Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Santa Barbara Restaurant Trends

I am not sure if there is a trend here but if you look back at the last six months of restaurant openings and closures it appears that the ones that are opening are not the traditional sit down restaurants (with a few exceptions like Melting Pot). The closures appear to be the traditional "fork and knife" restaurants and the ones replacing them are often times "on the go" or less traditional type places like Grapevine Foods. We are even seeing some very entrenched locations change their operating structure.

For example, Wine Cask is moving away from a nightly dinner offering. They are going to a Thursday through Saturday dinner service as diners are eating out less. We know Wine Cask is for sale by the same owners who bought the Big Yellow House in Summerland. They even have that property back on the market for sale after doing very little to upgrade that property.

I am sure we will see more closures or name changes over the next 12 months. The current economy should see the normally fickle Santa Barbara diner become even more so.

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