Pixel Tracker

Monday, December 17 , 2018, 9:16 am | Light Rain Fog/Mist 56º


Commercial Changes Underfoot on Eastside’s Milpas Street

Closures, relocations and renovations are all part of the altered business landscape

Milpas Street on Santa Barbara’s Eastside may be less than a mile from bustling State Street, but it boasts a commercial life of its own.

The recession has prompted some changes, but other recent factors also have created some highly visible alterations to the Milpas landscape, including:

» Impending departure of Whitefoot Meat Market, whose space at 336 N. Milpas St. is being acquired by British grocery company Fresh and Easy.

» Ongoing renovation of the barbecue restaurant on Milpas and Canon Perdido streets where a cow statue is being repainted apparently by high school students.

» Vacant East Beach Wine shop, whose owner moved to La Arcada off State Street because if he had stayed, the freeway overpass construction would have shut him down.

Dave Whitefoot, 61, said he’s ready for a vacation after Whitefoot Meat Market, the butcher shop his father started 42 years ago, closes down Sept. 25.

“After 39 years of working here, I’m ready for a vacation,” Whitefoot said, adding that it would be difficult to find another location because of the cost involved. “I’m going to think about that after the first of the year.”

Whitefoot said he was surprised to hear he had so many fans after he announced the shop’s closure last week.

“When you’re the last butcher shop in town, you’re the last butcher shop,” he said.

At the north end of Milpas on the corner of Canon Perdido Street, visitors may wonder why a statue of a cow — atop what used to be a barbecue joint — keeps changing color. This week it was green and gold, the colors of the Santa Barbara High School Dons.

A cow statue, whose color keeps changing, sits atop the former BBQ restaurant at the corner of Milpas and  Canon Perdido streets.
A cow statue, whose color keeps changing, sits atop the former BBQ restaurant at the corner of Milpas and Canon Perdido streets. (Ray Estrada / Noozhawk photo)

While the cow’s color keeps changing, the former restaurant’s renovation appears to be stagnant. Reconstruction of an outdoor deck at the eatery has been under way for nearly a year. Windows are covered with brown paper, but little renovation can be seen inside or outside the building.

After operating for a decade on lower Milpas Street, the East Beach Wine Co. moved last September to downtown Santa Barbara just in time to beat the pile-driving construction work at the Highway 101 overpass.

For the past year, shop owners David and Linda Gable have operated East Beach Wine Co. out of La Arcada Mall, 1114 State St., Suite 24, next to the back door of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and by the turtle fountain.

The shop’s former location is surrounded by detour signs and Caltrans equipment. Several businesses, including a vehicle towing service, continue to operate near what used to be East Beach Wine Co.

Milpas Street has its share of vacant buildings, but not as many as State Street. Most notably, the former Wescom Credit Union building at the corner of Milpas and Gutierrez streets has been vacant for about a year since the company moved its offices out of Santa Barbara.

Noozhawk business writer Ray Estrada can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
"We both love this business. We strive to make life long relationships from each real estate transaction."

Full Profile >