Jill Shalhoob can still picture cutting slabs of meat in her dad’s butcher shop.
The dining room hosted cutting tables and saws that sat on cement floors, which sloped toward drains in the floor’s center. Customers approached the counter at the front of the shop, and Jill and her brother stored meat in walk-in refrigerators and freezers in the back.
Jill’s father, Jerry, started Shalhoob Meat Co. in 1973 at 632 Santa Barbara St. The family sold the property after eight years and moved into a more spacious location at 2290 Gray Ave., where it operates today.
Once the tenant at the familiar Santa Barbara Street storefront moved out, Shalhoob turned the butcher shop into a deli on July 25, 1987. In terms of the name, Shalhoob didn’t have much of a choice — locals called it “Jill’s Place.”
“I can’t believe 25 years have gone by,” Shalhood said. “I was young. I remember being in that cutting room with my father — these pictures you can see — and all of a sudden 10 years have gone by of meeting and greeting people at the door of my full-service restaurant.
“I still look around here and think to myself that we have come a long way.”
Now, there’s dark-stained wood, a full-service bar and restaurant, and black-and-white photos of Shalhoob, her father and brother in the butcher shop that hang from the wall. Several of her longtime customers still tell stories about the old butcher shop, she said.
“I never had dreams of opening a restaurant,” Shalhoob said. “I came up with the idea that was based around our great reputation, and that people know Shalhoob Meat. So it was time to take advantage of that, and we earned it. It’s family-oriented and the food is what I grew up on as the butcher’s daughter — meat and potatoes.”
The Snack Shack opened Monday at the former Katwalk boutique location at 801 State St.
While The Habit Burger, a Santa Barbara original, is opening another location in a couple months in Isla Vista, and Eureka Burger gets ready to move into the Paseo Nuevo in September, Snack Shack owner Jim Keller said the opening has drawn a bigger crowd than he expected.
“We’re double as far as volume as we thought we’d have,” he said. “We’re reorganizing to keep up with the demand.”
The most popular items have been the Santa Barbara burger and the pulled-pork sandwich, Keller said. The restaurant also has beers on tap and a wine selection.
Across the Street
I noticed construction directly across from the Burger Buzz, and talked with Skye McGinnis of Skyeline Construction on Thursday morning at 734 State St.
Relais de Paris, an international French chain, is opening its first West Coast restaurant come September. The former Ruby’s Diner location had been vacant for about three years, and McGinnis, investor and construction manager, is building the steakhouse and bistro with a full bar and a 19th-century atmosphere, he said.
“People from all over the world and who travel a lot know it, so downtown Santa Barbara is perfect,” McGinnis said. “It needs to be in a touristy district like New York, Paris, London, and this is a good location in the center of Santa Barbara.”
The French Table is also opening in August at 129 E. Anapamu St. Skye happened to try out the Snack Shack, and he said the food was tasty, appropriately portioned and priced well.
“Doing Business in Paradise”
Forty chamber members will participate, local restaurants will offer small bites, the Brazilian Cultural Arts Center will provide music, and Marmalade Café and the Butler Event Center will man a cash bar.
The Santa Barbara Shuffle
Capoeira Sul da Bahia, a Brazilian martial arts studio at 617 E. Gutierrez St., is moving into a bigger 3,100-square-foot location at 1230 State St.
Mitch Stark of Prudential California Realty told me that the new location will feature a martial-arts studio and a health-food bar that serves Brazilian-themed sandwiches, salads and smoothies. Capoeiria plans to move into the old Silk Road storefront around December.
Stark also manages the old American Apparel storefront at 1019 State St., and said that there hasn’t been much interest in that space. American Apparel recently moved to 733 State St.
Out the Door
Rugs & More at 1117 State St. is moving to 410 Olive St. in the next month. Owner Michael Koroush purchased the Olive Street building, built a sidewalk, and still has some permitting issues to finalize before the move.