Prolific Santa Barbara restaurateur Mitchell Sjerven announced Nov. 15 that he has sold Seagrass Restaurant to a family that recently relocated to Santa Barbara. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The buyer is the Perez family: chef Robert Perez, his wife, Marianna Perez, and their sons Ruben and Richard. They moved recently from Nevada City, Calif., a town in the northern Sierra Nevada foothills, where they owned and operated Citronee Bistro, according to Sjervin’s news release.
Sjerven, who also owns Bouchon and The Wine Cask in Santa Barbara, said he’s selling Seagrass, located at 30 E. Ortega St., to give himself more time to focus on his other businesses.
In November 2009, Sjerven and Santa Barbara winemaker Doug Margerum bought the Wine Cask. They’ve spent the past year revamping the menu and brought in a new chef over the summer.
“The sale of Seagrass provides the opportunity for me to continue my commitment to Wine Cask to bring it back to the level of excellence Santa Barbara expects, and to ensure its continued success,” Sjerven said in his news release. “My wife, Amy Sachs, and I knew it was critical to find a new proprietor who was as committed to the same degree that we have been to Seagrass to provide an excellent dining experience. Throughout the sale process it became clear to us that the Perez family shared our passion for the restaurant business, and have great confidence they will be successful.”
Robert Perez will head up the Seagrass kitchen. Richard is the restaurant’s new wine director, and Marianna and Erin Gailsdaughter, Ruben’s partner, will manage the restaurant. Ruben will head up ownership duties.
Seagrass will remain open for business during the transition under the same name and with only minor updates to the menu, according to Sjerven’s news release.