The Sambo’s restaurant in Santa Barbara has been renamed Chad’s.
Sambo’s restaurant in Santa Barbara has been renamed Chad’s after protesters called for the change. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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Six weeks after the Sambo’s name erupted into a flashpoint of controversy, Santa Barbara restaurant owner Chad Stevens has announced a new name — sort of.

Sambo’s is now Chad’s.

Stevens told Noozhawk on Thursday that he chose the name also as an homage to a restaurant he once had by the same name at 625 Chapala St. in Santa Barbara.

The upscale restaurant, inside a Victorian house, was known for its steaks and array of wine offerings, and was a star attaction for twenty- and thirtysomethings on a date or looking to mingle. Stevens opened the restaurant in 1994, but he sold the building in 2008 because he wanted to spend more time with his children and family.

“We were going to remodel Chad’s in 2005, but in that process we had a 10-year-old and 5-year-old, and we realized that we didn’t want to work that much so we made a decision to sell the restaurant and property,” Stevens said.

“Sambo” is a disparaging and racist term for black and Native American people.

Stevens said his grandfather’s name was Sam Battistone, and the restaurant’s name came from the original owners — a combination of Battistone Sr. and Newell Bohnett.

Stevens said the name had to be changed because “the Sambo’s name at one point in time was used as a negative connotation” and that “the protesters felt that the name was derogatory.”

“We made a decision to switch names,” Stevens said, adding that his middle name is Sam. 

His grandfather even had a restaurant on State Street at one point called “Sammy’s.”

Stevens said he is excited about the rebranding of the restaurant at 216 W. Cabrillo Blvd. He plans to keep it a “family restaurant,” but he will incorporate some elements of the old Chad’s — including some menu items, although he hasn’t decided exactly what yet.

“It won’t be the same Chad’s, but it will definitely have items that will reflect what Chad was,” Stevens said.

Movegreen Moving South

Movegreen, an award-winning, eco-friendly moving and storage company, has acquired La Habra Relocations and Watford Moving & Storage to expand its footprint into Orange County and Santa Clarita. It will be the company’s fifth storage location.

“These strategic acquisitions not only cement us into the two largest counties in Southern California, they have given us significant growth in the storage space and more efficient and strategic routing from all our locations,” Erik Haney, CEO of Movegreen, said in a statement. “We now have access from Santa Barbara to Irvine, with new reach into Pasadena, Beverly Hills and all of southern Orange County.”

The acquisition means the company now has 2,200 storage units at those locations.

“We are thrilled to be teaming up with Movegreen. They were our mover of choice,” said Daniel O’Brien, former CEO of Watford Moving. “We really appreciated their progressive thinking and environmental awareness. In what is becoming a very uncertain year, we felt they were a perfect fit to join forces with.” 

Movegreen has offices in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange counties. The company has a fleet of 20 trucks and service vehicles.

Hotel Announces New Hires

Santa Barbara’s Mar Monte Hotel has appointed Ingrid Braun as general manager and Nathan Lingle as executive chef of the 200-room beachfront hotel, which is part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt.

Ingrid Braun

Ingrid Braun

Nathan Lingle

Nathan Lingle

Braun most recently served as the opening hotel manager of the Santa Monica Proper Hotel, where she oversaw all hotel operations and guest relations for the 271-room property.

As Mar Monte Hotel’s general manager, Braun will oversee daily operations of the boutique lifestyle hotel, which includes two dining outlets, 17,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, and programming that “reflects the rhythm and beauty of the surrounding community,” according to a news release. 
Lingle worked in several positions at The Ritz-Carlton Resort in Naples, Fla. He also worked as the executive chef and food and beverage director at The Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia. He has served as chef de cuisine at the Sagamore Resort and Spa and the vice president of food and beverage at L’Auberge Del Mar Resort in Del Mar.

The Mar Monte Hotel is located at 1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd.

The Webster Is Coming

Luxury retailer The Webster plans to open inside the Rosewood Miramar Beach this month. 

It will be the brand’s first permanent boutique within a hotel. The Webster joins the property’s current retail concepts, including The Gatehouse by James Perse, goop Sundries Shop and the recently launched Shop at Miramar.

The Webster, which began in Miami, will offer a curated collection of accessories, fine jewelry and watches, ready-to-wear and resort wear from iconic designers including Bottega Veneta, Celine, Chanel, Khaite, Loewe and more, according to a news release.

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