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Business

BizHawk: Foxtail Kitchen & Bar to Bring Mediterranean Cuisine to Santa Barbara’s Restaurant Scene

Claiborne & Lime enters Santa Barbara market, Paragon Academy to expand to Goleta, and Goa Taco coming to Santa Barbara

Foxtail Kitchen & Bar owner Falah Maayah plans to combine the popular burgers of 14 E. Cota St.‘s former tenant, American Ale, with Mediterranean cuisine and craft beer. Click to view larger
Foxtail Kitchen & Bar owner Falah Maayah plans to combine the popular burgers of 14 E. Cota St.‘s former tenant, American Ale, with Mediterranean cuisine and craft beer. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

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Fans of American Ale’s burgers need not fear: Foxtail Kitchen & Bar, taking over the Santa Barbara restaurant’s 14 E. Cota St. spot, is keeping many of them.

“Everybody loves this spot,” said Foxtail owner Falah Maayah. “American Ale, the burgers, the cocktails — everybody loves this spot.”

Maayah plans to open at the end of March, a few months after American Ale closed its doors there.

Originally from Jordan, Maayah, already close with his predecessor, worked in and managed various markets around Santa Barbara and Camarillo before deciding to open his own establishment.

In addition to the gastropub burgers, Foxtail’s focus will be on Mediterranean cuisine, including shawarma tacos and what Maayah hopes will be the No. 1 falafel in town.

“I’m so excited, but I’m really nervous at the same time,” the 30-year-old said.

Foxtail will also offer 24 craft beers on tap and homemade whiskey. Over half of Maayah’s employees will be carried over from American Ale, which he said is now focusing on its 214 State St. location.

“I’ve got a good team,” he said. “I got lucky with everything.”

Making his restaurateur debut easier, he added, is having rent for his high-profile location considerably lower than that of his neighbors. The other locations he considered during his search offered the prohibitively high rates typical of downtown’s prime real estate, he said.

“Everybody loves my concept, Mediterranean cuisine, but when you talk about the rent, it’s like, come on, how are you going to make it?”

Claiborne & Lime expands into Santa Barbara

Los Angeles-based event design and production company Claiborne & Lime has expanded into Santa Barbara.

Though the duo of Antoinette Watson and Laura Mormann don’t have a brick-and-mortar office in town, they’ve already begun doing private entertaining and dinner parties in Montecito.

Antoinette Watson and Laura Mormann are the duo behind Los Angeles-based event design and production company Claiborne & Lime. Click to view larger
Antoinette Watson and Laura Mormann are the duo behind Los Angeles-based event design and production company Claiborne & Lime. (Contributed photo)

They are currently planning an intimate garden party for Montecito’s Crane School, for example, Watson said.

Mormann, a Santa Barbara native, told Noozhawk “it just made sense” to enter her hometown’s market given the popularity of intimate parties and events here.

“We want to be the go-to girls” for smaller-scale events like dinner parties and baby showers, she said.

Paragon Academy headed to Calle Real

Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and MMA center Paragon Academy plans to open a second location at 5940 Calle Real in Goleta.

Paragon has been looking to branch out into Goleta, said Emily Jauchen, the manager at the academy’s 617 N. Salsipuedes St. location.

Some Goletans can’t always make it out to Santa Barbara, she said. Paragon would be a fitness alternative in an area without many industry competitors, she added.

Paragon is shooting for a May opening, and will host the same instructors and programming as its Salsipuedes Street location, Jauchen said.

Goa Taco to open on State Street

New York roots are staying at 718 State St. in Santa Barbara.

Taking over the spot of the former Gandolfo’s New York Deli, which closed late last year, will be Goa Taco, which started a few years ago in a Brooklyn food market stand and then migrated to two Manhattan shops.

Goa Taco, which focuses on South Asian- and Mediterranean-inspired paratha tacos, now has a presence in Los Angeles as well, and is aiming for a May opening on State Street, founder and chef Duvaldi Marneweck said.

Gandolfo’s opened on State Street mid-2015.

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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