Macy’s in La Cumbre Plaza in Santa Barbara
Macy’s in La Cumbre Plaza in Santa Barbara is open for business. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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Two of Santa Barbara’s remaining department stores are back open for business.

Macy’s in La Cumbre Plaza and Marshalls on State Street opened their doors again recently as California continues its gradual reopening plan.

The stores closed in mid-March after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both stores were humming with customers this week even amid reduced hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

After the recent announcement of Nordstrom leaving Santa Barbara, the reopening of Macy’s is a good sign that locals won’t lose all of their big department store shopping spots. 

“We are looking forward to seeing our retail partners and welcoming local shoppers back to La Cumbre Plaza,” Alice Love, senior marketing manager for La Cumbre Plaza, said in a statement. “More than ever, people are ready to safely get back to the places and activities they’ve been missing, and we are excited to be a big part of this. All of us are committed to ensuring our property can get back to making major contributions to our local economy through jobs, sales taxes and more.”

Virtual Reality Gets Real Again

Surreal Virtual Reality will reopen Friday in its studio at 436 State St., Suite B. 

In addition, the company has opened a virtual reality studio at Zodo’s Bowling in Goleta. It will feature exclusive single and multiplayer games and offer a “free roam” experience, where players can move around freely and interact with other players in a fully immersive VR world, according to a news release. 

“We have been working diligently during this time to find ways to strengthen our community and join forces to reopen Santa Barbara stronger than ever,” the company said in a statement. “We are very proud to be welcomed into the Zodo’s family and look forward to sharing Virtual Reality with even more people — safely, of course.”

The company has introduced new sanitation methods and social distancing protocols, and is adhering to all local guidelines.

Surreal opened near the corner of State and Haley streets in November 2019. People wear goggles and can play tethered or tetherless while maneuvering on a square pad. The gamers are showered in nightclub-style blue and purple light, and can play in intervals of 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes.

Insomnia Cookies Coming

Santa Barbara residents soon will be able to get Insomnia Cookies.

The late-night bakery concept, headquartered in Philadelphia and New York, plans to open a bakery at 430 State St. It’s the first location in Santa Barbara, but the ninth in California. 

The company offers nine traditional cookie varieties, including Chocolate Chunk, Snickerdoodle, Double Chocolate Chunk, Sugar, M&M, Double Chocolate Mint, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter Chip, and White Chocolate Macadamia. The decadent “Deluxe” cookie is available in six lavors: S’mores, Peanut Butter Cup, Triple Chocolate Chunk, Confetti, Salted Caramel and Oatmeal Chocolate Walnut.

The company also sells ice cream, individually and between two cookies as a “Cookie’wich,” according to a news release. Catering and bulk packages will be available. 

The bakery hours will be from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. on weekends

The company was founded in a University of Pennsylvania dorm by then-student Seth Berkowitz in 2003.

“Whether it’s a midday dessert or late-night snack, Insomnia Cookies is warm, delicious and delivered,” acccording to a news release. 

Another New Coffee Shop

Lighthouse Coffee has opened at the site of the former Breakfast Culture Club.

The coffee shop, at 711 Chapala St. in Santa Barbara, is open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. for now.

Breakfast Culture Club closed in December 2019.

The spot was a frequent hangout for techies on laptops and people looking for a break from the corporate coffee scene.

Lighthouse Coffee is also open at 1819 Cliff Drive.

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