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Business Comings and Goings


Hot Spots The beachy coffee shop and visitor information center is reopening at its original location, 36 State Street, in February. The building has sat empty for four years, ever since owner Eric Hamor closed to accommodate the proposed La Entrada time-share condo village, which has not yet materialized.

Saigon In-and-Out The popular Vietnamese restaurant is planning to open a third venue, in the space where Pep Boys used to be, 424 State Street. Saigon In-and-Out first started serving pho, spring rolls, jellyfish salad, and other distinctive cuisine at 318 N. Milpas Street in early 2006, opening a second location at 1230 State Street in mid-2008. Its third location is not expected to fill the entire Pep Boys building but share the space with other businesses. (805) 966-0916 or (805) 966-0909.

The Santa Barbara Independent has initiated this log to keep track of business appearances and disappearances, which have been occuring at a particularly alarming rate during the economic downturn that started around December 2007. We can’t do it without reader contributions: Please add observations to the comments section following the log, and we’ll incorporate your information.

Anthropologie The casual woman’s clothing retailer is moving from 901 State Street to 1119 State Street, next to Long’s Drugs. The store will be closed from February 12-16 to prepare for reopening in the new location on the 17th. (805) 962-5461.

Mingei After 27 years selling Japanese art and artifacts at 736 State Street, Michael Mundy is selling his shop and looking to retire. Broker Forrest Buchanan reports that there is an interested buyer. (805) 899-1109.

Ruby’s Cafe Ruby’s Cafe is for sale. Located at 734 State Street, on De La Guerra plaza, the restaurant and weekend music spot, voted best salsa dancing venue in the Santa Barbara Independent Readers Poll, boasts occasional live music and the motto, “We do more and charge less.” The asking price is $625,000, including liquor license and dance permit. Broker John Thyne, (805) 899-1100.

El Paseo and Harry’s Plaza CafeThese two historic downtown Santa Barbara restaurants, totaling 7,000 square feet, are owned by John Scott and are up for sale either as a package or individually. El Paseo, built in 1826 and opened as a restaurant in 1922, is located in the El Paseo at 812 State Street. It has a spacious courtyard and is rented out for everything from wedding receptions to election night parties. El Paseo is listed at $2.45 million. Harry’s Plaza Cafe, at 3313 State Street, a tradition since 1968, is up for $1.05 million but the two businesses can be bought together for an even $3 million. Both will remain open until sold. (805) 898-4363.

Cali Green A clothing production company founded in 2002 by Chris Scott and Miguel Rocha, Cali Green opened its first retail outlet at 1 West Ortega Street in early December, almost seven months after Rocha’s death in a hit-and-run car collision in Vernon, California, at the age of 26. The Santa Barbara shop’s several owners are longtime members of the company.

Matador The tapas restaurant opened at 714 State Street in early 2008 by UCSB alum Joan Vasquezclosed on 12/13 with an email to fans explaining that “our current location and lease is not working out, especially in this very difficult economy.” Vasquez said that she would be looking for another downtown location.

Fatburger After doing business at 718 State Street for more than a decade, Fatburger closed, apparently in haste, leaving two notes in the window. One said that it had been a pleasure to serve Palmdale (former site of another Fatburger franchise) and a second announced that the property had been “restored to the landlord” on 12/18. (The first sign was later replaced with one that read “Santa Barbara.”) A Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said the restaurant had failed to pay rent for four months.

Happy Harry’s ProduceHappy Harry’s was a fixture at the intersection of Hollister and Patterson Avenues until about a decade ago, when the landlord started making plans to build there. Now, proprietor Mo Abbassali has a new location, 7020 Calle Real, a small parcel which he has purchased with partner Alex Heidarian. Organic tomatoes and lettuces, even now being grown for them at Esperanza Farms in Winchester Canyon, will be among the offerings when Happy Harry’s makes its comeback in January. (805) 685-6868.

Camille’s Day Spa Closed its doors at 1115 State Street on December 4, 2008, but will keep appointments through December 20. Owner Camille Yesbrands opened the doors in 1985, and plans to relocate but doesn’t have a site yet. Meanwhile, all of Camille’s products are available online. (805) 899-4883.

Vons The Vons supermarket at Victoria and Chapala Street was scheduled to shut its doors December 8 to make way for Arlington Village, a mixed-use project whose developers envision 29 condos and 15,000 feet of commercial space. The property has been sold, according to Safeway Corporation’s representative Daymond Rice. However, he said that at present, the Vons store operates a lease through the new owners and has “no immediate plans to close.” An employee said the plans have been delayed for two years.

Stateside Restaurant and Lounge The Stateside is for sale. Its 11,000 square foot courtyard venue-in the gallery-rich paseo known as La Arcada, adjacent to the Santa Barbara Art Museum-was occupied for decades by the Acapulco Restaurant, but sat vacant for a year until the Stateside came along in October 2007. 1114 State Street, (805) 564-1000.

Goleta Valley Voice This Ampersand weekly publication was shut down and the three journalists who kept it going laid off on December 3, 2008, along with 14 additional employees of the ever-disgorging Santa Barbara News-Press, also owned by Ampersand, a.k.a. Wendy McCaw. Link to story.

Video Schmideo Having recently sold off all of its old videotapes, this venerable video store, the second one to open in Santa Barbara when the new VHS technology craze hit in the mid 1980s, will close when its DVDs are all sold, probably at the end of December 2008. 11 W. Victoria St., #22, (805) 564-5999. Link to story.

Mental Health Association Housing The VIP grand opening December 3, 2008, for these 38 apartments for very low income Mental Health Association clients, plus 10 for low-income downtown workers, located at 617 Garden St., right across the street from the City of Santa Barbara offices. (805) 569-1607

Savoy Cafe This popular lunch spot at 24 W. Figueroa St. posted a fond good-bye note to its many loyal customers on Tuesday, December 2, 2008, explaining only that it was “forced to close” after more than three years in business.

Beads of the Earth Beads of the Earth is moving from 621 State St. to 1017A State St. in early 2009. (805) 966-6422.

Silvergreens Restaurant Silvergreens opened a second restaurant at 791 Chapala St. in early December 2008. Jay Ferro and Brian Rocha are expanding from their successful Isla Vista store, which offers a variety of health-conscious foods, mostly made from scratch at the restaurant. Currently serving lunch and dinner, and planning to serve breakfast in the near future. (805) 961-1700. Link to story.

Kernohan’s Toys A local business since 1954, Kernohan’s opened a second store at 18 W. Anapamu St., the former site of Crispin Leather, on November 28, 2008, in addition to its site at 5739 Calle Real in Goleta. (805) 964-6499.

1129 State Street The reconstruction of this courtyard was completed in November, 2008, but so far, Peet’s Coffee is the only business that has moved in. Sima Corporation, (805) 965-1616 (Adam)

Blind Tiger Blind Tiger Ale House’s notice of intention to sell alcoholic beverages was posted in November 2008 at 1212 State St. (785) 267-2739

Silent Pictures Custom Framing After 22 years on Calle Real, Silent Pictures is moving into 3001 State St. next to Longs Drug Store. Doors opened November 18. (805) 967-6695, (805) 689-0034.

Circuit City The stores in Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks, and Santa Maria are scheduled to be closed and liquidated as soon as the remaining stock is sold. There is no certain date for the closures, though the beginning of January 2009 is likely. The Santa Barbara store is located at 3761 State St., (805) 569-0300.Link to story.

June Bug This eco-friendly baby boutique opened in mid November 2008 at 1988 Old Mission Dr. in Solvang, owned and operated by two local moms, Sarah Longoria and Michellene Parker. (805) 450-8545, (805) 215-0611.

THE SHOPP Gear and Ink Opened November 1, 2008, at 900 Milpas, #B, THE SHOPP says it carries products from a wide range of producers, from Dickies to the popular 805 Clothing Company. It features the tattoo artistry of local native Timbon. (805) 965-6704.

Valley Baby Opened in mid September 2008, at 1984 Old Mission Dr., Solvang, this children’s gym offers weekly classes incorporating music, gymnastics, yoga, tumbling, stories, sports, and fitness for newborns to four-plus years. Lee Lopez, (805) 693-9820.

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