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BizHawk: Due Lune Cucina Corners a Key Location on Santa Barbara Waterfront

Maria Arroyo adds Solvang restaurant to family’s growing Los Arroyos empire

Soemi Caramel Click to view larger
Soemi Caramel recently opened Due Lune Cucina at 1 State St. and West Cabrillo Boulevard on the Santa Barbara waterfront. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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Soemi Caramel calls it “dinner and a show.”

That’s what you get when you visit Due Lune Cucina, an Italian restaurant nestled snugly on of Santa Barbara’s most prominent corners.

With glass windows facing the ocean and Stearns Wharf, diners can enjoy an elegant dinner while watching the steady stream of people passing by.

“It’s the best spot in town,” Caramel told Noozhawk. “Nobody else has a view like this.”

In August, Caramel and his business partner, Gene Montesano, opened the restaurant at 1 State St. on the corner of State and West Cabrillo Boulevard. For 22 years, Caramel owned Bucatini a few blocks away at the corner of State and Haley streets, but closed that venture in 2017, deciding not to renew the lease because of problems with homeless people.

Due Lune took over the space of the former Eladio’s, which was run by the Harbor View Inn, next door at 28 W. Cabrillo Blvd. Due Lune serves lunch and dinner, with happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m.

There’s patio dining on both sides of the main dining room and bar, all with sweeping ocean views.

Caramel says he is planning to open for breakfast soon. The restaurant uses a valet service to park cars and there’s public parking up and across the street at the Hotel Californian.

“It’s very pleasant at night,” he said. “It’s very romantic.”

Los Arroyos Now Open in Solvang

The empire keeps growing. Los Arroyos has opened a new restaurant in Solvang at the new Merkantile Shopping Center.

Los Arroyos Click to view larger
The new Los Arroyos in Solvang features a variety of appetizing Mexican dishes, including such popular mainstays as the Mama’s Salad. (Los Arroyos photo)

Maria Arroyo is the majority owner and her former husband, Tony Arroyo, is a partner.

Arroyo moved to Los Olivos 2½ years ago and shortly thereafter decided that she wanted to get back into the restaurant business and open a Los Arroyos in the Santa Ynez Valley.

She said Los Arroyos, at 1992 Old Mission Drive, Suite 120, offers quality Mexican food at a price perfect for families. Like its locations in downtown Santa Barbara and in Camarillo, diners order at the counter. The restaurant opened in mid-September.

The Arroyos opened the first Los Arroyos at 14 W. Figueroa St. in Santa Barbara in 1999. Since then, the family has opened sister sites at 5764 Calle Real in Goleta, 1280 Coast Village Road in Montecito, 630 E. Ventura Blvd. at The Promenade at Camarillo Premium Outlets and in Carmel, Ind., a suburb of Indianapolis.

Arroyo may not be done yet. She wants to leave something behind for her 15-year-old son, Diego, who has grown up in the business. She has plans to open three more Los Arroyos restaurants in the region.

“It’s in my blood and in my family,” she said of the restaurant business. “I have always loved it.”

Wedding Industry Fireside Chat

Wedding coordination professionals will convene Oct. 16 at the Santa Barbara Club to discuss “the dramatic changes that have affected the wedding industry nationally, as well as the local Santa Barbara wedding climate.”

The “State of the Santa Barbara Wedding Industry Fireside Summit, Define. Design. Evolve.” includes two sessions. The first will trace the wedding industry history, the shift of wedding clientele and marketing, the Santa Barbara and California economies, and the dramatic changes taking place, according to a news release.

A second session will feature a panel to discuss wedding industry challenges.

“The wedding industry as a whole has gone through radical changes over the last seven years and is still shifting at lightning speed,” wedding planner and event founder Kerry Lee Doehr said.

“On top of that, our local Santa Barbara wedding community has been hit with those industry changes plus the effects of the recent twin tragedies (the Thomas Fire and the Montecito flash flooding and debris flows) and the challenges with the County of Santa Barbara on private estates hosting special events.

“We have a lot to process. At no time has it ever been more important to come together as an industry if one is to stay relevant, evolve and not go extinct.”

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina 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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