New Restaurant Eyes Elephant Bar Space

A new restaurant is coming to the old Elephant Bar space near the airport, pending final approval from the Santa Barbara City Council. The new joint — High Sierra Grill House — would be located on airport property, so it would lease the 8,700 square-foot building (plus 3,200 square-foot patio space) from the city.

The owners — Mario Medina, Manual Perrales, and Paul Ybarra — have been in business together for 10 years; they run five restaurants in Fresno. The trio met 30 years ago when they worked together at Carrows Restaurants, which was started in Santa Barbara by the same owner who opened the Elephant Bar decades ago.

“We are going to cater to all types of people. We have a very diverse menu,” said Medina, who has owned Mulligans Café at the city golf course for 22 years. On the menu will be steaks, burgers, salads, and pizzas. Prices will range from $8 to $22, Medina said, though most items will be between $10 and $11. They also plan to equip the space with 30-35 televisions.

High Sierra Grill House could open as early as August, depending on construction schedules. The city will do most of the work, Medina said, including plumbing and roofing. Airport administrators have already approved the deal, Medina said, and the matter is scheduled to go before the city council on February 10.

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