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BizHawk: High Sierra Grill Prepares for Dec. 7 Opening

The Justice People adds new offices, employers host job fair for displaced grocery workers and Pure Order brewing company hosts photo contest

High Sierra Grill co-owner Mario Medina unveils the new sign ahead of a planned Dec. 7 opening.
High Sierra Grill co-owner Mario Medina unveils the new sign ahead of a planned Dec. 7 opening. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

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Nearly every time local Mario Medina visited the now-closed Elephant Bar Restaurant near Santa Barbara Airport in Goleta, he would dream of all the ways he could improve the large space.

Now as a serial restaurateur and co-owner of the High Sierra Grill House eatery that’s slated to take its place when it opens Dec. 7, Medina is finally working his magic at 521 Firestone Road.

Gone will be the famous exterior brown stripes and mirrors as decorations. The inside has been refurbished with hard wood, paint and 32 flat screen TVs, and those mirrors will be replaced with forest-themed paintings and UC Santa Barbara athletic murals designed by the university.

Medina is confident the restaurant will open on schedule.

“Everybody seems to be happy to have us around,” he said.

High Sierra Grill co-owner Mario Medina, a local who also owns Mulligans Cafe & Bar at the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course, says the front of the restaurant will be painted over, with more colorful exterior landscaping added. Click to view larger
High Sierra Grill co-owner Mario Medina, a local who also owns Mulligans Cafe & Bar at the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course, says the front of the restaurant will be painted over, with more colorful exterior landscaping added.          (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Medina, who has owned and operated Mulligans Cafe & Bar at the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course since December 1993, is partnering in the venture with Manuel Perales of Fresno and Paul Ybarra, who grew up in Santa Barbara and opened Paul’s Place in Merced.

High Sierra Grill is the sixth restaurant they’ve opened together, boasting a menu exactly the same as the original High Sierra Grill in Fresno except the local spot will have a breakfast menu seven days a week.

Medina said the restaurant plans to begin hiring 120 employees by the middle of November to be ready for the grand opening in December.

Justice People Adds Offices

The Justice People, which is a legal document preparation firm owned by Tyler Gross, LDA, now has offices in Lompoc in addition to Nipomo and San Luis Obispo.

Since 2009, The Justice People has been helping clients across the Central Coast with legal document assistant services for family law, divorce, child custody, small claims, bankruptcy, estate planning, landlord-tenant matters and more.

“We have a passion and commitment to our community and want to provide equal access to the justice system even if you cannot afford an attorney,” Gross said in a news release.

“Our experience and understanding of the legal system and the legal document  requirements will provide you with the needed tools for self-representation in many cases.”

Gross said clients who represent themselves typically save 50-70 percent of the typical fees and costs.

Employers Attend Fair to Recruit Grocery Story Employees

Local employers will gather for a recruitment event Thursday to meet, interview and potentially hire current or former employees of Haggen and Fresh & Easy grocery stores.

The two grocery chains are closing stores across the region, including eight stores in Santa Barbara County (six Haggen stores and two Fresh & Easy stores), with hundreds of workers being laid off before the holidays.

Bed, Bath & Beyond, CVS, Gelson’s Market, Kmart, Lazy Acres, Ralphs, Rite Aid and Sears will host booths at the Nov. 5 event at the Workforce Resource Center at 130 E. Ortega St. in Santa Barbara.

The fair is open exclusively for Haggen and Fresh & Easy employees from 10 a.m. to noon and open to all between noon and 3 p.m.

Sponsors of the event include Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board, UFCW Local 770, Workforce Resource Center and State of California Employment Development Department.

Some of those representatives will also host rapid response sessions at each of the six Haggen stores to meet with the impacted employees and to provide information about benefits, services and resources available in the community.

Pure Order Hosts Photo Contest

Pure Order brewing company is hosting a Pure Local Photo Contest to help deck out an all-new “Pure Local” art wall at the brewery at 410 N. Quarantina St. in Santa Barbara.

The three-week contest runs from Oct. 21 to Nov. 11, with the winner announced at an unveiling party on Saturday, Nov. 14 from noon to 7 p.m. at the brewery.

The top 5 will be selected for best capturing the “essence of Santa Barbara,” and first place will take home $1,000.

Owner and brewmaster James Burge said the unveiling party would be open to the public with live music, beer and a food truck.

For more information on the contest, click here.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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