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Mill Project Prepares for Full House Come November

Some vendors already are open at Eastside Santa Barbara development

Potek Winery, a second label for Santa Barbara’s popular Municipal Winery, was the first to open inside the Mill Project on the Eastside last month.
Potek Winery, a second label for Santa Barbara’s popular Municipal Winery, was the first to open inside the Mill Project on the Eastside last month. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

The exterior of the Mill Project on Santa Barbara’s Eastside looks complete — it’s the inside that developers were still working on this week.

Three of the seven businesses signed on to occupy space within the “lifestyle-centric” development at the corner of Laguna and Haley streets are moved in and open.

Mac Grant Fitness, Municipal Winery’s Potek label and AB Design Studios already call the place home, with the rest of tenants aiming for a grand opening in late November, according to proprietors Kirsten and Darrell Becker.

The longtime locals have been hard at work to complete the Mill Project and to finalize an eighth tenant for a coffee/bakery venture.

That spot was supposed to go to Crushcakes, but the Santa Barbara-based regional chain moved into Montecito instead. (That location has since closed.)

Corazon Cocina was also prepared to join the vendors at 406 Haley St., but owners have since backed out and are considering going into the Montecito Country Mart.

Construction continued this week on the remaining vendors at the modern development, a new take on the old feed mill built in 1904.

Yet to open are Pelago Design, Third Window Brewing, Wildwood Kitchen Restaurant and Wood Shed, and a Millworks Design Studio for the owners’ Becker Studios.

Potek Winery wines use the same grapes as its Municipal Winery counterparts, but the aging process is different, said general manager Dave Potter. Click to view larger
Potek Winery wines use the same grapes as its Municipal Winery counterparts, but the aging process is different, said general manager Dave Potter. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

“We are really excited about the progress over here and can’t wait to see it all come to life!” Kirsten Decker said in an email.

She said Wildwood Kitchen Restaurant and the Wood Shed were two separate food concepts from Chef Justin West, who’s behind Julienne restaurant downtown.

The Wood Shed intends to pair offerings with Third Window Brewing, a brand new label founded by Kristopher Parker, grandson of the late Fess Parker.

Parker, a Santa Barbara native, said the brewery was still working to install proper brewing equipment on site before opening with a tasting room.

A couple stopped in for a wine tasting Tuesday afternoon at Potek, a second label for the popular Municipal Winery in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone.

General manager Dave Potter said the wines come from a lot of the same fruits but involve a different aging process, drawing from top barrels. 

Business has been steady enough so far, he said of the tasting room, which is open from noon to 7 p.m. daily.

“I think everybody is waiting for the rest of it to open up,” Potter said.

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.

The Mill Project as a whole hopes for a November grand opening on the corner of Haley and Laguna streets in Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
The Mill Project as a whole hopes for a November grand opening on the corner of Haley and Laguna streets in Santa Barbara. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)
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