This winter, Santa Barbara County saw an even spread of restaurant openings and closures, with long-established businesses in the area, such the Isla Vista Food Cooperative, which spread its wings downtown, and Santa Barbara’s Giovanni’s Pizza, which opened last week on Pardall Road. Plus, some new and old eateries are closing shop, and others are hosting community events and offering student discounts. 

A food and art-filled block party downtown

Downtown corner store The Eddy is hosting a block party at their store on March 7. Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

Corner store The Eddy is hosting another installment of their block party event series at their store at 137 East De La Guerra Street on March 7 from 5-8 p.m. The event is hosted in collaboration with the clothing store Jake and Jones and Ventura art gallery WANTS / NEEDS. Food and drinks include wine sourced by Ventura’s Midtown Wines, Florentine-style pizza slices made by Santa Barbara’s Revolver pizzeria and cake by the slice baked by Santa Barbara baker Roxanne Rosensteel. Attendees can also shop in-store from The Eddy’s curated selection of home goods and grocery items during the event. 

Discounts to fuel your end-of-quarter study sessions

Old Town Coffee is offering UC Santa Barbara students a discount to fuel their studying sessions at their Goleta location, including to-go orders. From Mondays to Thursdays for at least the remainder of winter quarter, Old Town will feature a student special from 4-6 p.m., offering $2 bagels with cream cheese and a buy one, get one, half-off deal on all coffee drinks.  

The future of the former Rockfire Grill space 

New signage has appeared at the former Rockfire Grill site. Giovanni’s Pizza, a pre-existing pizza joint founded in 1979 with an outpost on 3020 State Street, has taken over the lease at 6583 Pardall Road, making it the fourth restaurant serving pizza in I.V. The restaurant opened on Feb. 28. 

Isla Vista Food Co-op expands

I.V.’s community-owned grocery store now has a second location in downtown Santa Barbara. The co-op took over the former space of Cantwell’s Market & Deli at 1533 State Street under the name of the I.V. Food Co-op Downtown Market (featuring Cantwell’s Deli). Shoppers can expect a similar array of organic produce, specialty foods and a deli menu that features Cantwell’s sandwiches and salads as well as prepared foods made by the co-op team. 

An herbal apothecary closes

Woman-owned wellness boutique Pura Luna Apothecary closed at the end of February. Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

At the end of February, downtown Santa Barbara’s Pura Luna Apothecary permanently closed its doors. The Black- and female-owned shop promoted natural and alternative modes of healing through herbal medicine, featuring remedies and gifts that are made in-house or by other women and minority-owned small businesses. In honor of its closure, Pura Luna hosted a farewell celebration on Feb. 28 at its shop at 633 Chapala Street, highlighting performances, live shopping and eats from vegetarian eatery Satellite SB. The storefront is closing, but the business will rebrand into Pura Luna Wholeness and continue to host wellness events and retreats. 

I.V. and on-campus eateries close 

On campus, the University Center’s Jamba Juice closed permanently in February. Rosarito, one of I.V.’s many Mexican eateries serving burritos, quesadillas and more at 966 Embarcadero Del Mar, closed in January. More recently, in mid-February, Social Eats, I.V’s micro food hall, unexpectedly closed after just five months of business. 

A version of this article appeared on p. 8 of the March 7, 2024 version of the Daily Nexus.

Stephanie Gerson
Stephanie Gerson is a fourth-year Art History major and On the Menu Co-Editor. She can usually be found taking long walks, wandering about museums or grocery shopping.