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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 5:22 pm | Partly Cloudy 54º


BizHawk: Brasil Arts Café Owners Ask Community for Help

Nite Bite closes, Rori’s Creamery plans opening of Santa Monica ice cream shop and Santa Maria Town Center up for sale again

The owners of the Brasil Arts Café on State Street in Santa Barbara are asking for the public’s help in keeping their doors open.
The owners of the Brasil Arts Café on State Street in Santa Barbara are asking for the public’s help in keeping their doors open. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

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Brasil Arts Café is a Brazilian food restaurant, a juice shop, a dance studio and an arena for martial arts classes.

The problem, according to owners of the Santa Barbara business at 1230 State St., is that not enough people are taking advantage of all the café’s parts.

Now Daniel and Jennifer Yoshimi are in a bit of a financial rough patch after more than two years in business, and the longtime locals are trying to get the word out to save it.

“We bit off a big piece,” Jennifer Yoshimi said, considering the couple paid to remodel the 3,300 square foot space before opening and signing a 10-year lease.

Brasil Arts Café has been offering new lunch specials and discounts and playing up different events, but more people have to patron the arts hub in order to keep it open and on State Street (although Yoshimi said they’d rather move if they have to than close).

They’ve thought about offering up the restaurant while still operating the 1,200 square foot studio — where Brazil native Daniel teaches Capoeira, Vanessa Isaac teaches dance and musicians and dancers perform shows — but would hate to take away the area’s only Brazilian eats where fans watch the World Cup.

“I can’t imagine one without the other,” she said.

The Yoshimis, who have two young daughters and lost their home in the Tea Fire in 2008, said they have put everything into the restaurant venture and are open to any suggestions or support to help keep Brasil Arts Café open.

Nite Bite Closes

Locals looking for their late night food fix will no longer be able to call on Nite Bite, which has closed up shop after two years.

The business founded by Santa Barbara native Carlos Lomeli put a message on its website announcing the news but no reason for its shuttering.

“Thank you Santa Barbara for the years of support,” the message says. “It has been our pleasure but unfortunately, we are now closed.”

The message leaves one clue — a disclaimer saying Nite Bite is in no way affiliated with Munchiez, which has a website advertising the same late-night food delivery services to Santa Barbara, Goleta, Isla Vista and Montecito.

Even the background image of the website — black with stars — is the same.

Lomeli, who was operating out of a commercial kitchen at Earl Warren Showgrounds, said he closed the business at the end of August, but he declined to comment on why.

Rori’s Creamery to Open Santa Monica Location

Rori’s Artisanal Creamery is expanding outside Santa Barbara County for the first time with the opening of an ice cream shop in Santa Monica on Saturday.

Owner Rori Trovato told Noozhawk it’s time to bring the local favorite into Southern California, where a fourth ice cream shop will open by next spring in West Hollywood.

Rori’s already sells its delicious flavors at stand-alone shops inside the Santa Barbara Public Market and at 1024 D Coast Village Rd. in Montecito.

“Rori’s is doing super well,” Trovato said. “Everyone loves the product. We just wanted to reach a new crowd.”

Rori’s catering for special events like weddings has picked up, but the company has gotten out of the wholesale business, selling directly only to some Santa Barbara area restaurants and through Sbmenus.com.

The Santa Monica shop on a popular thoroughfare at 910 Montana Ave. will feature an extended product line of packaged baked goods and more merchandise — changes that will also be coming to Rori’s other shops.

Santa Maria Town Center For Sale

The Santa Maria Town Center is for sale, with the complex looking for an investor to take on the recently reinvigorated mall.

With a listing price of $34.36 million, the mall at 42 Town Center E. on the corner of Broadway and Main Street is nearly 72 percent occupied, according to its online listing.

Another 93,610 square feet is vacant and available for immediate leasing, with revenues expected to increase (the net operating income currently is at $2.4 million).

Sears, Macy’s and the still-new Edwards Theatres 14 RPX Digital Cinema anchor the mall.

A mall spokeswoman said the town center had no comment about the listing.

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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