Sunday, June 24 , 2018, 2:54 am | Overcast 64º



BizHawk: Glenda’s Party Cove Closes After 40 Years in Business

Longtime Santa Barbara party store shuts its doors when owner retires, while a new Mexican restaurant opens in Goleta's Hollister Village

Steve Thomson, 74, is retiring and shutting down Glenda’s Party Cove after owning the party supply store for 29 years. Click to view larger
Steve Thomson, 74, is retiring and shutting down Glenda’s Party Cove after owning the party supply store for 29 years.  (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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Turn out the lights, the party’s over.

Steve Thomson is shutting down Glenda’s Party Cove in Loreto Plaza after more than four decades of family ownership.

The Santa Barbara party supply store will close its doors Saturday. At 74, Thomson has filled up his final balloon.

“It’s time for me to retire,” Thomson said. “The financial part is tiring.”

Since his wife Paula died in 2001, Thomson has been a one-man-band, working as the bookkeeper, janitor, receiver and doing everything else that needed to get done.

His most fulfilling task? Inflating tens of thousands of balloons with helium.

“It was fun to help people with their parties,” Thomson said. “But this seems to be a good time.”

Thomson said the internet and online retail has put a major dent in his business, one of the factors in closing the doors. Still, he did often receive walk-ins, people who didn’t get their Amazon shipment on time, or were shortchanged.

In addition to birthday parties, customers loaded up on supplies for anniversaries, memorial services, holidays and Fiesta.

The store was located in La Cumbre Plaza for 13 years before it moved to Loreto Plaza 29 years ago, Thomson said. “It’s been a great spot.”

He is looking forward to visiting one of this three sons who lives on the East Coast, but for now, he plans to spend some time gardening and relaxing.

It will be a nice break; he’s worked at the store six days a week for the past 29 years.

When asked where Santa Barbara residents will go to purchase party supplies, he simply shrugged his shoulders. Party City in Ventura and Santa Maria will remain options, but for Thomson, it’s just not the same.

“We had great customers,” he said. “I enjoyed what we had.”

Sharkey’s Woodfired Mexican Grill opens in Hollister Village

In Goleta, Scott Bayliss is at the other end of the business cycle. He is opening Sharkey’s Woodfired Mexican Grill in the Hollister Village on Monday.

The company runs dozens of restaurants in California and Bayliss, a franchisee, also owns a Sharkey’s in the San Fernando Valley.

The fast-casual restaurant offers ordering at the counter and full table staff bring out the food. There's also a community table, outdoor patio area and a TV at the bar.

The team at Sharkey’s Woodfired Mexican Food in Hollister Village is ready to open Monday, including, from left, owner Scott Bayliss, kitchen manager Jose Urbina and store manager Mayra Reyes. Click to view larger
The team at Sharkey’s Woodfired Mexican Food in Hollister Village is ready to open Monday, including, from left, owner Scott Bayliss, kitchen manager Jose Urbina and store manager Mayra Reyes. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Sharkey’s prides itself on the quality of its “clean food,” and it uses mostly organic ingredients.

Bayliss also serves wild-caught sustainable fish, and “Power Plates,” a paleo-diet-like dish heavy on protein.

“We felt there was a need for this type of food in this area,” Bayliss said. “Anywhere by the coast, people tend to eat healthy. This food is healthy.”

Located at a prominent corner in Hollister Village, at 7060 Hollister Ave., Suite 106, Bayliss said the spot is ideal because of the presence of established families in Goleta and a steady stream of college students who live near UC Santa Barbara.

He has hired about 40 people to jumpstart the restaurant, including bringing his store and kitchen managers over from the Chatsworth restaurant.

“We feel the timing is right for this retail center,” Bayliss said. “We’re happy to have the opportunity to be here in Goleta.”

He said there’s ample vehicle and pedestrian traffic from people driving to the Camino Real Marketplace shopping center across the street to the tech workers on Hollister Avenue looking for lunch options. In the Hollister Village, he said, Smart & Final and PetSmart are ideal anchors for the shopping center.

If the restaurant is successful, there could be more to come.

“We want to get territory rights,” he said. “We might want to open a restaurant in Santa Barbara.”

The restaurant will officially open at 11 a.m. Monday. 

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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