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Seagrass Announces New Owners Chef Robert Perez & Family

Seasoned culinary family finds new home in Santa Barbara


Local restaurateur Mitchell Sjerven has announced the sale of top-rated Seagrass Restaurant to Chef Robert Perez and his family of culinary experts, who have recently relocated to Santa Barbara. With a respected and long-standing history of culinary experience.

Chef Perez, along with his wife Marianna Perez, and sons Ruben Perez and Richard Perez, are seasoned restaurant professionals with a passion for the restaurant business – a team Sjerven knew would be the right fit to take over Seagrass. The restaurant will remain open for business as usual during the transition, (under the same name, Seagrass) with only minor updates to the menu, as the Perez family settles in to Santa Barbara, and makes Seagrass their new home.

“The sale of Seagrass provides the opportunity for me to continue my commitment to Wine Cask to bring it back to the level of excellence Santa Barbara expects, and to ensure it’s continued success,” said Sjerven. “My wife, Amy Sachs, and I knew it was critical to find a new proprietor who was as committed to the same degree that we have been to Seagrass to provide an excellent dining experience. Throughout the sale process it became clear to us that the Perez family shared our passion for the restaurant business, and have great confidence they will be successful.”

Sjerven is grateful to Santa Barbara for three wonderful years of support at Seagrass, and is looking forward to dedicating his time and attention to his two other restaurants, Bouchon and The Wine Cask. He and Sachs recognize the Seagrass staff for helping to make it the top restaurant that it is today, and will miss working together. Sjerven gives extra thanks to the very talented Chef John Pettitt who was integral in the success of Seagrass, which was most recently acknowledged as the #1 restaurant in Santa Barbara by the 2011 ZAGAT Survey.

For Chef Robert Perez, cooking has always been a family affair. Most recently, the family owned and operated the critically acclaimed restaurant Citronee Bistro in Nevada City, California for the past 13 years. They have recently relocated as a family to Santa Barbara to pursue their dream of having a restaurant together here. Son Ruben is taking on ownership duties while Chef Perez is Chef de Cuisine, and his other son Richard is director of wines. Mother Marianna along with Ruben’s life-partner Erin Gailsdaughter will share management of the front of the house.

“Finding the right restaurant in Santa Barbara for our family has been a goal for some time now, so when the opportunity with Seagrass arose, we knew this was our chance,” said Ruben Perez, new owner, Seagrass Restaurant. “As a close-knit family, we’re eager to share our “art-to-the-eye, art-to-the-palate” dining philosophy with our guests, and offer the very highest caliber of personalized service. We look forward to meeting our new guests and becoming a part of the Santa Barbara community. We’re thankful to Mitchell and Amy for this opportunity, and for building Seagrass into one of Santa Barbara’s top restaurants.”

Seagrass is perfectly situated, right off of State Street in downtown Santa Barbara just 6 blocks from the beach. Come drift away for an evening and enjoy the Coastal Cuisine of the American Riviera®. Seagrass is located at 30 E. Ortega Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Call 805.963-1012 or visit online.

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