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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 6:13 am | Fair 44º


BizHawk: Los Agaves Restaurateur Carlos Luna Debuts Santo Mezcal in Downtown Santa Barbara

Zizzo’s closes a location, Meun Fan Thai Café opens in Goleta, Sun Sushi opens in Santa Barbara and Otherworld Tattoo moves

Unlike Los Agaves restaurants, Carlos Luna’s new Santo Mezcal has a full bar, with a focus on mezcals and tequilas. Click to view larger
Unlike Los Agaves restaurants, Carlos Luna’s new Santo Mezcal has a full bar, with a focus on mezcals and tequilas. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

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Joining the transformation of lower State Street is Santo Mezcal, a new restaurant by Carlos Luna, the man behind the popular Los Agaves Restaurants.

The establishment at 119 State St., which opened May 12, sits at the crossroads of the Hotel Californian complex, the waterfront, downtown Santa Barbara and the Funk Zone.

Luna told Noozhawk that he had been wanting to open an elevated Mexican restaurant and that Los Agaves customers had been asking for hard-liquor drinks and margaritas. Unlike Los Agaves, Santo Mezcal has a full bar with specialties in, well, mezcal and tequila.

While Los Agaves patrons order from the counter before sitting down, Luna’s latest concept is a full-service restaurant, with a greater emphasis on seafood.

The longer wait times that accompany that service model mean Executive Chef Ricardo Garcia’s team has more time to prepare more elaborate dishes.

The menu will likely be somewhat seasonal.

“It’s going to be changing a little bit down the road, depending on what they have at the farmers’ markets and with the local produce companies,” Luna said.

Santo Mezcal is located at 119 State St., at the crossroads between the waterfront, the Funk Zone and the upcoming Hotel Californian complex. Click to view larger
Santo Mezcal is located at 119 State St., at the crossroads between the waterfront, the Funk Zone and the upcoming Hotel Californian complex. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

The new digs, next door to Hotel Indigo, appeared on Luna’s radar a couple years ago and stood out as an ideal location, given the neighborhood’s transformation, parking availability and proximity to hotels.

It used to be home to the restaurants Nuance, Blue Tavern and Anchor Woodfire Kitchen, whose tenures collectively go back only to 2013.

“I was looking at other restaurants, and they were really good but it was really hard before, as there was nothing on Lower State,” Luna recalled. “Everything’s already here. It’s really great.”

Zizzo’s closes in Hollister Village

After a year in operation, Zizzo’s Coffeehouse and Brew Pub closed in Goleta’s Hollister Village on May 7 “due to underperforming numbers.”

The coffee shop’s first two locations, a drive-thru at 370 Storke Road and one across the street at Ice in Paradise, remain open.

“As they say, when one door closes, another opens. So stay tuned for what’s next!” ownership wrote in a letter to patrons.

For fans of the shuttered location’s Wednesday trivia nights, the event has moved to the Ice in Paradise location at 6985 Santa Felicia Dr.

Meun Fan Thai Café opens second location

Meun Fan Thai Café has opened a second location at 5664 Calle Real in Goleta.

The sit-down Thai restaurant’s original location is in Santa Barbara’s Mesa neighborhood, at 1819 Cliff Drive. It opened in 2008.

The new restaurant takes over the home of International Café.

Sun Sushi opens on Upper State Street

Ahi Sushi of 3631 State St. has been replaced with Sun Sushi.

The Ontare Plaza restaurant closed in November before undergoing a remodel and gaining new ownership, which decided to open a revamped Japanese restaurant.

Otherworld Tattoo moves

Otherworld Tattoo is now located at 1333 De la Vina St. in Santa Barbara.

The move was effective May 1. Prior to the relocation, the tattoo parlor had spent the past 13 years at 33 E. Victoria St.

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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