“Every espresso bar had a pub, and every pub had an espresso bar,” said Michael McDonald of what he saw during a European vacation with his wife, Sue McDonald. They’d opened the drive-through Zizzo’s Coffee on Storke Road in 2009 and had been noticing that their morning customers often wound up at Hollister Brewing Company later in the day. “Going to Italy,” said Michael[CQ], “I thought, ‘They’re making it work. Why can’t we?’”
The result is Zizzo’s Coffeehouse & Brew Pub, which opened in Goleta’s recently built Hollister Village Plaza this past May. The original spot is still open, and they also run a third Zizzo’s inside the Ice in Paradise skate rink across the street, but they now consider the hybrid as their flagship location. “This dual concept/single location is unique to the Central Coast,” said Michael. “[It’s] the first that I am aware of that operates as a full-on coffeehouse in the morning and as a sports bar/brewpub in the evening.”
That means the friendly neighborhood vibe of Zizzo’s Coffeehouse shifts easily to the calm, clean, and casual Brew Pub at night, with a strong selection of 10 craft beers, including offerings from nearby breweries like Draughtsmen, M.Special, and Captain Fatty’s. “I’m very fortunate in the fact that a lot of our locals have very good beer,” said Michael, but he also serves popular IPAs and other flavors from Ballast Point, AleSmith, and elsewhere. Sue spearheads the wine selection, including her favorite, the fruity cabernet sauvignon from Brady Vineyards.
There’s plenty to eat in the afternoon and evening, as well, thanks to Chef Anthony Salcedo, who formerly worked in the kitchen at Westmont College and heard about the position while a customer at the drive-through location. The menu, which he calls “a step away from the standard pub food,” starts with perfect beer bites like their dreamy garlic knots and the bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers, generously filled with five different cheeses. Then there are entrées both meaty and veggie-filled, from a slow-roasted pulled-pork sandwich to a toasted quinoa and baby kale salad.
The wraparound bar features sports on TV, as well as surfboards and art made by folks from around the region. Guests can even enjoy some sport of their own with Jenga or cornhole in the courtyard. “This is a great community in Goleta,” said Sue, who’s also a personal trainer, while Michael is a seven-time Ironman.
The best way to get a taste is during happy hour, Monday-Thursday, when pints are just $3, and you can also try the food off-site, as everything on the menu can be catered for offices and staff parties. But given Zizzo’s unique morning-to-night evolution, it’s one of the few places where you could actually spend the whole day.
“People that like coffee like beer and wine,” said Michael of his creation, “so we kind of put two and two together.”
Open Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; 7060 Hollister Avenue; zizzoscoffeehouse.com.