watch your dollars and budget you too can afford to eat out once in awhile at quality locally owned places. I guess you'd prefer Applebees or some other national chains to take over instead? You sound like sour grapes.

Alexblue Jun 24, 2020 10:13 AM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

Honestly, I liked Endless Summer because of the memorabilia and the view but what a tourist trap. Overpriced and food was mediocre at best. So, yeah, okay.

But Dutch Gardens was a TRUE SB local spot and Sara Zen, if you don't understand that then you need to check your local credentials a little more carefully. Fairly priced, been there for a very long time, quirky as hell, really good food. Very sad to see that place go.

Whatever happens at Endless Summer and Chucks', I'm sure it will be overpriced, but hoping they at least make a gesture towards edible food.

MountainMan4865 Jun 23, 2020 11:59 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

The Dutch Gardens has been here here since 1945. A HUGE staple for the locals AND not for the 1% that you say F..k them. Excellent food and fairly priced and it's a real shame to see them close up.
Maybe you are one of those who wishes to just see Mom and Pop places close so you can go and place your Uber eat meals and sit at home and watch NetFlix, or whatever it is you watch.

LooseCannon Jun 23, 2020 07:17 PM
Longtime Restaurants Close in Santa Barbara

My prediction is that there are going to be fewer restaurants and the restaurants that survive will have to dramatically raise their prices. Eating out, for ordinary middle-class people, will become a luxury for special occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, and so forth. Only the rich will be able to eat out on a regular basis. Whether you supported the lockdown or not, it's going to DEVASTATE the restaurant business. And if you thought State Street was becoming a miserable place, with homeless place and empty storefront six months, just wait until the Fall.


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