Sunday, November 29 , 2015, 3:33 am | Overcast 51º

BizHawk: Blush Owner Buys Restaurant’s Building in Downtown Santa Barbara

Riverbench Winery hires new vineyard manager, Richard’s Accurate auto repair adds new managers and native returns to open local State Farm office

The owner of Blush restaurant and lounge has decided to buy the property at 630 State St. in Santa Barbara after leasing for years.
The owner of Blush restaurant and lounge has decided to buy the property at 630 State St. in Santa Barbara after leasing for years.  (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 owner of Blush restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara has purchased the building that houses the popular eatery and bar after many years of leasing.

The unnamed owner decided to buy the space at 630 State St. on the final day of 2013, setting a high mark for sales price per square foot for State Street retail property sales on the year, according to Hayes Commercial Group, which represented the seller in the deal along with Coast & Valley Properties.

Blush’s owner had already invested heavily in interior improvements to the building and took advantage of low interest rates.

The Blush property sold for $2,725,000, or about $722 per square foot — exceeding the prior 2013 State Street retail mark by more than 5 percent.

The restaurant’s outdoor patio, under a separate lease, was not part of the sale.

“This transaction was a win-win for my clients as well as a well-established and successful local restaurant, and it was a pleasure to help make this deal happen,” said Paul Bradford of Hayes Commercial Group.

Riverbench Adds New Vineyard Manager

Riverbench Vineyard and Winery in Santa Maria has hired Rawley Hermreck as its new vineyard manager.

Hermreck replaces longtime manager Jim Stollberg, and is the son of owner Randy Hermreck.

Rawley Hermreck has worked for Hampton Farming and is a graduate of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo's viticulture program.

Richard’s Accurate Welcomes New Managers

Longtime local automotive shop Richard’s Accurate has hired two new managers to work alongside 35-year owner Mike Bishop.

Sam Martinez and Rafael Lopez will train to bolster the auto repair’s quality service on both imported and domestic cars.

“Sam and Rafael will help the business grow while providing exceptional service,” Bishop said in a news release. “Our factory-trained and certified technicians do the job right the first time with a two-year and 24,000-mile warranty.”

Located on the corner of Santa Barbara and Gutierrez streets in Santa Barbara, Richard’s Accurate offers clients a free shuttle service, complimentary car wash and a large parking area.


Tammy Dobrotin
Tammy Dobrotin

Local State Farm Agent Returns to Area

After five years away, third-generation State Farm agent Tammy Dobrotin has moved back home to Santa Barbara and opened a new office.

Dobrotin took over for retiring Santa Barbara agent Jack Koers on Jan. 1, with an office at 3015 State St., Suite C, behind Coffee Bean — close to Koers’ old office.

A Santa Barbara native, Dobrotin graduated from San Marcos High School in 1981. She began working at State Farm in Torrance in 1985 and moved back to Goleta in 1988 to start her own agency, which she ran for 20 years.

She was promoted to State Farm management and worked in a San Diego office before once again returning to open the new office.

Montecito Bank & Trust Reacts to Target Data Breach

Montecito Bank & Trust President/CEO Janet Garufis announced that the bank’s associates have been helping local customers potentially affected by the Target store data compromise.

Orders for new replacement cards and interim processes to help customers with holiday spending needs were put in place, as well as encouragement to all customers who should actively and routinely be monitoring their account activity to report potential fraud.

“Protecting our customers’ financial privacy and security is an important priority for us at Montecito Bank & Trust,” Garufis said in a statement. “One of the major benefits of banking with a local community bank is the personal outreach we can provide to our customers, and our customers really appreciate this extra level of care.

“We are constantly assessing how to improve the privacy and security oversight of the financial information we have on our customers. All of us need to be vigilant in looking out for potential financial fraud, and we always tell our customers to call us whenever they have a question or concern. Working together is the best way to minimize these ever-present financial risks.”

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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