Is Open Air Bicycles expanding? Is a new restaurant coming to the 1300 block of State Street? Not quite. The storefront between the bike shop and the Christian Science Reading Room is slated to be a model train museum.
Surrounding businesses and Lara Property Management said the space’s owner, Art Bosse, is planning to open a model train museum that will feature a $1 million collection. While Bosse is away on vacation, a representative from the property management company said the building has been under construction for the past two years.
“That’s been the plan since he purchased the building and still is the plan; however, it’s just getting going,” the representative said. “The demo is done and once the building is constructed it will probably take at least a year to finish.”
Magic Carpet Ride
Rugs & More at 1117 State St. will be moving to a new location in the next four or five weeks, the owner told me Thursday.
I noticed the sign that reads, “In preparation to move we are liquidating our entire stock!” and walked in to find president/CEO Michael Kourosh.
He said the oriental rugs and home furnishings vendor is moving off of State Street because the local demographic has changed. Many of his clients do not come down State Street anymore because of the shift from high-end to discount retailers and the growing homeless population, Kouroush said. Rugs & More has been in Santa Barbara for the past 22 years.
Side note: Rugs & More’s former neighbors, American Apparel, recently moved to 733 State St.
After 25 years in business, Beads of the Earth at 1017 State St. is closing in 60 days.
One of the owners told me they will sell the rest of their handmade jewelry online after the store closes. Business has been slow, and Beads of the Earth can’t afford the upcoming increase in rent, she said.
When the Moon Hits Your Eye ...
Indian restaurant Taj Café vacated 905 State St. about a year ago and a new lease was signed Tuesday.
I saw the Bartlein & Co. Inc. sign outside of the old Ultimate Bagels shop and called to see if there has been a lot of activity. Bob Bartlein told me there has been plenty of interest from business people who want to turn it into a full restaurant and some who want to try another bagel shop. Nothing has firmed up yet.
But new owners will put an Italian spin on the old Indian restaurant. It will be called Persona Neapolitan Pizzeria.
“The concept takes the authentic Neapolitan wood-fire pizza and offers it to guests in an easy and affordable venue,” Bartlein said as he read from the lease details. “Customers get to choose their own toppings while their pizza is cooked in front of them in 90 seconds.”
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