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BizHawk: Bar 29 Sweeps into Former Hungry Cat in Santa Barbara

Perch Hair Salon opens, several South Coast businesses close their doors and Opes Advisors relocates local branch

Bar 29 at 1134 Chapala St. is the first full restaurant concept from Kourtney and Phil Wright, who also own Whiskey Richards and The Sportsman. Click to view larger
Bar 29 at 1134 Chapala St. is the first full restaurant concept from Kourtney and Phil Wright, who also own Whiskey Richards and The Sportsman. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

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Kourtney and Phil Wright wasted no time opening their first restaurant concept.

Los Angeles-based Hungry Cat served its last meal at 1134 Chapala St. around Christmas, and the Wrights’ Bar 29 opened for business on Jan. 18.

The Wrights are well-versed in the Santa Barbara bar and lounge scene with their Whiskey Richards at 435 State St. and The Sportsman at 20 W. Figueroa St., and they’ve brought 29 cocktails, wine by the glass and beer on tap to their latest establishment.

“Because the businesses that we had were cocktail-only with no food, we noted the trend toward people wanting to eat and drink at the same time,” Kourtney Wright said. “We were ready to do something else.”

On the menu are small plates of “elevated bar food” that include deviled eggs, poutine, polenta with short ribs, wagyu beef sliders and rum raisin rice pudding.

“It’s been amazing,” Wright said. “We have been really proud of the food and drinks and the staff.”

The restaurant’s name comes from the atomic number of copper: 29.

The bar where patrons sit was already copper, Wright said, and during the one month the location was dark, they removed and replaced the whole back bar with copper.

“It feels very L.A., San Francisco, big city,” she said.

Perch Hair Salon to Expand Santa Barbara Services

Perch Hair Salon opened last year at 23 Hitchcock Way, Suite 101, in Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Perch Hair Salon opened last year at 23 Hitchcock Way, Suite 101, in Santa Barbara. (Perch Hair Salon photo)

After several months of flying solo, Lety Pantoja is ready to expand Perch Hair Salon’s services.

Her salon at 23 Hitchcock Way, Suite 101, in Santa Barbara has three chairs, and Pantoja said she’s looking to bring on a couple of hair stylists to fill them.

Most hair salons tend to be boisterous places, she said, but she called Perch a serene, retreat-like establishment overlooking San Roque Creek.

“It’s really elegant and private,” she said.

After 25 years in the business, Pantoja said she was ready to work in a calmer environment and follow her own creative impulses.

Now that she’s introduced her business to the community, she said she’s looking out for new stylists who prefer operating in the same type of environment. Call Pantoja at 805.962.6121 for more information.

Several Businesses Close Their Doors

With the new year came new closures, many of which were in downtown Santa Barbara.

Kernohan’s Toys will be closing up shop in mid-February after 62 years at 18 W. Anapamu St.

Gretchen Brinser, co-owner of the mom-and-pop store, told Noozhawk that online sales are dwindling traditional brick-and-mortar store sales, and smaller toy manufacturers are being bought up by mass-market retailers.

Isabella Gourmet Foods, a “boutique artisan grocery” that opened at 5 E. Figueroa St. in 2013, closed at the beginning of the month, and currently maintains a pop-up shop at The Honey B, a newly opened restaurant atop Antioch University Santa Barbara.

American Ale, a pub restaurant specializing in American food and craft beer, closed its 14 E. Cota St. doors. Its second location at 214 State St., which transformed last year from Yankee Noodle to American Ale, remains open.

Isla Vista’s Otaco, at 6530 Pardall Rd., also just closed. In 2015, the Mexican food and karaoke establishment, from the people behind Hana Kitchen, replaced Angry Wings, which remained open for roughly the same amount of time there.

Opes Advisors Relocates Local Branch

Opes Advisors, a Cupertino-based financial services firm, is relocating its Santa Barbara branch from 126 E. Carrillo St. to 800 Presidio Ave. in the city's historic Presidio neighborhood.

The company, which has offices in California, Oregon and Washington, will switch over on Monday.

Edgar Urrutia, a spokesman for the mortgage bank and financial advisory firm, said Santa Barbara’s office serves the Central Coast and parts of Los Angeles, and that the new digs will better accommodate Opes Advisors staff and be more convenient for its clients and real estate associates.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman 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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