In a city like Santa Barbara — one which is lauded repeatedly on various click-bait sites for it’s “sexy singles” — the battle for the crown of local hot spot, is relentless, with the biggest advantage going to the most recently established establishments. It’s a battle that’s seen countless long-running and beloved restaurants attempt to host weekly theme nights (Flamenco Fridays, Salsa Saturdays, etc.) and launch unwieldy social media accounts, with pseudo-sadist patrons brandishing negative Yelp reviews like aspiring cops carrying side-arms (as an expression of their rights, as Americans). In 2014, it’s no longer enough for a place to have a good location, or even good food. It has to have a scene.
On Friday, the Canary Hotel, one of Santa Barbara’s best venues for any event (a wedding reception, a wine tasting, a game of Monopoly), was transformed into just that — a scene — for the first of a series of parties co-created by a handful of area entrepreneurs from Night Out S.B. and We the Beat. Summer Love Swimwear was on hand with a cadre of bikini models (but not a fashion show, as I had anticipated for some reason), and the mood was set by newbie live music booking luminaries We The Beat, who provided the DJs.
The real star of the show, though, was the large and attractive crowd, one which the crew from co-collaborator Night Out has been able to count on for some time now. It’s that following which is most telling of the company’s ability to deliver patrons to a lively nightlife scene, a service made simpler than ever with the introduction of their well-designed, highly functional app. Simply put, in 2014 trying to find a bar with your desired scene might be more complicated than just following the scene itself.