John Ladd, opening training manager, Hector Rendon, regional manager, and Scott Kisow, director of operations, are excited about the opening of Islands Restaurant in La Cumbre Plaza on Tuesday. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing

Santa Barbara will soon get a new family style restaurant. 

Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks will open in La Cumbre Plaza on Tuesday

Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks will open in La Cumbre Plaza on Tuesday (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The popular Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks will open in La Cumbre Plaza on Tuesday, at the site of former Marmalade Cafe and Red Robin. 

Crews have been busy racing to open the restaurant. Islands plans invite-only, sneak preview events over the next couple of days before its formal opening on Tuesday.

“We’re excited to be in this community,” said Scott Kisow, Islands’ director of operations. “We’ve been trying to come into this community for several years, but never found the right site. We finally found the right location.”

The restaurant at 3825 State Street will certainly infuse new life into the plaza, serving as another destination for family-style dining.

Islands specializes in gourmet burgers and beer, fresh cut fries, tropical drinks and happy hour deals. The restaurant is also looking to hire for several positions, according to its Web site.

The 4,900-square-foot eatery features an open layout, beachy décor, large HD TVs throughout the bar and restaurant, and an outdoor patio area with heaters and a communal fire table, Islands said.

In addition to the burgers and fries, Islands serves tacos, bowls and fresh salads.

“We’re incredibly proud to open our first restaurant in Santa Barbara, an iconic beach city that resonates with our own coastal culture and origins,” said Michael Smith, president of Islands Restaurants, in a statement. “We look forward to being a part of this close-knit community and offering a spot for visitors to grab great food and drinks with family and friends.”

Islands will donate a portion of the proceeds from Feb. 26 to 28 to the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund. The fund was established by United Way of Santa Barbara County and United Way of Ventura County to help residents recover from recent fire and mudslide damage.

Mission Linen

Mission Linen Supply has been awarded the 2017 Water Hero Award. The annual award is given to businesses that incorporate water savings into their operations and significantly reduce their water use. 

The company was established in 1930 in Santa Barbara. It provides linen, uniform and laundry services to hospitality, health-care and industrial businesses.

“Water conservation, and environmental sustainability as a whole, has always been an integral part of Mission’s business model,” said John Ross, the company’s president and CEO, in a statement. 

The linen plant began recycling water in 1973, but in 2017, the company made changes to its water-softening capacity, resulting in water reduction.

Mission reclaims about 34 percent of the water used in its operations. All together, Mission Linen uses about 50 percent less water per laundry load than a typical home washer. 

Blenders Goes Back

Blenders in the Grass has dropped its clear plastic cups and returned to the foam cups. Plastic doesn’t insulate like foam, and “our smoothies and bowls were melting too quickly,” Blenders said in a statement. “We lost too many long-time customers who complained that they weren’t able to finish their smoothie before it had become a melting mess.”

The company also said that China used to recycle all of the disposable plastic cups, but has stopped taking them, so there is no market for recyclers to sell plastic. 

“There is not a good environmental choice when it comes to disposable cups,” Blenders said in a statement. “They all end up in the landfill and they don’t breakdown. We offer a 50-cent discount to our customers who use a reusable cup, be it Blenders mug or anything else, because that is far and away the best environmental choice.”

Blenders also said that compostable cubs may be the best option, other than reusable cups, but that for now they go straight to the landfill because they require a commercial composting facility, which introduces heat into the process, to actually breakdown.

Blenders said that if a commercial composting facility, combined with residential curbside services, comes to the area, it would likely move to compostables. 

Valentine’s Day

Now, more than ever, it’s important for the community to shop and eat local. Many restaurant suffered greatly after The Thomas Fire and the Montecito mudslide and debris flow.

The Lark, 131 Anacapa Street, one of The Funk Zone’s most prominent restaurants, is among the many Santa Barbara dining establishments offering Valentine’s Day specials.

Executive Chef Jason Paluska is offering butter-poached lobster, grilled Niman Ranch pork belly and foie gras mousse as part of its Valentine’s Day specials. The Lark says reservations are recommended.

Of course, restaurants throughout the Santa Barbara region are ready to host your romantic meals for Valentine’s Day. Support your local eateries.

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