The local bar Study Hall opened a sister bistro on Pardall Road last week, replacing the space Mr. Pickle’s once occupied with a new sandwich shop.
Study Hall owner Dan Braham said that the owners of the ill-fated Mr. Pickle’s, faced with closure, came to him and offered him an opportunity to expand his Isla Vista franchise. With that, the new Study Hall Sandwich Shop was born.
“Mr. Pickle’s approached me. The construction and economy made them shut down,” Braham said. “[They] needed out on the lease, and I already had a relationship with the landlord… I was able to talk to the landlord and get a new lease.”
Now, as construction wraps up and the intersections surrounding the property reopen, Braham said that he is confident in the success of his latest culinary venture. At just eight days old, he said the new shop has had strong, early support from the local community.
“[Business has] been surprisingly good,” employee Matt McColgan said. “Construction was killer for everybody, but we got in at a good time.”
Braham said that he is determined not to let economic problems interfere with running a good business. He said he felt optimistic about annexing the new store because of what it can potentially do for his bottom line and the community.
“It was one of those situations that fell into my lap,” Braham said.
Once Mr. Pickles approached him, though, he began to consider the possibilities.
“I might as well take the chance and get another buzz on the place,” Braham said.
The new Study Hall Sandwich Shop sits right next door to its mother store and the two share a wall outfitted with an order window. The setup enables customers at the bar to order sandwiches without having to interrupt their “studies” to walk next door.
Though the new layout is convenient for those sitting at the bar, Braham said his ultimate goal is to create an environment that isn’t limited to those over 21.
“Now with this increase in size and a bigger kitchen, we can really work toward a better menu,” Braham said. “It [will give] people who aren’t 21 an opportunity to get to know who we are.”
The newly opened establishment has a limited menu right now, the staff said, but they are working on finalizing it.
“I think we make a good product and people enjoy it,” McColgan said. “[But] we’re still trying to finalize our menu.”
Braham said he is interested in providing what the community wants and is open to menu suggestions.
“We’re looking for feedback and taking note of what people order,” Braham said. “Right now we’re kind of going, ‘create your own sandwich.'”
Eventually, Braham hopes to have a full kitchen with a grill for burgers, hotdogs and other hot items.