April 3, 2024
You are here:  Home  >  Columns  >  Current Article

Santa Barbara Public Market rebooting with booze offerings


The Santa Barbara Public Market is refreshing its approach.

The multi-merchant market plans to replace its Foragers Pantry grocery store with a beer garden this spring. The new beer garden will coincide with the expansion of the Public Market’s liquor license that will allow 21-and-older patrons to carry a glass of wine or beer throughout the market.

The former Vons location at 38 W. Victoria St. was inspired by the vibrant food halls and centers of other metro areas: Borough Market in London, the Ferry Building in San Francisco and Pike Place in Seattle. The 15,000-square-foot space dedicated to the art of gastronomy features a diverse mix of vendors and an area dedicated to cooking classes and demonstrations.

Marge Cafarelli, president of the real estate investment company Urban Developments that owns the market and the accompanying Alma Del Pueblo residential complex, envisioned a place customers would frequent for daily groceries and pick up coffee or a pastry while they shop. Yet, the grocery concept never took off and the market needed a change, Cafarelli said.

The beer garden will feature dozens of craft beers on tap, a wine selection, some small plates and several TVs to kick back and watch a game.

That idea was a selling point for a couple new vendors who will soon replace some of the merchants that left in 2015, Cafarelli said.

While certain purveyors like Empty Bowl, Rori’s Artisanal Creamery and Enjoy Cupcakes have been quite successful, Pasta Shoppe, Juice Well, Belcampo Meat Co., Culture Counter, Crazy Good Bread and Santa Monica Seafood all left last year. Those have been replaced by I’a Fish Market and Café, Youth Interactive (temporarily) and a soon-to-open On the Run that will sell drinks, chocolate and some sandwiches and wraps.

There are still three vacant spaces, as well as two lawsuits looming from Pasta Shoppe and Juice Well.

Owners of the Pasta Shoppe claim Cafarelli “falsely and fraudulently” induced the handmade pasta maker into signing its lease on Jan. 11, 2013. Among other allegations, Cafarelli promised foot traffic of 1,500 to 2,500 people per day, although that’s been 1,000 or less, the lawsuit claims. Pasta Shoppe owners allege they’ve suffered damages of more than $25,000 due to overcharges on the base rent of its triple-net lease.

Both Cafarelli and the attorneys representing the plaintiffs said no settlement has been reached and it looks like the cases are heading to court.

Work out in Oxnard

The national gym chain Planet Fitness recently signed a 15-year lease for an 18,000-square-foot space at the Lemon Grove Plaza in Oxnard.

Planet Fitness will be co-anchoring the center along with Smart & Final Extra and join AutoZone, Burger King and Jersey Mike’s, among others. Bill Hagelis and Rob Devericks of the Hagelis Group represented both parties.

The shopping center was recently sold for $8.1 million. The close to 100,000-square-foot center at 2001 Oxnard Blvd. draws an average traffic count of about 37,000 vehicles per day.

Carpinteria filling up

Carpinteria’s office vacancy dipped from nearly 15 percent to around 3 percent in 2015, according to Hayes Commercial Real Estate.

Continental Automotive Systems, a German supplier of car electronics, and construction management software developer Procore Technologies took a big chunk out of the vacancy rate by leasing around 90,000 square feet of space late last year at 6307 Carpinteria Ave., which also houses CKE Restaurants.

In a recent retail deal in Carpinteria, Natalie Wagner and Christi Vior of Lee & Associates helped sell the former Cajun Kitchen Café at 865 Linden Ave. to the Caprinteria Arts Center.

The 2,500-square-foot property, across the street from its current location, will allow the nonprofit to expand.

• Contact Alex Kacik at akacik@pacbiztimes.com.