Restaurant Roundup: Trattoria Vittoria Announces Closure, Oyster Bar to Open on the Wharf, and More!

Trattoria Vittoria (courtesy)

As always, the local dining scene is changing with openings, closures, special menus, and more.

Here’s the latest culinary news of Santa Barbara.

Trattoria Vittoria Announces Closure, Last Meals Served This Weekend

Edhat reader Jennifer M. sent us a tip about the longtime Italian restaurant closing with the above photo.

A sign on the door reads,”Unfortunately we are closing down and are unable to open tonight. We will be open Friday and Saturday, 5/17 and 5/18, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for our last dinner services with a limited menu. Reservations are available on OpenTable. We hope you will join us to say goodbye.”

Closed sign at Trattoria Vittoria on May 15, 2024 (Photo by Jennifer M. /edhat)

Located at 30 W. Victoria Street in downtown Santa Barbara, Trattoria Vittoria is owned by the local Comin family and has been around for 18 years.

According to the owner, Vittoria, the business has been sold and will not remain open during the transition. She described how her grandfather, Giovanni “Lucky” Comin, put his heart and soul into the business until retiring.

“However, with my Nonno retired, inflation and cost-of-living continuing to rise unsustainably, and the city of Santa Barbara becoming less inviting to small family-owned restaurants like ours, we have determined it is unfortunately time to move on,” Vittoria stated. The full message can be read here.

Their classic meatball spaghetti and prime rib ravioli will surely be missed.

Oyster Bar Opens Next Week at Moby Dick’s on Stearns Wharf

Rendering of the new Oyster Bar at Moby Dick’s Restaurant on Stearns Wharf (courtesy)

Moby Dick’s restaurant on Stearns Wharf is expected to reopen on May 23 as “The Oyster Bar.”

Boasting a 270-degree view of the Santa Barbara harbor, coastline and channel, the new space is being revamped to match its new menu featuring fresh seafood, craft cocktails, and locally made beers.

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Cioppino menu item to be served at the new Oyster Bar (courtesy)

Chef David Campos, previously at the Ritz Carleton, is is at the helm focusing on sustainably harvested seafood, produce, and cocktails.

The restaurant’s social media pages are showcasing some new menu items including roasted oysters, cioppino, garlic parsley parm roasted oysters, and clam chowder.

Construction of the new Oyster Bar at Moby Dick’s Restaurant on Stearns Wharf (courtesy)

Via Maestra Wine Bar Opens on Upper State

The owners of the popular Via Maestra 42 at 3343 State Street have officially opened their wine bar just a few doors down.

The Bitar family peeled the paper off the windows this past weekend to show off their new venture, Via Maestra Enoteca, an Italian wine bar.

Wine is available by the bottle or glass as well as Italian sodas. Food can be ordered to-go at their restaurant and dogs are welcome.

The Bitar family officially opening Via Maestra Enoteca (Courtesy photo / Instagram)

And what does “enoteca” mean? A wine library, of course.

STICA to Open in Santa Ynez this Summer

The owners of S.Y. Kitchen and Nella Kitchen & Bar plan to open STICA in Santa Ynez this summer, according to the Restaurant Guy.

The new spot will be located at 3563 Numancia Street and will offer grab-and-go service and a market with salads, sandwiches, pastas and sauces, and other goods. STICA will also offer wine and Roman pinsas, offered by the slice or as a create-your-own pinsa board.

Dart Coffee Opens New Location at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

Expanding on its popular Funk Zone location, the local coffee shop opened its second location in the SB Maritime Museum (SBMM) at the Santa Barbara Harbor last month.

The new venue offers a variety of hot and cold specialty coffees, drip coffee, and pastries.

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Patio of DART Coffee Co. at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (courtesy)

“In addition to great coffee, Dart creates an atmosphere of belonging and space for people to gather,” said Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Executive Director Greg Gorga. “The harbor is such a vibrant place enriched even more by the families, friends, and professionals visiting and working here every day. The coffee bar will allow folks to rest and recharge with a great cup of joe – all while enjoying the view of our spectacular harbor.”

Located in the historic Waterfront Center Building (formerly the Naval Reserve), SBMM is a place where the public can experience maritime culture, developing a deeper appreciation for the interconnection between humans and the sea.

Interior of Dart Coffee at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (courtesy)

“We are thrilled to join and serve the harbor community in one of Santa Barbara’s most iconic locations,” said Dart Coffee Co. Owners Erika Carter, Dr. David Dart, and Carter Hallman.

Dart Coffee Co. at SB Maritime Museum coffee bar is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Shalhoob’s Leaves Santa Barbara Public Market as Wexler’s Deli, Cooney’s, and Three Monkeys Arrive with New Event Space Included

Public Market in downtown Santa Barbara (courtesy)

The Santa Barbara Public Market celebrate its 10th anniversary last month with some changes.

According to the market, Shalhoob’s amicably departed on March 30, making way for other outstanding vendors to step in.

Three Monkeys opened earlier this year serving up Thai BBQ with grilled meats and sautéed vegetables, infused with authentic Thai flavors. Chicken Satay and Pork Bánh Mi sandwiches are just a few of their menu items.

“Our mission is to transport our customers from the American Riviera to the vibrant streets of Thailand,” their website states.

Mixologist Tim Cooney and owner of the catering company Simply Cocktails, has taken over the front and rear bar areas called “Cooney’s.” Diners have the option to choose mixed drinks, over 30 beers on tap, and a cellar of wine.

A bar menu created by chef Nui Pannak (of Three Monkeys and Empty Bowl) features traditional buffalo wings, barbecue pork sliders, jalapeño poppers, french fries, and more.

As for the Shalhoob’s burger spot toward the back, a well-known local chef (not yet announced) will continue the tradition with a delicious smash burger as well as a mouthwatering menu of gourmet salads and sandwiches, according to the Public Market.

“Big Poppa” pastrami and egg bagel sandwich at Wexler’s Deli (courtesy)

Speaking of sandwiches, Wexler’s Deli has now opened and is serving some of the best classic Jewish deli offerings. Pastrami, smoked salmon, freshly made bagels, and heaps of cream cheese are now available.

The Public Market also announced a new event center that opened next door under the same ownership. Named 28 Vic, the space can host nearly 200 guests, with catering available from the vendors in the market.

Little Alex’s Reopens in Five Points After Getting the Boot from Montecito Mart

The former home of Fresco’s Cafe in the Five Points Shopping Center is now the home to Little Alex’s.

The family-operated Mexican Grill called the Coast Village shopping center, now named the Montecito Country Mart, home for 30 years before its lease wasn’t renewed.

According to readers the menu is the same serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Nick the Greek Takes Over Former Natural Cafe State Street Location

Perhaps the most talked about opening in the past month is Nick the Greek, a franchise focusing on gyros, bowls, and salads.

With over 70 locations from California to Texas, this growing fast-food spot’s Santa Barbara grand opening drew hundreds of people to 508 State Street, the former location of Natural Cafe. The free promotional lunch they offered might have also done the trick.

Via Vai Closed in Montecito

Last month the popular Via Vai, at 1483 East Valley Road in Montecito, closed its doors.

The Italian pizzeria and trattoria opened in 1994. It started closing on Sundays in March and scaled back service in April by not serving lunch. It served its last meal at the end of April.

Oliver’s in Montecito Also Closed

Oliver’s in Montecito (courtesy)

Oliver’s closed its doors for good last month. The former home of Peabody’s, located at 1198 Coast Village Road, opened in October of 2017 serving up plant-based meals.

“It has been an incredible honor to be part of such a beautiful, strong and resilient community for the last seven years, and we will deeply miss the privilege of welcoming you into our restaurant,” the owners posted on social media.

A new concept will be coming to the same location in the months ahead, according to the owners.

Cold Spring Tavern Cancels Dinner Service This Summer

Cold Spring Tavern (edhat file photo)

The historic Cold Spring Tavern announced due to staffing issues they will not offer dinner service this summer.

Instead they’ll focus on lunch with their restaurant opened Friday-Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. as well as Monday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Their walk-up tri-tip station will continue to be active from 11:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Rumor Has It…

Note: the following two tips have not been verified but have been submitted to edhat by readers and self-described “foodie insiders.”

Nobu, the celebrity adorned sushi house, is rumored to be setting up shop somewhere at the shuttered Four Seasons Biltmore. A lot of construction is taking place on the resort grounds but there has been no official announcement. Nobu has locations all over the world with the closest being Malibu.

A market-style restaurant named Skyfield is rumored to take over the location at 26-30 E. Ortega Street, the former home of Black Sheep and Seagrass. Not much is known about this venture other than their Instagram page focused on local farming.


Written by lauren

Lauren is the Publisher of She enjoys short walks on the beach, interesting facts about bees, and any kind of homemade cookie.

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  1. Santa Barbara Public Market is probably one of the nosiest dining experiences that we have ever suffered and sadly the noise overshadows some of the decent food served there. Why go to lunch with someone if you cannot have a viable discussion over the roar?

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