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BizHawk: Outback Steakhouse Closing Goleta Location in Calle Real Shopping Center

7-Eleven stores opening in downtown Santa Barbara and Goleta; Sandbar ready to reopen; Driving2Save offers car conservation tips

The Outback Steakhouse in the Calle Real Shopping Center in Goleta will close its doors this Sunday, Nov. 12 Click to view larger
The Outback Steakhouse in the Calle Real Shopping Center in Goleta will close its doors this Sunday, Nov. 12 (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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It looks like Goleta is about to eat its last Bloomin' Onion.

The Outback Steakhouse in the Calle Real Shopping Center will close its doors this Sunday, Nov. 12.

The Australian-themed restaurant at 5690 Calle Real has fallen victim to an increase in rent for the space. 

Employees had been trying to keep the news of the closure hush-hush, via orders from the corporate office, but finally a sign went up on the door this week saying the restaurant is going out of business.

Among Outback's signature appetizer dishes is the Bloomin' Onion — a hand-carved onion cooked until golden and served with a spice sauce.

The steakhouse is reportedly looking for new digs in Goleta, but has not yet found a new location.

Calls to Outback's corporate office seeking specifics on the closure were not returned.

In February of 2017, however, Outback's parent company, Bloomin' Brands, announced that it would be closing 43 underperforming restaurants nationwide. Santa Barbara was not on that list.

According to Business Insider, Bloomin' Brands saw its profit drop from $127.3 million in 2015 to $41.7 million in 2016. Bloomin’ Brands sold its California Outback restaurants to Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts.

Outback is located in the same shopping center where the popular Los Arroyos restaurant opened a few doors down earlier in 2017. 

New 7-Eleven Stores Opening

State Street retailers may be struggling with high rents, a lack of foot traffic and a homeless problem, but the future is bright for at least one company: 7-Eleven.

State Street is getting a 7-Eleven on one of the strip’s most prominent corners, State and Ortega streets.

The ubiquitous convenience store is set to go into the site formerly occupied by Panera and before that Left at Albuquerque.

The store won’t take up all of the space, only about half of it, the inner side away from the corner.

Pamela Scott brokered the deal. She said that State Street doesn’t have any convenience markets and that 7-Eleven fills that void.

Goleta now has another 7-Eleven store — at 5342 Hollister Ave., across from Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital. Click to view larger
Goleta now has another 7-Eleven store — at 5342 Hollister Ave., across from Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

“The architecture will be consistent with the El Pueblo Viejo District,” she said.

And, for all the worrywarts who fear that State Street is too good for a 7-Eleven and the clientele it could bring, Scott said the store won’t serve alcohol.

And when it comes to Slurpees, Goleta doesn’t need to have Santa Barbara envy.

Goleta has its own new 7-Eleven, across from Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital at 5342 Hollister Ave.

Goleta may be the 7-Eleven Slurpee king. With the new addition, Goleta has no less than four 7-Elevens between Ellwood and Patterson.

Sandbar Nears Opening

A fire damaged the Sandbar restaurant in August, but the locale’s re-opening appears imminent.

Managers told Noozhawk on Thursday that the Mexican restaurant and tequila bar at 514 State St. was just awaiting a couple final inspections before opening.

Staff was hoping for a Thursday night or Friday opening of the restaurant.

Nugget Nixed

The Nugget in Carpinteria is now closed.

The owners shut the restaurant down this week, but you can still find the gold in Santa Barbara, Summerland and Goleta.

Car Tips

A new Santa Barbara startup is offering “a comprehensive and innovative online resource dedicated to educating consumers about driving, with entertaining and valuable content that will enable them to save money, lives, time and the planet every time they get behind the wheel.”

A Santa Barbara startup Driving2Save offers car tips and education. Click to view larger
A Santa Barbara startup Driving2Save offers car tips and education.  (Contributed photo)

Brian Goebel, founder and CEO of Driving2Save, said he started the business to make it easier for people to change their driving habits, and make inexpensive vehicle upgrades that could save time, money, lives and the environment.

A low tire pressure reading inspired him to learn about car emissions. He also had a desire to reduce childhood asthma.

“When you routinely spend more than $50 to fill up your tank, and worry about what’s coming out of the tailpipe of the car in front of you, it’s easy to become a pessimist,” Goebel said..“Nevertheless, at Driving2Save we are optimists. We believe that you can enjoy driving your car and save money, lives, time and the planet, and we will show you how.

"Even with the new California gas tax, we can share with you how to offset the increase and actually save money in the process.”

The site is intended to serve as online resource offering tips to offset the new California 12-cent per gallon gas tax increase. It aggregates and shares driving tips and product testing for consumers, all for free.

Visit for more information.

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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