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BizHawk: Lighthouse Coffee Shining Bright on the Mesa in Santa Barbara

Riviera Towel Company relocates to larger quarters; Youth Interactive art store opens on State Street

Employees of Lighthouse Coffee in Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
From left, Chelsea Cross, Beth Flett and Katie Delgadillo greet customers daily at Lighthouse Coffee. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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].

Santa Barbara has a new coffee house — and, surprise, it's not Starbucks. 

Lighthouse Coffee has replaced The Good Cup on the Mesa, at 1819 Cliff Drive.

General Manager Beth Flett told Noozhawk that it was time to take the coffee shop to the next level.

"We were just trying to bring the place up to the times," said Flett, who sports a Victorian Lace tattoo around her neck and an arm sleeve of Dia de los Muertos tattoos. "The Mesa is an awesome place to be, and we want this place to be comfortable for everyone."

The coffee shop was purchased by Chris Chiarappai, who also owns Mesa Burger across the street. Flett started working at the coffee shop 17 years ago as a barista, and then ascended to GM. 

The new shop features double the seating, with benches installed against the back wall, replacing the cards that were once there.

Gone are the hot, stuffy days of the Good Cup, which despite its homey feel, was often uncomfortable because of the lack of air conditioning. 

Lighthouse Coffee, however, now has air conditioning. Flett said the WiFi is also faster, for the droves of students and working professionals who like to work at the site. 

And the food is new, featuring pastries from Renaud's and DeAngelo's, salads from Mesa Burger, and coffee from Handlebar.

Soon, Flett said, Lighthouse will serve beer and wine, once the ABC license goes through. For now, the business is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., but hours will extend later when they get the liquor license. 

Flett said she loves people who visit the business, especially the ones who drive from other parts of the city just to work at the spot because they like the vibe.

"The people are one of my favorite things," she said. "I love watching the kids grow up, watching them go from Washington School then off to college. This is an awesome place."

Towel expands

Riveria Towel Company Click to view larger
Riviera Towel Company in Santa Barbara has relocated to larger quarters at 17 W. Gutierrez St. in Santa Barbara. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Riviera Towel Company has a new — and better — location.

The store, owned by Shannon DiPadova, has defected from De la Guerra Plaza to 17 W. Gutierrez St., next to DeAngelo's and a strip of locally owned businesses.

The store moved in August.

"We needed a bigger location," DiPadova told Noozhawk.

The company imports towels from Turkey, Tunisia and Greece. They are thin by design and dry fast. They roll up tight, and can be used as fashion accessories, such as wraps and scarves.

DePadova started the business with her husband, Albert.

They come in about 60 different styles and designs, and in 10 colors. They reflect the Rivieras of the world, including the Italian, French, and American Rivera — Santa Barbara.

Shannon customizes the towels with various styles, patterns and colors.

In addition, the company stocks local products, including Santa Barbara Aromatics skincare and candles, Wine Outside glasses, Casa de Nika jewelry, SB Beach Treasures rings and Lei Fragrances.

Proceeds from each towel go to support marine conservation causes.

Arts Grand Opening

Youth Interactive plans a special grand opening from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at 1219 State St. Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo will be there to cut the ribbon. 
 
Youth Interactive offers a large storefront where students run a store, and everything is artisanal and handmade.

All proceeds go back to support youth and the arts in our community.

According to its Website, Youth Interactive Santa Barbara is a grassroots after-school entrepreneurial arts academy that bridges opportunity and social divisions by providing creative young adults from all walks of life with the keys to self-sufficiency.

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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