The Cafe Ana coffee shop at 1201 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara closed its doors permanently this week.
The Cafe Ana coffee shop at 1201 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara closed its doors permanently this week. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another Santa Barbara business casualty — Cafe Ana.

The coffee shop at 1201 Anacapa St. closed its doors permanently this week.

“The events of late have the triggered the outcome we have been dreading,” owners Julian Sanders and wife Katherine Guzman wrote in an Instagram post. “Cafe Ana is closed — permanently.”

The cafe opened in January 2019 to high hopes.

“We had a vision for a fine, fast-casual restaurant,” Sanders told Noozhawk about a year ago. 

Cafe Ana was open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week and for weekend brunch. It offered table service for brunch on the weekends and order-at-the-counter during the week. 

The spot was the home of the former Coffee Cat — which lasted much longer, about 20 years on the spot — before it closed in 2016. 

When Sanders and Guzman took over the building, they dropped each of the windows by 2 feet to add more sunlight and installed a full kitchen. 

The couple in their Instagram post said they were looking toward March as a way to boost business, but the opposite happened.

“March was going to be the month that saved us,” they wrote. “With the launch of dinner, we were poised to finally get up on our own two feet. But instead, it’s the month that killed us. We ran the numbers for a pivot, and we just can’t do it. We’re at the bottom of the barrel.”

The COVID-19 health crisis has forced hundreds of businesses to close their doors, and it’s unclear how many will reopen. Economists predict that about 30 percent of the businesses that closed after the shelter-in-place order and government mandate to stop in-restaurant dining will never reopen.

Cafe Ana was located inside a grand two-story building, at a prominent spot across the street from the County Administration Building, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse and the Santa Barbara Public Library, and next to a 400-space parking spot. 

“We built such a wonderful community in the 15 months that we were open,” the duo wrote. “It was incredible to have been able to live our dream, if even for that fleeting moment.”

Teen Glean

Andrew Douglas and Noach “Noah” Wood have started a community service program through which they pick excess fruit from people’s yards and donate the produce to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

“We decided our gleaning was a great way we could be productive and give back to our community during this time,” Douglas, a junior at Santa Barbara High School, said in a statement. “We also realized that so much of this fruit may otherwise go to waste, and now it won’t.” 

Wood, also a junior at Santa Barbara High School, added: “After our first day at only two residences, we gathered around 20 crates of produce to go to families in need. Doing this work gives us a great sense of purpose.” 

The teens can be reached at 805.455.8987. They will bring a truck, ladders and the equipment. The Foodbank will distribute the food

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