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Business

BizHawk: Grocery Outlet Takes Over Former De La Vina Street Ralphs in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara’s Lower State Street Macy’s closes, new fish market headed to Santa Barbara Public Market, Los Alamos’ Pico restaurant expands and Discovery Storage Center celebrates opening

On Thursday, Grocery Outlet opened in the location of a former Ralphs at 2840 De La Vina St. in Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
On Thursday, Grocery Outlet opened in the location of a former Ralphs at 2840 De La Vina St. in Santa Barbara. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

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Within two hours of opening its sliding doors, the parking lot outside Santa Barbara’s first Grocery Outlet was full and the aisles crowded with curious new shoppers.

The city’s newest grocery store at 2840 De La Vina St. celebrated Thursday’s opening with a Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce-sponsored ribbon-cutting.

Grocery Outlet sells the brand-name products many other grocers do, but at sharply discounted prices by getting their inventory from overstocks, close-outs and other “opportunistic buys,” said Brandon Brewer, who independently owns the Emeryville-based chain’s 275th location with his wife, Desak.

“We get all the name-brand supplies, and (suppliers) need to make a deal on it. So our parent company — all they’re doing is looking for these deals out in the community.”

That means the inventory is always changing, Brewer said.

After Grocery Outlet signed the lease, “we ultimately said, we’ve got to go for that — that’s where we want to be.”

“It was kind of a no-brainer for us,” he added. “It was a dream come true moving to Santa Barbara, owning a store and doing what we love.”

After owning a Grocery Outlet in Bakersfield, Brandon and Desak Brewer now own Santa Barbara’s first one. “It’s a dream come true” to move to Santa Barbara, Brandon said at Thursday’s opening. Click to view larger
After owning a Grocery Outlet in Bakersfield, Brandon and Desak Brewer now own Santa Barbara’s first one. “It’s a dream come true” to move to Santa Barbara, Brandon said at Thursday’s opening. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

The couple owned a Grocery Outlet in Bakersfield for two years before selling it to come down to the South Coast.

The store, open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, is officially celebrating its grand opening on Saturday, where activities will include 25-percent-off coupons for the first 100 customers, reusable bags for the first 500 customers, gift card raffles, and complimentary coffee and treats in the morning.

The location's last tenant, Ralphs, closed in November. An employee told Noozhawk at the time that the company could not reach a new commercial lease agreement with the new property owner.

One of two Santa Barbara Macy’s closes

Macy’s in Santa Barbara’s Paseo Nuevo shopping center has closed its doors for good.

The 141,000-square-foot clothing store’s closure was declared at the beginning of the year when the company announced disappointing holiday sales and the shuttering of 100 other stores.

The retail giant opened off Lower State Street in 1990 when the Paseo Nuevo shopping center was finished. Macy’s said it expected 77 employees at the store to be laid off.

Mary Lynn Harms-Romo, Paseo Nuevo’s marketing and specialty leasing manager, told Noozhawk that the shopping center did not know yet who could fill the three-story retail spot. 

Santa Barbara’s only Macy’s now is located off Upper State Street in the La Cumbre Plaza.

Big Eye Raw Bar replacing Santa Barbara Public Market’s I’a Fish Market & Café

Taking over the spot of I’a Fish Market & Café in the Santa Barbara Public Market will be another seafood establishment: Big Eye Raw Bar.

I’a Fish Market & Café closed March 15, and Big Eye will debut next week, said Public Market owner Marge Cafarelli.

Cafarelli owned I’a, but said she no longer wanted “to be in that operating business.” Big Eye then approached her about the vacancy, she said.

Pico in Los Alamos expands

Pico at the Los Alamos General Store is celebrating its second year in business with a physical expansion, new bar and new culinary classes.

The 4,000-square-foot establishment at 450 Bell St. is adding on another 2,000 square feet this spring in the form of an outdoor seating area with raised gardens, a chicken coop, bee hives and a fire pit.

The produce, herbs, eggs and honey will be sent straight to the kitchen, the restaurant announced.

Also on deck is a full bar with a new cocktail program, culinary classes on topics like cheese-making and beekeeping, and blind wine tasting events.

In addition to the restaurant, Pico features a wine bar and a retail store.

Discovery Storage Center celebrates opening

Discovery Storage Center at 6640 Discovery Dr. in Goleta celebrated its recent opening late last month with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The massive, state-of-the-art storage center features shipping and receiving facilities, conference rooms, climate-controlled storage and wine storage.

The business’ astronaut theme derives from its location on the site where the lunar rovers that traversed the surface of the moon were developed in the 1960s.

Discovery Storage’s lobby features a lunar rover exhibit with artifacts and recorded interviews with its developers.

The ribbon-cutting was done in conjunction with the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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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