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Business

BizHawk: Santa Barbara Startup Seeker Introduces Self-Guided Craft Brew Trail Tour

Rusty’s Pizza rolls out another location, the city of Santa Barbara renews its golf course lease with Mulligan’s Café, and Santa Barbara’s TOT revenue is down

Seeker, a local startup that puts together self-guided wine tours in the Funk Zone, has added a craft brew tour that visits three breweries nearby including Telegraph Brewing Co., Third Window Brewing Co. and Pure Order Brewing Co.
Seeker, a local startup that puts together self-guided wine tours in the Funk Zone, has added a craft brew tour that visits three breweries nearby including Telegraph Brewing Co., Third Window Brewing Co. and Pure Order Brewing Co. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

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“Our generation — millennials — just have a little bit of a different thought pattern,” said Ryan Judy.

“We say we’re more of a self-guided generation; We kind of want to just go around and figure stuff out on our own using Yelp or TripAdvisor, and this mentality applies to travel too.”

Given the popularity of craft beer with his generation in Santa Barbara, it only made sense for the founder of local startup Seeker to introduce a self-guided tour of local craft breweries to his company’s current set of Funk Zone wine tours.

The Lagoon Loop Craft Brew Trail is a $35 package that takes the purchaser on a walking tour to Third Window Brewing Co., Telegraph Brewing Co., and Pure Order Brewing Co. — all of which are in the Lagoon District, a still-developing industrial and commerce area directly northeast of the Funk Zone.

“I hang out there all the time, our friends are there all the time at the different places that exist — pretty much just being Telegraph and Pure Order — and initially we saw the potential to bring these together into a walkable area once Third Window was open,” Judy said.

“We know that Santa Barbara loves this kind of stuff — when people have a new area to go to, it gets hot and buzzing, and we kind of said, ‘Okay, this is definitely looking like it’s going to be that.’”

The new tour is handled through the purchaser’s phone, where they can quickly access maps, information on the three breweries, and redeemable items at the stops. Because the package is paid for ahead of time through Seeker, participants need only show the breweries their phones on arrival.

Once the package is purchased, the tour and associated deals are good for one year.

At Third Window, participants are treated to a tasting flight of five beers as well as 20 percent off a filled growler. Telegraph offers a pint of the tourist’s choice and 15 percent off its apparel and bottles. At Pure Order, participants receive another pint of their choice, 10 percent off brewery merchandise, and a take-home, 64-oz. growler filled with their choice of beer.

Seeker also offers a $50 wine tour geared toward a whole weekend of tasting, and a $35 tour geared, like the craft brew trail, toward an afternoon of tasting.

“We’re focusing pretty hard on getting people to think about an area, versus a place,”Judy said of the Lagoon District. “And that’s part of the mindset that we want to push and that ends up being a great one for the business and for people.”

Rusty’s Pizza to open a new location on Lower State Street

Rusty’s Pizza, the seemingly ubiquitous, architecturally-diverse local chain, is opening a new location at 111 State St.

CEO Carol Duncan told Noozhawk that the spot is the new location for the iconic Cabrillo Boulevard lighthouse that Rusty’s previously called its downtown home until two and a half years ago. She said she expects the restaurant to be open in three to four weeks.

The location, once a Be Bop Burger, will be lighthouse-themed like its predecessor (sans the tower), with nautical and lighthouse knick-knacks, statuettes, and paraphernalia. The spacious restaurant, to be open 11 a.m. to midnight, will have an area that can host parties or meetings.

“I think it’s just going to be really interesting for them,” Duncan said of future State Street patrons. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. … We just have a lot of space in here — lots of things for people to see and the same great food.”

Rusty’s is in the process of transferring some of its restaurants to new locations. A Fairview Avenue location in Goleta re-opened a couple months ago with an Art Deco, railroad station theme at 5934 Calle Real.

“I like to do theme restaurants,” Duncan said.

The next move will be the transfer of the 149 S. Turnpike Rd. spot to a freestanding building in the same Goleta shopping center, she said.

Originally opened in 1969 in Isla Vista, Rusty’s now has eight locations in South County and nine more in Bakersfield.

Mulligan’s Café renews lease at Santa Barbara Golf Club

Mulligan’s Café and Bar, a concessions staple of the Santa Barbara Golf Club for over two decades, had the renewal of its lease approved Tuesday by the Santa Barbara City Council.

The new 10-year lease had been in the works for almost a year after the city’s Parks and Recreation Department was directed to negotiate a new one.

According to city staff, Mulligan’s will take up interior and exterior maintenance and improvements, including new flooring, interior painting, and purchasing new tables and chairs.

The city’s fiscal year 2017 budget anticipates nearly $160,000 in concessions revenue from the city-run golf club.

Mulligan’s has been owned and operated by Mario and Lani Medina since December 1993.

Santa Barbara’s April transient occupancy tax revenues decrease

The $1.4 million the city of Santa Barbara collected in transient occupancy taxes last month was a 2.4-percent decrease from that of last April, the city announced Wednesday.

Through the first 10 months of fiscal year 2016, which runs from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, the city has taken in about $15.3 million in TOT. The budget projected nearly $20 million for this 12-month range.

Though TOT is collected primarily through hotels and motels, where people take up residence for short stays, it can be levied on the burgeoning short-term vacation-rental industry as well.

These rentals, however, have been banned in Santa Barbara, and the city is in the process of investigating illicit rentals to determine how much TOT is owed to the city.

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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