I’m writing today because I can’t believe what is happening to the charming little coffee garden I’ve come to know and love. We need your help!

If you haven’t been to the beautiful Dart Coffee garden in the Funk Zone, a charming café that was once home to Funk Zone farms and an old green artist’s cottage — you ought to.

On a recent Saturday morning, I sat and got lost between pages and the sound of an accordion. The small outpost was serving coffee to bustling locals who caught up on the week’s conversation. A boy no more than 5 asked the French-sounding jazz band if they could play the ABCs. They laughed and obliged.

Imagine — a stunning shore bird swooped in and landed on an olive green umbrella. We all take a minute and a deep breath to admire the natural beauty that we are lucky enough to bask in day in and day out.

As the afternoon passes, the charming little garden bathes in sunshine and becomes peaceful and serene — we escape the monotony of a post-COVID, homebound life.

Today, I find there is a proposal to demolish this little piece of paradise and replace it with a whole block of high rise condos bigger than any the Funk Zone has seen before.

I’m crushed. The proposal is to be reviewed by the city’s architectural review board today, July 25. The responsibility of this board, as explicitly stated on their website, is to “Protect and preserve, as nearly as practicable, the natural charm and beauty of Santa Barbara.”

My message to all Indy readers is: There is nothing more charming, more characteristically Santa Barbara than this small, under-the-radar coffee garden. I ask that you spread the word and help stop this development by writing to keepthefunksb@gmail.com and arbsecretary@santabarbaraca.gov

Meeting Details

The ABR agenda for Monday’s meeting is linked here. The 121 East Mason Street (SOMOfunk) project is the third item to be reviewed and is slated to begin at 4:50 p.m. There will be about an hour presentation by the developer, and public comment will then follow.


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