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BizHawk: Bennett Family Moves to Acquire Farmer Boy Restaurant

Dani Boy kids clothing store opens on Coast Village Road, job fairs planned in Santa Barbara County and Startup Weekend Santa Maria returns next week

San Roque’s Farmer Boy Restaurant, a staple since 1958, will soon change hands when the sale to local and serial purveyor John Bennett closes May 1.
San Roque’s Farmer Boy Restaurant, a staple since 1958, will soon change hands when the sale to local and serial purveyor John Bennett closes May 1.  (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

[BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing [email protected]]

The longtime local owner of Farmer Boy Restaurant is selling the San Roque staple to Santa Barbara’s Bennett family, which will retain the familiar eatery name.

Ralph Karleskint plans to hand the restaurant reins over to local and serial purveyor John Bennett by May 1 when escrow closes, while keeping the catering arm of the restaurant that’s been at 3427 State St. since 1958.

Bennett and his mother, Susan, also recently picked up the former Maggie’s restaurant at 1201 State St., with the hope of opening Benchmark Eatery in May after some cosmetic renovations.

The family already owns Brophy Brothers Restaurant and On the Alley — both on Harbor Way— and recently acquired the Cliff Room on the Mesa.

Bennett couldn’t be reached for comment, but Karleskint said the new owner was planning some upgrades and would hopefully reopen not long after escrow closes.

Karleskint, 70, had begun looking for another local restaurant’s kitchen to host catering.

“I have mixed feelings about it,” he said of the sale and of missing his customers. “I’ve got employees who have been with me over 20 years, so hopefully John is going to hire them when he reopens.”

Dani Boy Store to Host Grand Opening

The new Dani Boy kids clothing store in Montecito is planning to host an invitation-only grand opening next Saturday, April 5.

Owner Dani Leholm opened the clothing boutique earlier this month at 1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 5, and it’s been open seven days a week since.

Leholm, a third-generation Santa Barbara resident, said the store carries kids clothing from 20 designers, many of them well known, including Hudson Jeans and Native Shoes.

A grand opening party will be hosted next Saturday evening for invited guests.

Job Fairs Planned for Santa Barbara County

The Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board and the California Employment Development Department, with the support of local cities and organizations, will host three job fairs in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc.

The fairs are a joint effort to fight unemployment, which ranks the county 12th place out of the state’s 58 counties.

A Lompoc Job Fair will be hosted from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 1 at Veterans’ Memorial Hall at 100 E. Locust St. in Lompoc, and the Santa Maria Job Fair will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, June 12 at Veteran’s Memorial Hall at 313 Tunnel St. in Santa Maria.

A Santa Barbara Job and Resource Fair was hosted Thursday at the Westside Community Center.

Startup Weekend Santa Maria Returns

EconAlliance has announced that a bigger and better Startup Weekend Santa Maria will return to the Central Coast next weekend.

The 54-hour event for area entrepreneurs will be hosted April 4-6, with a kickoff at 6:30 p.m. that Friday at Allan Hancock College.

Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate and empower individuals, teams and communities to launch their own businesses.

Brasil Arts Café Hosts Anniversary Celebration Saturday

Brasil Arts Café in downtown Santa Barbara will celebrate its one-year anniversary this Saturday with free capoeira and dance classes, food samples and samba during a Customer Appreciation Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Santa Barbara’s only Brazilian restaurant will acknowledge the community’s support with free organic juice and smoothie samples, Brazilian coffee samples, mini acai bowls, pao de queijo, tri tip and more.

The class schedule includes a free introduction to capoeira class at 12:30 p.m.; a $20 Afro-Brazilian dance workshop at 1 p.m.; a tambourine basics class at 2 p.m.; Brazilian couples dance at 2:30 p.m. and a free samba dance class with Vanessa Isaac at 3 p.m.

Juice Well Expands Operations

Juice Well has opened a location in Montecito and is preparing to launch its fifth shop in Santa Barbara next month with the opening of Santa Barbara Public Market.

The 1235 Coast Village Road opened its doors in December, and the downtown Santa Barbara site will be at the corner of Chapala and Victoria streets.

VG Life Sciences Posts Cancer Study Update

Santa Barbara-based VG Life Sciences, a biotechnology company, has announced an update to its cancer study.

The Physician-IND Phase I Study, which tests tolerability and toxicity of its patented technology in patients with advanced stage solid tumors, had reported two clinical responses in cohort 3 — with disease stabilization in a patient with metastatic ovarian cancer for 4 months — and disease stabilization going into its fifth month in a patient with triple negative breast cancer.

The final patient in cohort 3 has stage IV (metastatic) adenocarcinoma of the lung.

This study conducted at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio examines the safety and efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), in combination with sorafenib (marketed as Nexavar) — a VG Life Sciences patented drug combination.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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