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BizHawk: Loquita Restaurant to Offer Spanish Cuisine Near Santa Barbara’s Waterfront

Old Town Antiques moves to a new Goleta spot, PizzaMan Dan’s opens in Carpinteria, and the Milpas Street Trader Joe’s is moving a few blocks away in Santa Barbara

Loquita, an upcoming Spanish restaurant, will be located on the corner of State and Yanonali streets in Santa Barbara. Acme Hospitality managing partner Sherry Villanueva called the location “the gateway to the Funk Zone.” Click to view larger
Loquita, an upcoming Spanish restaurant, will be located on the corner of State and Yanonali streets in Santa Barbara. Acme Hospitality managing partner Sherry Villanueva called the location “the gateway to the Funk Zone.” (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

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Acme Hospitality is preparing to check off yet another opening on their expanding list of Santa Barbara Funk Zone establishments with its debut next month of Loquita, a Spanish-themed restaurant at 202 State St.

Acme is the group behind a cluster of establishments that include The Lark, Lucky Penny, Les Marchands, the Santa Barbara Wine Collective and Helena Avenue Bakery, the latter of which opened two months ago.

“We’re very, very excited about really honoring and celebrating the Spanish heritage of the city of Santa Barbara,” said Sherry Villanueva, managing partner with Acme.

For linguistics enthusiasts, loquita is the feminine diminutive of the Spanish word loco.

The restaurant on the corner of State and Yanonali streets will feature hot and cold tapas, seafood, grilled meats and three types of paella, along with a collection of Spanish wines and some local wines.

The menu is the creation of chef Peter Lee, with input from the Spanish chef Perfecte Rocher, according to Acme.

Loquita will also offer a full cocktail program and indoor and outdoor seating.

“We’re very excited about what’s happening not only to the Funk Zone but the entire waterfront district,” Villanueva told Noozhawk.

“The location is perfect,” she said. “We love being right across the street from the (Amtrak) train station. We really see that corner as being the gateway to the Funk Zone — what connects the State Street corridor into what’s happening in the Funk Zone.”

Old Town Antiques moves to Magnolia Shopping Center

Old Town Antiques in Goleta has moved a mile and a half east from the corner of Pine and Hollister avenues to the Magnolia Shopping Center, next door to Union Bank.

“The building was for sale and it was bought, so we had to leave or give up the business,” said Paul Lewis, who owns the establishment with Larry Zajac.

The building was home to various types of markets over the years, before becoming an antique store and changing hands a number of times.

Lewis took it over more than nine years ago with a couple partners, and the store now sells everything from wood carvings to furniture to Indian jewelry.

“It’s been a landmark antique store for a long time, and people have just gone, ‘What? You’re moving!?’” Lewis told Noozhawk.

Aug. 28 was the old store’s last day, and it reopened Sept. 1.

“I think it’s a good location; there’s a lot of traffic in there,” Lewis said.

The new digs, however, feature a considerable reduction in square footage, he said — from 5,000 to 2,650.

“We had to be more selective about what we buy,” Lewis added.

PizzaMan Dan’s opens in Carpinteria

PizzaMan Dan’s, a Ventura County-based chain, opened a new restaurant on Sept. 2 in Carpinteria.

The chain, with its recognizable Pac-Man-like delivery boy mascot, moved into 699 Linden Ave., the former home of Tony’s Restaurant, which closed in 2015 after several decades in business.

In addition to pizzas, the restaurant offers calzones and sub sandwiches.

“We've been looking to grow,” said owner Dan Collier. “We grow into consecutive markets, so the next natural growth as you head north from my downtown Ventura location was Carpinteria.”

Collier said PizzaMan Dan's manager Maria Lopez, whom he's worked with for 30 years, lives in Santa Barbara, which gave the company another reason to open its latest location in Santa Barbara County.

After being quickly sold to the new restaurant, the location on the corner of 7th Street underwent a considerable facelift over the past year in preparation for the pizzeria's fist establishment outside of Ventura County.

Collier said the restaurant received a great reception when it opened.

“It was insane,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Santa Barbara’s Milpas Street Trader Joe’s will move

Trader Joe’s will be moving its Milpas Street location in Santa Barbara a few blocks north in 2018.

Company spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki told Noozhawk that the 29 S. Milpas St. TJ’s will relocate to 222 N. Milpas St.

The company plans to close the old one for good at its regular closing time on its last day, and open the new one at the regular opening time the following day, Mochizuki said.

The new location was a Fresh Market for less than a year and a half before the chain pulled out of California in 2015. Prior to that, 222 N. Milpas St. was a Scolari’s market, another grocery chain that struggled to maintain its California presence.

Trader Joe’s also has locations at 3025 De la Vina St. in Santa Barbara and 5767 Calle Real in Goleta.

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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