Sunday, November 19 , 2017, 5:18 am | Fair 42º



BizHawk: Worker Bee Cafe Hopes to Fill Coffee Void in Old Town Goleta

Dukky Repair and Recovery computer service opening; Handlebar Coffee Roasters readying new location

Rick Mancilla is opening the Worker Bee Cafe in the space formerly occupied by the Sage & Onion and the XO coffee shop in Old Town Goleta. Click to view larger
Rick Mancilla is opening the Worker Bee Cafe in the space formerly occupied by the Sage & Onion and the XO coffee shop in Old Town Goleta. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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There’s no shortage of coffee shops in most of Goleta, but in Old Town, the options are fairly scarce.

The Worker Bee Cafe is hoping to fill that void, and offer a lot more than just coffee and pastries.

Rick Mancilla purchased what used to be the Sage & Onion and the XO coffee shop and deli in the Kellogg Square, and is in the process of transforming the shop into a new restaurant and coffee experience.

“With some of the growth that is coming in Goleta, it seems like there’s a lot of untapped business here,” Mancilla said.

Mancilla already runs The Worker Bee Cafe in Carpinteria. He and a business partner purchased the restaurant in Carpinteria five years ago.

Now they are hoping to launch the same kind of atmosphere and vibe at the new site, 5599 Hollister Ave., near the old Sizzler restaurant.

Mancilla is in the midsts of a “soft opening” that began this month.

He has overhauled the design of the previous restaurant, which used to contain two sides, a coffee shop called “XO” and a restaurant called Sage & Onion. Now, it’s just one large area, with one counter to order, although one section, with its soft chairs, certainly contains a coffee shop vibe.

He also refinished the tables with a chalk finish so that kids and anyone feeling artsy can decorate the tables with chalk while they eat. On the wall of the other side of the building is a honeycomb, to go along with the worker bee theme.

“We’re all just doing the grind everyday,” Mancilla said.

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m to 3 p.m. everyday (the previous shop was closed on Sundays).

One of the biggest hits so far is the shared library at the restaurant. People are encouraged to borrow books, and if they like them, keep them. They are welcome to replace the books, or not .

He also has big plans. Mancilla is obtaining a liquor license and plans to start trivia and themed nights, with extended hours. He plans an official opening later this fall.

He’s still waiting on store signage (right now there’s none) because the owners of the Kellogg Square are in the process of launching a formal sign program to make the mishmash of businesses in the center appear more inviting and uniform.

He is in the process of reaching out to some of the tech companies in the area to partner on a lunch program and offer catering options.

Mancilla, 34, was born in New Jersey and moved to California when his father took a job in Simi Valley in the 1990s. He eventually moved to Santa Barbara, joined the culinary program at Santa Barbara City College and launched a career as a chef.

He has worked for restaurants all over the city and as a private chef.

Eventually, he decided to run his own business, buying the Carpinteria Worker Bee Cafe. At the new Goleta location, some days you can find him in the kitchen.

“I love cooking,” he said. “The restaurant business never gets old. There’s always something new. It’s a challenge and I like a challenge.”

New Computer Repair Service

Dukky Repair and Recovery has opened at 16 W. Calle Laureles, unit B in Santa Barbara.

Owner Henri Grimm is an Apple-certified technician and said he started the business because “we saw a need for a low cost repair option for the customers coming to repair shops.

New Handlebar Location Coming

Handlebar Coffee Roasters is nearing construction completion and is expected to open a new location in September.

The new "midtown" store is planned for 2720 De la Vina St. The current Handlebar at 128 E. Canon Perdido St. is a popular hangout for millennials and coffee enthusiasts, who enjoy the outdoor, bicycled-themed shop. 

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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