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BizHawk: Guichos Opens, Offering Fast-Casual Italian Food in Carpinteria

Somerset Restaurant in Santa Barbara is ending its fine-dining focus; Santa Maria gets a new Lowe's store

Jim Donahue, left, and Luis ‘Guicho’ Alvarez have opened Guichos Italian restaurant at 901 Linden Ave. in Carpinteria. Click to view larger
Jim Donahue, left, and Luis ‘Guicho’ Alvarez have opened Guichos Italian restaurant at 901 Linden Ave. in Carpinteria.  (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photos)

BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing [email protected].

Carpinteria has a new fast-casual Italian dining restaurant.

Guichos Eatery has opened at 901 Linden Ave. Owners Jim Donahue and Luis “Guicho” Alvarez own two other Guichos restaurants, both in San Clemente, an Orange County beach town similar to Carpinteria.

The restaurant opened Sept. 1. It has limited indoor seating, but specializes in “Fresh Italian Take Out.”

“It’s great, fresh, made-to-order Italian food,” said Donahue, a UCSB graduate who has worked in various capacities — from bartender to manager — at restaurants such as Fish Enterprise and The Harbor.

Donahue said one of the reasons he loves the restaurant business is because he gets to meet new people.

The location used to be home to “Beach Bowl,” an acai-juice shop. Donahue and Alvarez said they loved the corner spot and jumped on the real estate as soon as it came available.

“It was a great location,” Alvarez said.

The restaurant makes just about everything fresh, from the meatballs and bread to the sauces and soup, They use DeChecco pasta, imported from Italy.

“It’s super-fresh, great quality, convenient and affordable

The most expensive dish on the menu is $12.95

Somerset Sunset

In a dramatic turnaround, Somerset, which this past December promised “world-class” and “progressive California cuisine with rustic French and Italian influences,” is set to close on Oct. 23.

Owner Steve Hermann told Noozhawk back then that he loved Santa Barbara after moving to Montecito seven years ago, but had one objection: “My big complaint with it is I just don’t think the food tastes very good.”

Somerset in downtown Santa Barbara is set to close and re-open as a casual dining restaurant. Click to view larger
Somerset in downtown Santa Barbara is set to close and re-open as a casual dining restaurant. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photos)

He spent millions of dollars and two years rebuilding the former Arts & Letters Café, with a promise that the restaurant won’t compete with its fellow Santa Barbara establishments, but “against the best restaurants in the world.”

Things change.

Somerset plans to re-open after a brief renovation as a “new casual restaurant.”

“We would like to thank our loyal patrons for supporting us this past year,” the restaurant’s W. Hayden Felice said in a statement. “After much thought, we are closing our fine dining restaurant, Somerset, beginning Oct. 23, 2017. While we have had an overwhelming amount of appreciation and support from our guests during this first year, we have found that it was time to move towards a more accessible dining experience for our Santa Barbara community.

“We will be closed for a brief renovation before we open our new casual restaurant in the 7 E. Anapamu space.”

The restaurant business in Santa Barbara is undoubtedly unforgiving; Somerset in its current form didn’t last as long as Maggie’s, nearby at the corner of State and Anapamu, which is now Benchmark Eatery. Maggie’s closed after 14 months.

Santa Maria Lowe’s

Santa Maria is home to a new Lowe’s at 935 E. Betteravia Road.

The Lowe’s of Santa Maria has more than 94,000 square feet of retail space, with an adjacent 27,000 square-foot garden center, stocking approximately 40,000 different items. The new store is expected to employ about 125 people

Management on Thursday announced a $2,500 Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation grant that will be awarded to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Maria to provide support for youth programs for children ages 6 to 18.

The new Lowe's is part of Enos Ranch, with tenants lined up, including DICK’s Sporting Goods, Old Navy, Ulta, HomeGoods, Chick-Fil-A, Jack in the Box, The Habit Burger Grill and Cracker Barrel.

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.

BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing [email protected].

Carpinteria has a new fast-casual Italian dining restaurant.

Guichos Eatery has opened at 901 Linden Ave. Owners Jim Donahue and Luis “Guicho” Alvarez own two other Guichos restaurants, both in San Clemente, a beach town similar to Carpinteria.

The restaurant opened Sept. 1. The restaurant has limited indoor seating, but specializes in “Fresh Italian Take Out.”

“It’s great, fresh, made-to-order Italian food,” said Donahue, a UCSB graduate who has worked in various capacities -- from bartender to manager -- at restaurants such as Fish Enterprise and The Harbor.

Donahue said one of the reasons he loves the restaurant business is because he gets to meet new people.

The location used to be home to “Beach Bowl,” an acai-juice shop. Donahue and Alvarez said they loved the corner spot and jumped on the real estate as soon as it came available.

“It was a great location,” Alvarez said.

The restaurant makes just about everything fresh, from the meatballs and bread to the sauces and soup, They use DeChecco pasta, imported from Italy.

“It’s super-fresh, great quality, convenient and affordable

The most expensive dish on the menu is $12.95

Somerset Sunset

In a dramatic turnaround, Somerset, which this past December promised “world-class” and “progressive California cuisine with rustic French and Italian influences,” is set to close on Oct. 23.

Owner Steve Hermann told Noozhawk back then that he loved Santa Barbara after moving to Montecito seven years ago, but had one objection: “My big complaint with it is I just don’t think the food tastes very good.”

He spent millions of dollars and two years rebuilding the former Arts & Letters Café, with a promise that the restaurant won’t compete with its fellow Santa Barbara establishments, but “against the best restaurants in the world.”

Things change.

Somerset plans to re-open after a brief renovation as a “new casual restaurant.”

“We would like to thank our loyal patrons for supporting us this past year,” the restaurant’s W. Hayden Felice said in a statement. “After much thought, we are closing our fine dining restaurant, Somerset, beginning October 23rd, 2017. While we have had an overwhelming amount of appreciation and support from our guests during this first year, we have found that it was time to move towards a more accessible dining experience for our Santa Barbara community.

“We will be closed for a brief renovation before we open our new casual restaurant in the 7 East Anapamu space.”

The restaurant business in Santa Barbara is undoubtedly unforgiving; Somerset in its current form didn’t last as long as Maggie’s, nearby at the corner of State and Anapamu, which is now Benchmark Eatery. Maggie’s lasted 14 months.

Santa Maria Lowe’s

Santa Maria is home to a new Lowe’s at 935 E. Betteravia Road. The Lowe’s of Santa Maria has more than 94,000 square feet of retail space, with an adjacent 27,000 square foot garden center, stocking approximately 40,000 different items. The new store is expected to employ about 125 people

Management on Thursday announced a $2,500 Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation grant that will be awarded to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Maria to provide support for youth programs for children ages 6 to 18.

The new Lowe's is part of Enos Ranch, with tenants lined up, including DICK’s Sporting Goods, Old Navy, Ulta, HomeGoods, Chick-Fil-A, Jack in the Box, The Habit Burger Grill and Cracker Barrel.
 

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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