First-time business owner Maria Wilson knew Santa Barbara residents enjoy their wine and art, but she didn’t expect out-of-town customers to drive nearly two hours for a night of painting.
“It’s perfect for Santa Barbara because it’s art and wine,” Wilson said. “When I visited one in Colorado, it was shocking how much fun and how busy it was. I get people who drive more than a hour and a half to come here. I couldn’t believe it.”
The Painted Cabernet, located at the former vintage bike shop The Bici at 1229 State St., features two-hour painting classes, craft beers and a local wine selection. The painting bar has been growing consistently since it opened on May 31, she said. While the initial Thursday through Sunday classes hosted 10 to 15 people each session, several classes recently have been selling out.
“It’s not an art class; it’s an entertaining night out,” Wilson said. “It’s two hours of socializing, relaxing and drinking something fun.”
It’s a growing business model throughout the country but not as much in California, she added. Most similar businesses are mobile and don’t have a storefront because of the stringent regulations associated with alcohol sales, Wilson said.
The Buck Stops Here
While several business owners said they don’t think the discount retailer will be a good fit for downtown Santa Barbara, others argued that it’s better than a vacant storefront.
The 99 Cents Only Store expects 200 to 300 shoppers at the 8 a.m. opening, at which the first shoppers can snag a 22-inch flat-screen television for 99 cents, according to a news release. There are 298 stores in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas, and each store nets about $5 million in yearly revenue, according to the company website.
Co-founders Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin have 75,000 square feet of space in the Carpinteria Business Park. Lynda.com reduced its energy and water usage, composted food scraps, donated electronics to minimize solid waste and launched an employee commuter program that saved 600 gallons of gas in the first two months.
“Environmental sustainability is an important part of the corporate culture at lynda.com,” Green Business Program director Frances Gilliland said. “Management and staff have undertaken significant efforts at their facilities, particularly in the areas of ride sharing and water conservation.”
The French Table
A new “gastropub/creperie” is set to open Aug. 30 at the former Elements space at 129 E. Anapamu St.
The owner manages six Crème de la Crepe restaurants in Southern California and is opening the first French Table.
A Crème de la Crepe assistant manager said the restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will feature items such as chicken Dijon, fondu and other French cuisine.
Santa Barbara employment service PathPoint has re-elected board chairwoman Barbara Stevenson. She joined the board in 2007 and took the chair position in 2009.
Stevenson is a certified financial planner who helps individuals become financially independent. She has been working for the independent financial planning firm Blakeslee & Blakeslee since 1993.
“I am proud to support PathPoint’s mission to serve people with disabilities,” she said.
Founded in Santa Barbara in 1964, PathPoint strives to provide comprehensive training and support services that empower people with disabilities or disadvantages to live and work as valued community members.
An employee said the Japanese restaurant expects to open its second location late this year. Its permit from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for beer and wine is pending.