Presidio Motel proprietors Kenny Osehan and Chris Sewell.
Cara Robbins

Since remodeling in 2008, the Presidio Motel has become Santa Barbara’s resident beacon of cool. Under the helm of proprietors Chris Sewell and Kenny Osehan, the little State Street 17-roomer now consistently plays host to all walks of tourists, whether they be young businesspeople or touring bands looking for a place to lay their heads. And with the 2010 opening of their in-house shop, The Supply Room, the motel has also become S.B.’s go-to stop for sweet local and otherwise ungettable goods. (Think swoon-worthy Rachel Comey boots, delectable Tatine candles, and gorgeous leather pieces from S.B. master Makesmith.)

All praise aside (and they’re getting plenty, including some sweet ink in a recent Sunday issue of the New York Times), it’s Sewell and Osehan’s great taste and love of a good time that keeps people coming back. It’s also why we’re more stoked than ever for their second annual holiday shopping soirée. This Saturday, December 3, the Presidio Motel opens shop on Deck the Halls Version 2.0, a one-stop pop-up mall/party that’s sure to become one S.B.’s best new holiday traditions.

The Presidio Motel
Cara Robbins

Starting at 5 p.m. and stretching ’til midnight, the motel will open all of its rooms up to different proprietors to create a mini-mecca of retail therapy. Looking for handmade and locally letterpressed Christmas cards? Tabletop Made’s got you covered. How about a haul of vinyl for your record-collecting beau? Warbler Records will be on hand to spin and sell the goods. And if it’s clothes and accessories you’re after, well, just take your pick: LOLO denim, Society for Rational Dress, All for the Mountain, and Stowellen will all have collections up for grabs.

If you’re in need of a pre-, post-, or halftime shopping break, there’s plenty to keep you occupied, as the Santa Barbara food and bevy fixtures will be out in full force throughout the night. Municipal Winery, La Tour, and The Pub have got you covered on the spirited-libations front; the coffee gurus of French Press will be slinging lattes, hot chocolates, and apple ciders aplenty; and Om Sweet Mama Catering and 24 Blackbirds Chocolate will supply the munchies. Meanwhile, outside, S.B. folk rockers Ghost Tiger will plug in for a live set of tunes that are guaranteed to get feet stompin’ and spirits jollied.

And as those who turned out last year can attest, it’s nearly impossible not to have a good time. “It’s so exciting to see all these independent businesses coming out of the woodwork,” said Osehan. “We both just really love the energy that comes together when the whole community gets involved in something. It’s really inspiring.” In other words, come with your shopping lists in hand, and don’t be surprised when you leave with just as much loot for yourself as you do for your loved ones.


The Presidio Motel (1620 State St.) hosts Deck the Halls this Saturday, December 3, from 5 p.m.-midnight. Call (805) 963-1355 or visit


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