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BizHawk: Convivo Restaurant to Debut in Soon-to-Open Santa Barbara Inn

CI Jets expands charter service to Santa Barbara, new crêpe shop opens in town and Prevail Conditioning reopens in new space

The Santa Barbara Inn and its new restaurant Convivo will open in late spring after extensive renovations to the building.
The Santa Barbara Inn and its new restaurant Convivo will open in late spring after extensive renovations to the building.  (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

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A new restaurant and bar with chef-described “nomad Italian” cuisine will open in late spring at the Santa Barbara Inn, which is supposed to re-open at the same time after an extensive renovation.

Convivo is the work of restaurateur Larry Mindel and Chef Peter McNee. Mindel, the founder of Il Fornaio Italian restaurants, opened one of those locations about 20 years ago alongside Santa Barbara Inn owner Richard Gunner.

The two collaborate again with Convivo, a 62-seat restaurant at 901 E. Cabrillo Blvd. with a full bar and menu, across the street from East Beach.

Chef McNee’s menu will feature cicchetti, shareable antipasti, house-made pasta, wood-fired pizza and Santa Barbara’s bounty of seafood and meats roasted over a wood fire.

Many dishes on the menu are served family style, and the restaurant hasn’t yet established a price point.

“Great meals are ones shared with friends and family,” McNee said. “Conviviality is a central theme of the restaurant and the seasonally changing menu.”

Chef Peter McNee will lead the Convivo restaurant in the Santa Barbara Inn. Click to view larger
Chef Peter McNee will lead the Convivo restaurant in the Santa Barbara Inn. (Contributed photo)

Convivo will replace the 70-room hotel’s former restaurant called Citronelle. The new eatery has been relocated from the second to the ground floor for a little more space and an expansive brick oceanfront patio with a fire pit.

The Santa Barbara Inn closed in 2013 for a major facelift — the first since the hotel was built in 1960.

Convivo will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and provide catering services for the 80-seat banquet room.

CI Jets Launches Santa Barbara Charter Service

CI Jets, a division of Camarillo-based Channel Islands Aviation, has expanded its charter jet business into the Santa Barbara market, the company announced this week.

CI Jets will be operating from Santa Barbara Airport 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Its fleet includes two Cessna Citations: a CJ3 and CJ2, which will be the local airplane.

Along with the jet charter business, CI Jets also offers aircraft maintenance services, mentor pilots for owner-flown aircraft and jet brokerage services.

The family-owned Channel Islands Aviation was established in 1976 to fly private charter aircraft to the Channel Islands.

Crêpe Maker Opens Maudet’s

A local entrepreneur has launched Maudet’s as a crêpe manufacturer, where the owner Bene Maudet hand makes fresh crepes daily from a downtown Santa Barbara kitchen.

Maudet, who hails from Brittany, France (where crêpes were invented), uses only organic and natural ingredients, allowing customers to purchase a 10- or 12-pack online or at Tri County Produce. She’s in talks to sell smaller packs at other sotres as well.

Maudet’s is also available at wholesale, already supplying hotels, restaurants, caterers and retirement communities across California.

“I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs which instilled a strong work ethic,” Maudet said in a news release.

“I love the spirit of taking risks and that’s why I love the USA where anything is possible! It’s very challenging everyday but finally this dream I had to create and manage a business from the beginning has become true so I’m very excited!”

Prevail Conditioning Hosts Grand Re-Opening

Santa Barbara’s Prevail Conditioning has relocated from its East Haley Street facility to 417 Santa Barbara St. (Suite B1-3).

To celebrate, the gym will host a grand opening from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday as part of a fundraiser for local high schools.

The new space is four times the size of the former facility — now up to 3,800 square feet — touting itself as the largest local space dedicated to performance enhancement training.

Prevail’s new space includes a two-lane 25-yard acceleration track, a 20-by-10-yard turf movement area, four Olympic lifting platforms, motion capture/video analysis, workshop and conference Room space and more than 4,000 pounds of new weight.

With the increased space, Prevail can add offerings like youth and adult sports performance and more.

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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