Change is in the air on Pardall Road, as Sushi Teri closes its doors for good and Saigon Express struggles to get its open.
Sushi Teri owner Laxman Miyata said he sold the chain’s Isla Vista location to a developer, and although the developer is not sure exactly what to do with the building there has been talk of installing a Del Taco at the location. Miyata said the I.V. branch of Sushi Teri, which has five other locations in the Santa Barbara area, closed a few weeks ago because he had difficulty finding and keeping employees. Saigon Express, also located on Pardall Road, is having trouble opening for business because the eatery’s owners are still working on getting the building up to California Dept. of Health Services standards.
Miyata said it was hard for him to maintain his business in I.V. because the employees were not receiving enough tips at the I.V. location.
“It’s very difficult for us to find employees,” Miyata said. “People think they don’t make enough money because no one tips in Isla Vista.”
Miyata said that I.V.’s loyal Sushi Teri customers have told him they wish the restaurant was still open.
“A lot of our customers have come to [our location at] La Cumbre [Road] saying they miss us,” Miyata said.
Isla Vista Foot Patrol Lt. Sol Linver said Saigon Express, which took over Menehunes’ old location, has not opened yet because the Dept. of Health Services will not approve the new eatery until it meets the state’s health codes. He said the Vietnamese restaurant’s owner has to do work on the building’s kitchen before the location can open for business, and he said the owner is in the process of remodeling right now.
“[The owner] is working to get the kitchen up to grade,” Linver said.
Linver said Saigon Express is also still trying to finalize the transfer of Menehunes’ liquor license to the new restaurant. He said he has no problem with the exchange of the license.
“I am not opposed to the transfer,” Linver said.
Sushi Teri did not have a liquor license, Linver said, so no permits will be changing hands for that building.