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BizHawk: Yankee Noodle Concept Replaces Union Ale on State Street

Sonos announces layoffs, French Press opens in Goleta and CKE is moving out of Carpinteria

After seven years, Union Ale has transformed into the Yankee Noodle, an American Asian fushion concept from the same owners. The kimchi quesadilla, seen here, is one of the new menu items.
After seven years, Union Ale has transformed into the Yankee Noodle, an American Asian fushion concept from the same owners. The kimchi quesadilla, seen here, is one of the new menu items. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

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After seven years operating as Union Ale at 214 State. St. in Santa Barbara, the restaurant converted last month to Yankee Noodle — serving American Asian-inspired cuisine in a casual sit-down environment.

The new concept was six years in the making, according to general manager Paul Garcia, who said owners thought it was time to shake things up at the eatery that had been considered more of a sports bar.

Local Matt Chrestenson, along with two business partners, owns Yankee Noodle, Rebar Coffee next door and American Ale on Cota Street.

Customers used to order their burgers, pizzas and other American fare at the counter, where several TVs lined the walls.

Yankee Noodle aims to tame the atmosphere a bit, losing the TVs and adding a large communal table, a more extensive craft cocktail list and a focus on barrel-aged whiskey and bourbon.

Yankee Noodle added a large community dining table and the menu includes ramen noodle dishes. Click to view larger
Yankee Noodle added a large community dining table and the menu includes ramen noodle dishes. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

The menu boasts traditional dishes with an Asian twist such as kimchi quesadillas and nachos, ramen noodles, honey sesame shrimp, Philly cheese steak egg rolls and more.

“Drink, eat and have some fun,” Garcia said.

He noted foot traffic has definitely taken a hit due to construction on Lower State Street but hoped a fresh menu might bring some patrons back.

Sonos Plans Layoffs

Sonos is planning to layoff an unknown number of employees as the Santa Barbara wireless audio manufacturer focuses its global business on paid streaming services and voice control.

Sonos CEO John Macfarlane made the announcement late Wednesday in a blog post, which explains the company will be transitioning much like the music industry as a whole.

The company employed more than 270 workers locally in 2013 when Sonos said it would be scooping up three additional office spaces in downtown Santa Barbara due to growth.

Sonos wouldn’t comment Thursday on the number of employees leaving or specifics regarding which divisions, positions or locations would be hardest hit.

“I can tell you that Sonos will continue to have a presence in Santa Barbara — we have actually just opened our new lab on Mason Street in the Funk Zone, and a new testing chamber will go online on Cota Street shortly,” Global Corporate Communications Director Errin Cecil-Smith said in an email.

“We enjoy incredibly strong partnerships with many of the players involved in voice recognition work, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple and others, and we will do whatever’s needed to bring the very best music listening experience to our customers in their homes.”

She went on to say Sonos would not be creating its own streaming service, mentioning but not confirming what some observers believe — that Sonos and Amazon Echo/Dot will integrate.

French Press Opens in Goleta

The French Press has opened its third location in Goleta at 250 1-A Storke Road, across the street from Camino Real Marketplace.

The locally owned coffee shop made the announcement in December 2014 but only recently opened its doors.

French Press boasts two other locations in Santa Barbara at 1101 State St. and 528 Anacapa St.

CKE to Leave Carpinteria

Carpinteria-based CKE Restaurants Inc. — purveyors of the Carl’s Jr., Green Burrito and Hardy’s brands — is moving its headquarters to Nashville, Tenn., according to the company.

Private Atlanta investment firm Roark Capital Group acquired CKE in late 2013, saying business would continue as usual. Roark’s other brands include Roark, including Arby’s, Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Corner Bakery, Wingstop and others.

“Following our recent re-franchising initiative, over 90 percent of our restaurants are now franchise-owned, including the restaurants in St. Louis and Santa Barbara counties that were formerly company-owned,” a CKE spokesperson said this week.

“Being highly franchised has also reduced our office space needs and, thus, made consolidating offices a more viable option. 

“As such, early next year we will be consolidating our Carpinteria and St. Louis corporate offices in Nashville, which is centrally located and is one of the markets where we have retained company-owned restaurants. We currently have approximately 75 employees at each of the two locations. Most employees will be offered positions with relocation packages and the remainder will receive job placement assistance.”

Community West Plans Santa Maria Move

Community West Bancshares, parent company of Community West Bank, has announced that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency approved its application to relocate its Santa Maria full-service branch office at 2615 South Miller Way to 122 East Betteravia Rd.

“We are looking forward to moving in the third or fourth quarter to this more convenient and accessible location for our customers on Betteravia Road near South Broadway,” Bill Filippin, executive vice president and chief banking officer, said in a statement.

“This is a great new location for us and better reflects Community West Bank’s commitment to providing flexible and responsive personal service in Santa Maria and throughout northern Santa Barbara County.”

Community West Bank opened its Santa Maria branch in 2005 and currently has five full-service banking offices in Goleta, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura and Westlake Village as well as a loan production office in San Luis Obispo.

A new full-service banking office will open in San Luis Obispo at 4464 Broad St. in the fourth quarter this year.

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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