Jedlicka’s Saddlery Inc. in Santa Barbara.
County western store Jedlicka’s Saddlery Inc. will be closing its doors in Santa Barbara, but will be keeping its location in Los Olivos. The store was founded in 1932. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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Jedlicka’s Saddlery Inc., an institution in Santa Barbara since 1932, is being put out to pasture.

The country western store at 2605 De la Vina St. is closing its doors, likely in late March or April. Like so many once-thriving iconic stores in Santa Barbara, the internet has wrecked business sales.

“Lack of volume, lack of sales,” owner Josiah Jenkins told Noozhawk in explaining why he is closing the Santa Barbara store. “And a lack of support by suppliers.”

Western wear inside Jedlicka’s Saddlery in Santa Barbara.

For decades, Jedlicka’s Saddlery Inc. has been the go-to place in Santa Barbara for western wear. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Makers of western clothing and products are selling directly to people.

“We just can’t compete,” Jenkins said.

Jedlicka’s Los Olivos store will remain open, Jenkins said, noting that there is a different kind of clientele there. 

The Jedlicka family opened the store originally as a shoe business, but eventually evolved into a go-to destination for western apparel, including hats, shirts, pants and jewelry. 

The company built its own saddles in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, and then stopped in 1985. 

“It’s bittersweet,” Jenkins said of the ending. 

“We have had a good run and we were happy to take care of people,” Jenkins said . “But it’s changing times. It’s like selling buggy whips and carriages. It doesn’t happen anymore. Things change.”

“There’s a lot of visitor traffic,” he said

For now, things are on sale for between 30 and 50 percent off in Santa Barbara. The company plans to lease the building.

“We are searching for one or more tenants to occupy the space,” Jenkins said. 

New Hotel Hire

Ben Thiele

Ben Thiele has been named general manager of the Kimpton Canary Santa Barbara. 

Kimpton Canary Santa Barbara has hired Ben Thiele as general manager.

Thiele will lead day-to-day operations, guest relations and business development for the luxury hotel at 31 W. Carrillo St. 

Thiele started his hospitality career at Kimpton nearly 15 years ago, working as a valet attendant at The Hotel Monaco Seattle during his college summers, according to a news release.

Thiele has worked as housekeeping manager, front office manager and assistant general manager at Kimpton hotels. Thiele was also the general manager of the Palladian in Seattle for four years.

“Ben’s deep knowledge of the Kimpton brand, hard work ethic, and passion for delivering high-caliber customer service makes him a great fit for the Canary,” said Sherrin Thomas, director of sales and marketing at the Kimpton Canary.

“Ben knows the ins and outs of the brand, which brings great value to his new role and we look forward to watching him bring his creative vision for the Canary to life.”

Thiele is married with three children.

“I’m honored to be joining such an incredible team, and look forward to continuing to elevate Canary’s already memorable guest experience,” Thiele said. “I’ve had the privilege of working at numerous Kimpton locations throughout my career, each with its own unique personality, and I am thrilled to bring that knowledge with me to my new role at this luxury Santa Barbara property.”

Starcycle Ride

Starcycle Santa Barbara has opened in La Cumbre Plaza.

It is Santa Barbara’s first dedicated spin studio, and had its grand opening on Wednesday.  

The studio at 130 S. Hope Ave. offers “a kickass workout that inspires every rider to be their best self on and off the bike.”

It also offers child care on-site while people ride, shoe rentals, a purified water-filling station, or bottles for purchase, and several other amenities.

New radio station

Santa Barbara has a new community radio station, with more than 35 hours of live programming per week. 

KZAA LP 96.5 FM “provides access and a platform for marginalized groups to be heard via radio.”

The station is housed inside La Casa de la Raza’s Cesar Chavez Center.

KZAA eventually wants to provide 75 hours of week of live programming, Monday through Friday, by 2020. The station receives funding from The Fund For Santa Barbara.

Weekday mornings are kicked off with the new Phil & Monski Show.

Shows also include: American Airwaves with Marcus Lopez, Que Madre with Ana Rizo and Jess Parfrey, Sembrando Con Ciencia with Andrea Medina, Just Communities with Melissa Patrino and Fabby Gonzalez and Andrea Medina and Moran Huynh, Your Life in America with Dillon Grove, XTek Overload with George Duarte, Cruz’n In the 805 with Leeana & Viviana Mendoza, and more.

KZAA’s new website will launch on May 1.

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