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BizHawk: Warren B’s Event Center Goes into Santa Barbara’s De la Guerra Plaza

Whiskey and Leather opens on Coast Village Road, Startup Weekend Santa Barbara gets canceled and Santa Barbara-based Beneflex acquires insurance company

Warren B’s is moving into De la Guerra Plaza as an event space in the backyard of Santa Barbara’s City Hall, a project of Warren Butler’s growing event business.
Warren B’s is moving into De la Guerra Plaza as an event space in the backyard of Santa Barbara’s City Hall, a project of Warren Butler’s growing event business.    (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

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A spot in downtown Santa Barbara’s De la Guerra Plaza has been added to the list of local venues snatched up by Warren Butler, owner of Butler Event Centers.

Named for its proprietor, Warren B’s has moved into 731-A De la Guerra Plaza and will be available for private events and all sorts of parties, according to Butler, who took over the space that used to house Tony Ray’s and Killer B’s BBQ more recently before it closed earlier this year.

This expands the list of Butler Event Centers to four, also including 3488 State St., the former Cafe del Sol building at 30 Los Patos Way and the former Sizzler Restaurant at 5555 Hollister Ave. in Goleta.

“We will be adding a retractable awning, resurfacing the patio floor and lightening up the inside with some fresh paint,” Butler told Noozhawk. “It is available to be booked now.”

Butler also owns Marketing Express and is president of the Greater Santa Barbara Lodging & Restaurant Association, now called Hospitality Santa Barbara.

He said the organization would be hosting a public event at the new De la Guerra Plaza location next Thursday from 5-7 p.m. to celebrate last week’s Santa Barbara City Council election, welcoming the new member along with council’s current members.

Whiskey and Leather Opens

A new boutique called Whiskey and Leather opened last week on Coast Village Road in Montecito, selling both men’s and women’s clothing for eclectic living.

The retailer opened at 1101 Coast Village Road, Suite A last Tuesday and is planning a grand opening party with food, a bar and more on Dec. 1 from 5-9 p.m., according to Zee Chew, who owns the store along with girlfriend Ariel Hujar, both UC Santa Barbara graduates.

“Our motto is ‘Everything for sale in the store,’” Chew said, referring to all tables and light fixtures.

“We designed it sort of like an apartment or house. We want you to come in and relax. It’s a lifestyle brand.”

Although Whiskey and Leather doesn’t actually sell whiskey — a common misconception — they do sell whiskey-related books and flasks.

Because the boutique sells clothing for men and women, Chew said the co-owners wanted the name to incorporate things both sexes would like in order to encourage husbands and wives to spend more time together.

No Startup Weekend Santa Barbara

The Startup Weekend Santa Barbara entrepreneurial competition typically set for the second weekend in November over the past few years has been canceled this year, according to organizers.

“Our team is working on a number of other Santa Barbara-based entrepreneur and startup focused community initiatives, including the Impact Hub launch and additional partnerships with local supporting Startup Community organizations,” founder Kyle Ashby wrote in a Facebook post on the group’s page.

“In addition, Startup Weekend is no longer a nonprofit organization. It was bought by Techstars over the summer.”

Because of the new structure, the Santa Barbara model that used to count on a number of nonprofit-related donations and sponsors can no longer do so.

Beneflex Buys Insurance Dimensions

Santa Barbara-based Beneflex Insurance Services, LLC acquired Insurance Dimensions as of Oct. 1.

Insurance Dimensions will continue its operations in Newbury Park, Calif., in addition to services at the Beneflex corporate office in Santa Barbara, continuing to serve clients as they had in the past, Beneflex announced.

Insurance Dimensions owner Aline Roberts has served as the insurance broker for many southern Central Coast individuals and organizations for more 30 years, with accounts located throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

“We are honored and excited that Aline has chosen to partner with us as we share the belief that every employer deserves happy and healthy employees,” Beneflex CEO Dan Cattaneo said in a statement.

“Aline has achieved her success through strong client partnerships, outstanding customer care and exemplary advisory services which makes her a perfect fit for Beneflex. Her experience and in-depth knowledge allows her to bring dynamic thinking and insight to our organization and clients.”

Trikke Company Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

Santa Barbara County’s Trikke Tech. this week launched an inaugural Indiegogo campaign for Freedom, a three-wheel electric bike the company bills as the urban “car” of the future.

The Indiegogo campaign runs now through Dec. 12 with the goal of raising $22,000, making its Freedom models available for as low as $599 for the first 200 donors. Click here to donate.

The normal lithium-powered electric ride sells for more than $1,000.

Co-founders Gildo Beleski and John Simpson conduct day-to-day operations such as research and development, vehicle assembly, marketing, customer service and technical support at Trikke headquarters in Buellton, while sales are conducted from Buellton and Trikke’s Carpinteria office.

Tamales Popping Up at Nectar

Santa Barbara Tamales-To-Go is opening a tamale window downtown at 20 E. Cota St. on the east side of Nectar Eatery & Lounge (previously Blue Agave).

The grand opening, hosted by the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, will be next Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tamales-To-Go owner Richard Lambert said two pop-ups at the Santa Barbara Public Market over the summer gave him the idea for the window.

“More than half of the folks who came to our pop-ups wanted tamales to take home,” he said.

“With our new window, they can come get fresh tamales straight from the steamer and packaged to go."

The tamale window will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those wanting orders of three dozen or more are encouraged to call ahead.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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