Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 1:19 pm | Fair 71º

 
 
 
 

Tara Jones

Advice

Tara Jones: The New (And Old) Kids on the Block

Changes involve Potek, M. Special Brewing, Five & ¼, Standing Sun’s The Bodega and Santa Barbara Gift Baskets

Potek is single-handedly putting The Mill, East Haley Street’s newest building project, on the map in Santa Barbara with their single-vineyard, single-varietal wines
Potek is single-handedly putting The Mill, East Haley Street’s newest building project, on the map in Santa Barbara with their single-vineyard, single-varietal wines (Tara Jones photo)

Change is in the air.

And there has been no shortage of change around Santa Barbara and Goleta, with pop-ups starting, grand openings happening, and businesses moving or expanding.

Some of these places are already being lauded as the obvious choice for a glass of wine or tasty brew, but others are flying under the radar and shouldn’t be missed.

Here is a short list of new places to discover and old businesses worth a second look.

Potek

I will be the first to admit that I am no master sommelier with years of having my nose down a wine glass, but I have definitely been in and around the industry long enough to recognize when a winery is turning out excellence.

Potek is single-handedly putting The Mill, East Haley’s newest building project, on the map with their single-vineyard, single-varietal wines.

And I for one will be one of the many to come who will be singing their praises.

Mainly sticking to the traditional red varietals that Santa Barbara County is known for, such as pinot noir, syrah, and grenache, these wines are definitely worth a try and each as unique as their terroir.

My top recommendation is the 2013 Sanford Benedict Pinot Noir with its complex, floral, earthy palate and sweet, and raspberry after taste.

Located at 406 E Haley St, #1, Santa Barbara. Hours of operation are Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

M. Special Brewing Co. is a new brewery hidden deep in the industrial streets of Goleta. Click to view larger
M. Special Brewing Co. is a new brewery hidden deep in the industrial streets of Goleta. (Tara Jones photo)

M. Special Brewing Co.

Named after the Malloy family’s namesake’s race car, M. Special Brewing Co. is a new brewery hidden deep in the industrial streets of Goleta’s newest developing area.

It is turning out some classic beers with a couple that are catching the attention of many locals.

Wander inside the metal-sided building off Cortona Drive and sidle up to the expansive bar or outdoor seating that is coupled with campy games like cornhole to keep you occupied while you taste from an ambitious list of over six different beers on tap.

Having just opened a couple short months ago, these guys are churning out some decent brews that will appeal to the IPA lover and traditionalist alike.

The beer that had me coming back for more was the Dozer Special American Brown, with its toasty, malty mouth that was indicative of a medium-bodied stout.

Drink it on its own or with a meal, and let that creamy goodness wash over you like a blanket on a cool winter's day.

Located at Building C, 6860 Cortona Drive, Goleta. Hours of operation are Sunday-Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., and Thursday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Five & ¼ recently opened a few weeks ago inside Pacific Crepes on Anacapa Street in downtown Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Five & ¼ recently opened a few weeks ago inside Pacific Crepes on Anacapa Street in downtown Santa Barbara. (Tara Jones photo)

Five & ¼

A kitschy pop-up, Five & ¼ recently opened a few weeks ago inside Pacific Crepes, is the latest project for Still owners Jeremy Bohrer and Sayward Rebhel.

When Pacific Crepes closes at 3 p.m., Five & ¼ (pronounced Five and A Quarter) gets going.

Stop by any Thursday-Saturday night, starting at 5:15 p.m., to taste from an eclectic list of old world wines from Europe and Middle Eastern regions.

Bohrer, a veteran of the wine industry, has made it his mission to introduce Santa Barbara to some wines that color outside our usual lines of pinot noir and chardonnay.

And instead of charging the high price that most of us are used to, the couple has generously priced a couple of the wines on the list to (you guessed it!) $5.25 as a way of giving back to the community they call home and in an effort to introduce everyone and anyone to good wine.

This place is an ideal date night spot that not only offers a chance to taste off-the-beaten path wines, but also seasonal, locally-sourced small plates and an opportunity to talk shop with the owners who act as your personal sommeliers for the night.

Located at 705 Anacapa St. Hours of operation are Thursday-Saturday, 5:15-10 p.m.

The Bodega recently set up shop inside the historical Casa de la Guerra in downtown Santa Barbara Click to view larger
The Bodega recently set up shop inside the historical Casa de la Guerra in downtown Santa Barbara (Tara Jones photo)

Standing Sun’s The Bodega

Family, music, art, wine. In that order for owner John Wright, whose appreciation for historical buildings and belief it is that the arts bring people together.

Wright recently opened up The Bodega inside the historical Casa de la Guerra, in what used to be the wine cellar of Jose de la Guerra, the fifth commandante of the Royal Presidio army.

But don’t be fooled by the proper and historical digs that remain intact, as this winery is known for its laid-back vibes and approachable staff.

Just ask wine tasting room associate Evan Dunn, who says, “Wine doesn’t have to be snooty. It can be involved in rock and roll and the music scene. It can be hip and cool.”

The space is minimally decorated with art that hangs from existing nails in the wall from the late Ojai artist Gino Hollander, and offers a few comfy seating options around the room.

While I wasn’t swept away by the saccharin-sweet white wines, I was impressed with the robust and hearty 2011 Syrah and its plum to peppery palate that would pair perfectly with grilled steak.

But keep an eye out for a new label that Wright plans to release sometime in 2016.

The Bodega tasting menu offers six wines for $15.

Located at 15 E. De la Guerra St. Hours of operation are Thursday-Sunday, Noon-5 p.m.

Santa Barbara Gift Baskets

A gift basket shop opens a bar. And no, it’s not the opening line to a joke.

Anne Pazier, owner of Santa Barbara Gift Baskets, moved her 11-year-old operation down a few blocks to new digs last April, across the street from the popular Goodland Kitchen in Goleta, and she has made a few unique changes including adding a small wine and beer bar.

Stroll through the garage cum boutique shop to get some holiday shopping ideas while you sip on local wines such as Pali, Lafond, Santa Barbara Winery, Laetitia, Kaena and Zaca Mesa.

Or enjoy a pint of Telegraph beer while you nosh on local faire from the surrounding Old Town neighborhood eateries.

Bonus: When you’re done sipping and seeing, take the beer pint glass home with you.

Not a beer or wine person? They also sell Brooks Dry Cider by the four-pack.

Keep an eye out for future events coming 2016, such as meet the winemaker tasting nights.

All beer and wine by the glass is $6.

Located at 230 Magnolia Ave, Goleta. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.  

Tara Jones leads Eat This, Shoot That! and welcomes reader tips and ideas for future columns. She can be reached at [email protected]. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

Santa Barbara Gift Baskets has relocated to a new shop on Magnolia Avenue in Goleta. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara Gift Baskets has relocated to a new shop on Magnolia Avenue in Goleta. (Tara Jones photo)

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