The Bluewater Grill has opened in the iconic lighthouse building at 15 E. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara, offering seafood, monthly chef’s tastings, local winery pours and neighborhood happy hours. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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Santa Barbara has a new oceanfront restaurant inside an old, historic building.

The Bluewater Grill offers seafood, monthly chef’s tastings, local winery pours and neighborhood happy hours.

The restaurant opened on Monday, and is located inside the lighthouse building at 15 E. Cabrillo Blvd. It’s the former home of Rusty’s Pizza and the historic Castagnola Lobster House.

“We’re seeing a terrific response from the local community,” Colin Lohenry, the restaurant’s General Manager, told Noozhawk. “We’ve been waiting for more than a decade to find the perfect beachfront location in Santa Barbara that could showcase our fresh sustainable seafood – and then worked with the city for more than a year to completely remodel the landmark lighthouse building across from Stearns Wharf.

“So, it’s especially gratifying to see locals and visitors respond so enthusiastically. We already have reservations through the next several months.”

The restaurant also includes an oyster bar, dining counter overlooking an open kitchen, and an upstairs dining patio and inside/outside bar, with beach views.

The restaurant is owned by Richard Staunton, James Ulcickas and a group of local investors. Staunton and Ulcickas regularly fish the Channel Islands from the restaurant’s Pilikia swordfish harpoon boat to humanely catch pristine-quality swordfish, a news release states.

“We’ve been working to bring our message of seafood sustainability to Santa Barbara for more than a decade, and are delighted this day is finally here,” Ulcickas said. “Since all of us in the Bluewater family are fans of the sea, it is in our best interests to preserve the wonders of fresh seafood, both simply grilled and in expert chef’s creations, for future generations.”

Chanel Ducharme, former chef at the Hungry Cat in Santa Barbara, will serve as executive chef.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and untiil 11 p.m, on Friday and Saturday.

“As fishermen (and women) ourselves, and lovers of the sea, we’re certain that once you taste the Bluewater brand of fresh seafood, you’ll be hooked forever,” Lohenry said.” We work with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and other organizations to make sure our fish is certified sustainable.”

Thomas Fire Relief

Wells Fargo announced that it will give $800,000 to help boost economic recovery from the Thomas Fire and the Montecito debris flow.

The bank plans to first award $250,000 to four nonprofits. The following organizations will receive $75,000 grants: Women’s Economic Ventures, Ventura County Community Development Corp. and the Ventura County Community Foundation.

The rest of the money will be distributed to nonprofits in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties during the remainder of the year.

“We want businesses, team members, and our community at large impacted by the Thomas Fire and mudslides to know that we are committed to helping the region recover,” Ernie Pineda, Wells Fargo’s Central Coast region bank president, said in a news release. “By helping to revive the local economy and encourage solutions that ensure an inclusive and sustainable recovery plan, this $800,000 contribution exemplifies our commitment to this region.”

Incubator Opens

Officials will celebrate the opening of UCSB’s Wilcox New Venture Incubator on Friday.

Elected and university officials will appear at the 5:15 p.m. event to celebrate the dedicated space for the UCSB Technology Management Program’s rising tech entrepreneurs.

The incubator is located at the Mosher Alumni House.

Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, will speak at the event. The incubator was funded by AB 2664, Irwin’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion bill.

About $22 million will be distributed evenly among the 10 UC campuses.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Joshua Molina

Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at