By Lauren Bray, edhat staff
There’s been a lot of news in the Santa Barbara restaurant scene lately. Openings, closings, and some heartbreak. Let’s dive in.
Tap Thai Announces Closure of Upper State Street Location
This week the owner of TAP Thai Cuisine sent out an email to customers notifying of the permanent 3130 State Street closure after 12 years in business.
“I love this restaurant and the San Roque neighborhood; lots of great memories and amazing people. However, I haven’t been able to fulfill all the positions needed for both restaurants since opening the Goleta store last year,” wrote owner/operator Preaw Chamchoi.
Chamchoi stated she will instead focus on TAP Thai location in Goleta (7060 Hollister Ave #106) and her friends Tony and Sopin will be opening their own Thai restaurant, Thai Bistro, in the same San Roque space.
The last day for Upper State Street location will be September 15.
Seven Bar + Kitchen Forced to Close in the Funk Zone
Seven Bar (courtesy photo)
Funk Zone favorite, Seven Bar + Kitchen, was booted out of their 224 Helena Avenue spot after ten years, officially closing at the end of August.
In a message to supporters, the restaurant stated it was not their decision to close. “Our landlord has decided to go in a different direction with new tenants. These new tenants were very persistent on getting us out of there,” the message stated.
No official word yet on who the new tenants are but words on street is it will be a fancy sushi restaurant.
Black Sheep Sails On
Black Sheep E. Ortega Street building (courtesy photo)
The father-son team of The Black Sheep restaurant announced they had sold the business at the end of July. The 28 E. Ortega spot opened in 2014 focusing on Latin, Asian, and Italian flavors.
““I am so grateful for everyone we have met, the friendships we have created, and the family we now have. It has been our honor to share with all of you, our love of food and service. Thank you for being a part of us. We will miss you,” wrote owner Ruben Perez.
Their last open day was September 4.
Fresco Cafe Moves Downtown
The 5-Points Shopping Center mainstay is packing up and moving out to downtown Santa Barbara. Their new location is the El Centro Building next to the Lobero Theater at 23 E. Canon Perdido.
This is the former location of the shortlived Sevtap Winery who completely renovated the space before moving in on April 2021. It closed in March of this year.
Why leave their longtime home? An edhat reader overheard an employee discussing landlord issues and The Restaurant Guy reports their 5-Points rent increased to more than $20,000/month with the new location being almost half.
Marty’s Pizza Closes After 38 Years
The faded blue sign with a yellow clipart pizza design will soon be gone at 2733 De La Vina Street. Marty’s Pizza has closed since opening in 1984.
The Restaurant Guy reported earlier this year the building will be demolished due to the DLV bridge replacement project and Marty planned to close in the fall with no plans of reopening elsewhere.
Rare Society Opens in Not So Rare Space
If you frequent lower State Street, you already know the location at 214 State has been a million different concepts over the years. Located next to Loquita and across from the Amtrak Station used to be a hybrid location of Corazon Cocina and Captain Fatty’s Brewing Company called “The Project.” It opened in 2019 and permanetly closed at the beginning of the year.
Way back in the day it reminded me of a Miami-inspired lounge with brave white furniture with a name everyone struggled with, Couchez. Then it was Union Ale, the Tri Tip Company, Yankee Noodle, Rebar Coffee, and American Ale.
Now, it’s filled with dim lights and gold accents called Rare Society. With two other locations in San Diego it offers seafood towers, a variety of beef, and craft cocktails.
Mesa Gets an Ice Cream Parlor
An edhat reader reported earlier this summer a new ice cream shop named Sweeties was opening up at 1826A Cliff Drive. It’s now ready to doll out scoops during heatwaves.
Serving Santa Barbara’s very own McConnell’s ice cream, this new shop comes from the team led by entrepreneur Chris Chiarappa who’s also involved in Mesa Burger, Corner Tap, Lighthouse Coffee, and several other culinary ventures in the works.
Sweetie’s also offers a variety of frozen yogurt, waffle cones, shakes, malts, and banana splits.
West Beach’s New Whiskey Lounge
The Rodeo Room opened at the beginning of the summer on W. Montecito Street between the Neighborhood Bar and the Brewhouse.
It’s a craft cocktail bar serving inventive cocktails with a whiskey focus and elevated bar snacks.
Santa Barbara Harbor Gets a New Anchor
The Anchor Rose Restaurant opened its doors June 17 in the space formerly operated by Salty at the Beach, at 113 Harbor Way, above the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
The new ownership group took over the leases for both Chomp on the Rocks (downstairs)and Salty at the Beach (upstairs). The new owners will continue to operate the upper portion as Anchor Rose Restaurant while converting the lower restaurant space into the Anchor Rose Lounge. The 3,978 square foot lower level space is reportedly undergoing renovations.
See’s Candies Opens in Goleta
See’s Candies closed its location in the Paseo Nuevo mall and reopened in Goleta’s Camino Real Marketplace a few weeks ago.
Don’t worry, the location near the La Cumbre Mall is still operational.
Santa Barbara Has Good Bagels???
Word on the street is The Bagel Boiz offers the best bagels in town. Established in 2020, the pop-up shop serves their wares through Third Brewing Company at 406 E. Haley Street.
Here’s how it works. On their Instagram page order through their direct messages. The pre-order window opens at 6:00 p.m. on Monday with payment sent though Venmo. They are veryyy popular so orders are not guaranteed until confirmed. Pick up times will still be on Saturdays at Third Window Brewery Kitchen from 8am – 9:30am.
I’ll place my order as soon as I can report back!