Category Archives: News

BizHawk: Xanadu Skate Boutique Rolling Into Santa Barbara’s Paseo Nuevo

There’s a new business rolling into Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara this Saturday.

Xanadu Skate Boutique will kick off its grand opening with a roller skate demo by the SB Rollers at 5 p.m. in Center Court, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new shop is owned by Val Selvaggio, who is a lifelong skater and is bursting with enthusiasm. She’s a member of the SB Rollers, and she said the idea of a store emerged simply from a desire for skates and accessories.

“We all need stuff, but there’s nowhere in town to buy anything,” Selvaggio said. “The closest roller street store is in Long Beach.”
The shop pops with color. An array of items is available for sale, including roller skates, laces, clothing and apparel, and other skating accessories. The founder of Moxi Skates will be on site for the Saturday opening.

A friend introduced Selvaggio to skating by loaning her a pair of skates, and she fell in love.

“Roller skating became this very self-help thing for me and I met a lot of people,” she said. “Roller skating is the most positive environment. It’s great for physical fitness, mind, body spirit, everything. I love it.”

She said skating is an escape.

“When we are skating, it’s all positive,” she said. “No one is having a bad day.”

Danielle Methmann, marketing and events coordinator for Paseo Nuevo, said Saturday is a big day.

“With a recent surge in popularity, roller skating has exploded back into the latest trends, and we’re thrilled to have Santa Barbara’s exclusive roller skate shop at the shopping center,” Methmann said. “The boutique is stocked with Moxi and Riedell skates in all colors that everyone has been looking for, which can sometimes take months to get if ordered online. Xanadu will also take custom skate orders, and their repair corner can accommodate repairs of any kind or upgrades to customize skates per the customer’s liking or skating needs.”

The name comes from the classic 1980s movie “Xanadu,” featuring Olivia Newtown-John.

Check out the store on Instagram @xanadusb, where there’s a countdown, with a new pair of skates posted each day. The store is at 207 Paseo Nuevo.

Aloha Fun Center Coming in August

It might be the most anticipated opening in Santa Barbara. The Aloha Fun Center was rumored to open inside the former Macy’s Building in Paseo Nuevo late last year.

There has been nothing but crickets since January, but that’s about to change.

BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing news@noozhawk.com.

There’s a new business rolling into Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara this Saturday.

Xanadu Skate Boutique will kick off its grand opening with a roller skate demo by the SB Rollers at 5 p.m. in Center Court, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new shop is owned by Val Selvaggio, who is a lifelong skater and is bursting with enthusiasm. She’s a member of the SB Rollers, and she said the idea of a store emerged simply from a desire for skates and accessories.

“We all need stuff, but there’s nowhere in town to buy anything,” Selvaggio said. “The closest roller street store is in Long Beach.”

The shop pops with color. An array of items is available for sale, including roller skates, laces, clothing and apparel, and other skating accessories. The founder of Moxi Skates will be on site for the Saturday opening.

A friend introduced Selvaggio to skating by loaning her a pair of skates, and she fell in love.

“Roller skating became this very self-help thing for me and I met a lot of people,” she said. “Roller skating is the most positive environment. It’s great for physical fitness, mind, body spirit, everything. I love it.”

She said skating is an escape.

“When we are skating, it’s all positive,” she said. “No one is having a bad day.”

Danielle Methmann, marketing and events coordinator for Paseo Nuevo, said Saturday is a big day.

“With a recent surge in popularity, roller skating has exploded back into the latest trends, and we’re thrilled to have Santa Barbara’s exclusive roller skate shop at the shopping center,” Methmann said. “The boutique is stocked with Moxi and Riedell skates in all colors that everyone has been looking for, which can sometimes take months to get if ordered online. Xanadu will also take custom skate orders, and their repair corner can accommodate repairs of any kind or upgrades to customize skates per the customer’s liking or skating needs.”

The name comes from the classic 1980s movie “Xanadu,” featuring Olivia Newtown-John.

Check out the store on Instagram @xanadusb, where there’s a countdown, with a new pair of skates posted each day. The store is at 207 Paseo Nuevo.

Aloha Fun Center Coming in August

It might be the most anticipated opening in Santa Barbara. The Aloha Fun Center was rumored to open inside the former Macy’s Building in Paseo Nuevo late last year.

There has been nothing but crickets since January, but that’s about to change.

The Aloha Fun Center is set to open in late August. It will feature a roller rink, laser tag and an arcade.

Much of the first floor of the building has been renovated, after a lengthy permitting process with the City of Santa Barbara.

Expect the doors to open next month.

LA Rams Trophy Tour comes to Santa Barbara as fans flock Paseo Nuevo for a photo op

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Hundreds and hundreds of local Rams fans lined up on State Street and waited their turn to take a picture with the Lombardi Trophy that the team won earlier this year by beating Cincinnati 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI.

The trophy was on display at the Paseo Nuevo Mall and it was the next-to-last event on the 11-stop Los Angeles Rams Trophy Tour that began in late April.

Besides a photo op, Rams Cheerleaders and their mascot Rampage were on hand to meet and greet the crowd.

Although the Rams won a Super Bowl when the team was located in St. Louis, this is the team’s first Lombardi Trophy as the Los Angeles Rams.

UCSB student opens body-positive clothing store at Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A young entrepreneur and college student opened her own clothing store in Downtown Santa Barbara this weekend.

Athena Wang created the fashion brand Watermelon Apparel last year to promote body positivity.

Her line sells cozy comfort clothes like oversized T-shirts and sweatshirts.

After her online sales took off, the 20-year-old decided to open her own storefront this summer at the Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center.

“I just really want to create this community of gathering again through my shop, and then just like girls are hanging out here, we serve sparkling water around and we want to create this sense of community, use this store as a platform,” said Wang.

Wang runs the store with four other UCSB students.

To celebrate its opening weekend, Wang said the first 50 customers to come to her store will receive a 25% discount on their items.

Watermelon Apparel is located at 317 Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara and is open every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can shop online at www.watermelon-apparel.com.

BizHawk: Jeannine’s Bakery Setting Up Shop at Corner of State Street, Cabrillo Boulevard

Earth Day Mural: ‘Nurture Our Mother’

Adriana Arriaga and Claudia Borfiga Unveil Mural at Paseo Nuevo

By Charles Donelan
Tue May 04, 2021 | 10:09am

The Community Environmental Council’s annual Earth Day celebration took a double hit from the coronavirus pandemic, with the 2020 and 2021 events both moving from the festive Sunken Gardens of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse to the virtual world of livestreaming. Looking for a way to preserve some of the missing pageantry associated with the festival, this year the CEC teamed up with the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, the Arts Fund, Paseo Nuevo, and Santa Barbara BCycle to sponsor a 60-foot mural on the Paseo Nuevo Arts Terrace Parking Deck. A panel of judges, one from each organization plus two additional community members, Maria Rendón and Arturo Heredia Soto, came together and selected “Nurture Our Mother,’ by Adriana Arriaga and Claudia Borfiga as the winning proposal from 27 entries.

Responding to a call for entries that reflected this year’s Earth Day theme of climate leadership, Arriaga and Borfiga proposed a brightly colored horizontal grid containing twelve images of nature that people would recognize and appreciate as indigenous to Santa Barbara. From monarch butterflies to a mushroom, a hummingbird, and an ear of corn, these icons of the 805 biota indicate not just the vitality of our region, but also the interconnectedness and unity of its ecosystem. In the mural’s largest panel, keeping watch over everything, there’s one of Arriaga’s instantly recognizable madres, the pop art versions of traditional votive images that this Xicana artist has made her signature trope.

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Coming from different backgrounds has not stopped these artists from finding common ground in their passion for public art. Since moving to Santa Barbara from Great Britain several years ago, Claudia Borfiga has proven to be one of the city’s most thoughtful and productive creators in the emerging field of social practice art. In this medium, which is sometimes referred to as relational aesthetics, the emphasis is on the interaction between the audience, the artwork, and the social systems within which the event takes place. Whether she’s working with the Print Power group she founded in 2018 to create grants-funded screen-printing workshops as a means to explore trauma or holding a popup show in the Funk Zone to remind us all that sometimes people just get sad, Borfiga radiates a rare combination of intelligence, ingenuity, and empathy.

Coming out of the MFA program at UC Davis, Adriana Arriaga knew what she wanted to do with her graduate degree in design. Since returning to Santa Barbara, where she grew up and attended SBCC, she has turned her eye toward the possibilities available for art that proceeds from a solid foundation in activism. With this new, high-profile project, she can expect to gain further attention in the art world while her 21st-century Xicana feminist imagery enters into the public art history of her hometown.

What makes this collaboration special, in addition to the evident skill and creativity that went into the work, is the degree to which these artists share a common goal of bringing all people into a deeper understanding of the obligation we have to serve the planet we have been given to protect. As Borfiga told me one afternoon while taking a break from riding the lift to complete the painting, “Whatever we do to the earth at this time we’re going to pass on to the next generation. If we make a mess of it, we are going to have nothing left to give them.” Fortunately, now we have been given this beautiful and inspiring work to remind us of that every time we see it.

See Original Story HERE

New Earth Day mural to be unveiled at Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A large local Earth Day nod to Mother Nature will be revealed Saturday at the Paseo Nuevo Mall.

A large-scale mural, entitled “Nurture our Mother”, is going up on a wall at the top parking level.

The community based effort highlights the talents of local artists Adriana Arriaga and Claudia Borfiga.
Borfiga tells NewsChannel 3 that the mural is a celebration of natural treasures and resources. found locally and throughout our planet.

“We also kinda wanted to emphasize how we’re part of that ecosystem and how kind of our human importance and the role we play and how we’re taking too much of that resource and how we can better care for our earth,” Borfiga said.

The full reveal of the mural takes place Saturday at 4 p.m. via livestream.

The mural will stay up for at least one year.

Santa Barbara Urban Flea Market Sets Up Shop Downtown

Movie theaters return; Matty’s Hot Chicken plans a pop-up; IHOP is moving to Goleta; and Santa Barbara’s transient occupancy taxes are down 39%

Sara Gehris has opened the Santa Barbara Urban Flea Market for vendors of vintage items.

Longtime entrepreneur Sara Gehris still packs a punch.

Her latest endeavor opened a few days ago downtown — the Santa Barbara Urban Flea Market. It’s a home for vendors of vintage items, including jackets, T-shirts, records, furnishings and countless other eclectic items.

“I just kind of wanted to have a platform for them to be able to sell their merchandise,” Gehris said. “It’s kind of like their own little business within a business.”

She said there’s a community of dealers looking for a spot to sell their items after getting displaced from the COVID-19 pandemic. Gehris said there’s strength in numbers, and everyone coming together can share a space that’s affordable yet high quality.

The shop, at 729 State St., once housed Pascucci Restaurant, which since has moved to the 500 block. Gehris, an interior designer, painted some of the walls and the floor to give the store its own vintage vibe.

“We really have something for all ages and all prices,” she said, adding from $1 to $1,000. “Everybody is so excited about it.”

About 20 vendors share the space.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity, just to bring business back to State Street,” Gehris said.

She used to own vintage store Punch, also on State Street. She sold it in 2015. Before that, she was also a dealer. At one point, she bought a shuttle bus and turned it into a shop in the Funk Zone.

“I really wanted to do a collective again,” she said. “I am just really good with spaces and turning it into a cool vibe.”

She said she eventually plans to hold pop-up bars once a month so people can enjoy beer and wine.

“I just love creating an interesting space,” she said. “Every little thing here has its own personality and its own story behind it.”

By Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @JECMolina

Original Story HERE

New businesses open in Downtown Santa Barbara, quickly filling vacancies

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – New life is coming to Downtown Santa Barbara. More businesses are starting to move in and open, filling the downtown vacancies.

“This just came at the right time. The price was right. It was just such a good opportunity that I just couldn’t pass it up, so we’re really excited about it,” said Sara Gehris, owner of SB Urban Flea Market.

Gehris expects to open her market next month, taking the old home of Pascucci Restaurant.

“It’s going to be a vintage, just a flea market, very eclectic. I have over 18 dealers in here. I’m going to have some artisans, most of them are local,” Gehris said.

SB Urban Flea Market is joining businesses like M Special and Tondi Gelato which also recently opened on State Street.

Downtown Santa Barbara attributes this success to the State Street promenade—which will remain for at least another year.

“I think it’s tripled traffic. Like I haven’t seen State Street this busy in probably five years,” said Gehris. “On the weekends it’s so packed it looks like a street city in New York. It’s going to be really good.”

The downtown area is also expecting a new Gastropub to move into the former Starbucks location on the corner of State Street and De La Guerra. They say the speed at which the spot found a new tenant, from one business closing to another opening, is an optimistic sign for State Street.

“I think shows a lot of promise for downtown. I think people are excited about the future. They are ready to get out of this pandemic, and they’re seeing opportunities downtown, and we’re very excited about that,” said Robin Elander, executive director for Downtown Santa Barbara.

The downtown area said it’s continuing to recruit more businesses to move in soon.

Santa Barbara – South County

Former Macy’s Building Being Converted to Offices in Downtown Santa Barbara

Hayes Commercial Group says owners are looking for tenants in 20,000-to-40,000-square-foot office spaces on top floors

The former Macy’s building in downtown Santa Barbara will be transformed into office space, the Hayes Commercial Group announced Monday.

Located at 701 State St., the 132,500-square-foot building in the Paseo Nuevo shopping mall will feature the “largest office floor plates” in Santa Barbara’s downtown, with more than 40,000 square feet on each level and half-floor suites in the 20,000 square feet range, according to Hayes.

“Frankly, there aren’t a lot of tenants in our area looking for 20,000 or 40,000 square feet of office,” Francois DeJohn of Hayes Commercial Group said in a statement. “So we are marketing to companies in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and beyond to consider adding an office location in Santa Barbara.”

The ground floor of the three-story building is being marketed to retail, restaurant and grocery tenants, Hayes Commercial Group said, and the building is expected to accommodate a mix of commercial uses.

In 2018, El Segundo-based Pacific Retail Capital Partners acquired the vacant structure, which is now known as the Ortega Building.

Pacific Retail’s architects determined that the structure is not suitable to convert into apartments or condos, according to Hayes Commercial Group, which will be marketing the office spaces.

“Office is the ‘highest and best use’ for the building, especially the upper two floors,” Greg Bartholomew of Hayes said in a statement. “State Street has more than enough retail space already, and bringing potentially hundreds of office workers to this location every day would help vitalize the area.”

He added: “Downtown Santa Barbara has become a focal point for tech tenants during the past 10 years. With companies like Amazon, Honey, Sonos and Invoca leasing large office spaces along the State Street corridor.”

Macy’s occupied the building at the corner of State and Ortega streets from the time Paseo Nuevo was built in the early 1990s until the national retailer announced that it was closing its doors in early 2017.

The building is part of the 450,000-square-foot Paseo Nuevo, and the majority of the shopping center is owned and operated by Pacific Retail.

“This is an exciting project to work on because there is nothing like it on the South Coast,” Hayes said. “It has the potential to infuse significant business energy and a bunch of high-quality jobs into the center of downtown, which will benefit the community.”

In the years since Macy’s left, community members have been wondering what would happen with the huge, corner building, and proposed everything from moving the police station there, to bringing in a small Target, to a mixed-use project with housing, stores, offices, or all three.

In 2018, a partner at Hayes noted that significantly changing the building would be a challenge since it was built specifically for the Macy’s retail store, and has few windows.

Both of the Paseo Nuevo mall’s anchor buildings – the former Macy’s and former Nordstrom – are vacant.

The mall management firm has a long-term lease with the city, and at the time it was signed last April, Nordstrom was still around.

The store closed last summer and the Paseo Nuevo managers said they would consider building a hotel or housing at the site.

Converting the former Macy’s to offices comes a few years after the former Saks Fifth Avenue building, at 1001 State St., was converted into offices and leased to Amazon.

The company uses the downtown Santa Barbara building for engineers and other employees working on Alexa, the company’s virtual assistant.

Hollister Brings Its Teen Vibe to New Store in Downtown Santa Barbara


Hollister has opened along State Street in downtown Santa Barbara, replacing Abercrombie & Fitch. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara’s downtown is getting younger.

Abercrombie & Fitch, the well-branded clothing retailer that closed its doors in January, has opened a sibling store. It’s intended to attract even younger shoppers than the teens and twentysomethings who frequented Abercrombie & Fitch.

Hollister, at 721 State St., focuses on the “carefree spirit of the endless California summer for the teen market.”

It’s target demographic is the 15-to-19 age group.

“It fills a niche in downtown Santa Barbara for this customer who makes up approximately 22% of our demographic,” said Mary Lynn Harms-Romo, marketing manager for Paseo Nuevo mall. “We are encouraged that Abercrombie has made the decision to meet the needs of the market as retail is everchanging and retailers who are committed to evolving will continue to succeed.”

The store sells a variety of jeans, tops, dresses, sleepwear and jackets as well as three types of “skinny” jeans, including “exteme skinny,” “super skinny” and just plain “skinny.”

From the sale of each World Teen Mental Wellness Day Collection item, $10 will support the HollisterConfidence Fund’s grant-making efforts

Semi-Permanent Makeup

Santa Barbara native Kathy Rodriguez plans to open XO Aesthetics in Santa Barbara around April 1.

The shop at 3455 State St., Suite 6, will specialize in personal care services, such as eyebrow microblading, lip blushing, teeth whitening, and face and body treatments. Rodriguez decided during the COVID-19 pandemic that it was time to start her own business.

“I started realizing that I wanted to pursue something where I was going to be independent,” she said, “or do something where I would not have to work under somebody, and do something for myself.”

The company uses pigments to create semi-permanent makeup products that can last between 18 months and several years. The treatment is popular in Los Angeles.

Something’s Definitely Fishy


Hibachi Steak House & Sushi Bar at 502 State St. in Santa Barbara appears to have temporarily closed. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The Hibachi Steak House & Sushi Bar, formerly known as the popular “Something’s Fishy,” appears to have temporarily closed its doors.

The restaurant at 502 State St. was dark all week, with the doors closed and no one on the inside.

Calls and efforts to reach the restaurant through social media were unsuccessful.

Yelp states that the restaurant is temporarily closed until April 22, 2022.

Although most of the other restaurants on the 500 block of State Street seemed to have enjoyed the benefit of outdoor dining, the Hibachi Steak House & Sushi Bar, known for its grilling in the middle of the restaurant for all to see, apparently has not fared as well.

CalCoast Glass Tinting Adds Team Member

Nathan Ponder has joined CalCoast Glass Tinting.

The company, 4141 State St., Suite C3, provides films for windows from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles.

Ponder will work as the director of sales.

He previously worked at Kinkos in 1992 as a color specialist before becoming operations manager. He left Kinkos in 2004 to be the chief operations officer at CyberCopy, a market leader in construction printing and graphics services for architects, engineers and contractors. He became vice president of sales and marketing in 2008.

CalCoast Glass Tinting Inc. is the Premier 3M Dealer and a leader in glass treatment films with its expertise, customer service and high-quality workmanship, according to a news release.

By Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @JECMolina

Original story HERE

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