Juan Jimenez had a dream to create a simple donut and coffee house on State St. here in Santa Barbara. In a time when most restaurants are moving towards complicated and expensive items Juan wanted to provide inexpensive and accessible food for everyone. We helped Juan update the interior of this restaurant space and thru the permitting process. Now tasty donuts can be found here along with coffee and soda. Our favorite is the blueberry but go and try a few and decided for yourself!
Chef Ramon Velazquez of Corazon Cocina on the cover of the latest issue of the Sentinel. If you haven’t had a chance to dine at this new location please do yourself a favor and stop in, the dishes are incredible.
We initially met Ramon a few years ago when he and his business partner were considering leasing the building formerly occupied by Rebar Coffee and Yankee Noodle. In that meeting we noted that although the location seemed to be ideal none of the previous tenants were able to make it work. This had to do with a combination of factors like the emergence of the Funk Zone, the seemingly endless construction of the California Hotel and the awkward dark interior of the building. Our advice was that in order to be successful this space needed a radical transformation to open it up to State St.. Restrooms would need to be moved, new folding doors and windows would be required. All of this would be expensive on top of the monthly lease. We advised that they should take on a partner, ideally a local brewery that was looking to expand and would be willing to share the space and the costs of the buildout. With that we set the plan in motion, The Project was conceived and we created what you see today with the help of Bottenfield Construction
Flash forward to today and we believe that initial idea has come to fruition. Now Corazon Cocina and Captain Fatty’s Brewing are consistently packed with customers eating great tacos and drinking great beer. It’s been great to see their success! Click here to read the article
Tacos and beer are some of the best things in life, if you could have the best of both why wouldn’t you? Soon you will have the opportunity to have the freshest beer alongside the best tacos in town in the most exciting funk zone neighborhood in Santa Barbara. Below are some progress photos
You can see that it’s a bit of a mess inside right now but we’ve made some big moves to remove much of the awkward spaces and open up the interior to the State St. patio. You can see the beginnings of the Captain Fatty’s tasting bar on the right and the future folding doors beyond leading to the patio.
Check back in for more progress updates soon!
We are excited to see that Satellite Wine Bar is getting close to opening! This is a project within the Impact Hub of Santa Barbara that should be a great addition to this area of State Street. They plan on serving a good selection of wines and food from nearby restaurants, I imagine it will be a great spot for both lunch and dinner and great for people watching.
5 New Reasons to Eat in Santa Barbara
by LA Weekly Magazine
“A third new restaurant to open recently in the Funk Zone, the Nook is the eat to Lama Dog Tap Room’s drink. Bright and airy, long communal tables fill the refurbished shipping container, and there’s a patio, too, that’s perfect for pets. It’s just one of the community gathering spots inside 120 Santa Barbara Street’s Waterline, an industrial warehouse that’s been freshly re-envisioned as a place for food, beer, wine and an artisan collective.”
Exciting stuff to see our local eateries getting some out of town coverage! We hope to continue this trend with some upcoming projects, stay tuned.
Some kind words about our latest creation in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone The Nook and Chef Norbert are featured in this months 805 Living. Its great to see Norbert and his crew getting the recognition they deserve, they are consistently putting out great innovative food like lobster mac’n cheese (my kids favorite). When you pair this great food with the beer and wine options provided by Lama Dog you have a combination that is hard to beat, a fact that many people agree with judging by the crowds! The Waterline will be adding Topa Topa Brewing and a wine tasting room for Blair Fox Wines in the next few months!
The travel publisher, Matador Network includes The Water Line, The Nook and Lama Dog Bottle and Tap Room in one of the must visit spots in Santa Barbara! Check it out below! Then head down to the Funk Zone and enjoy some great food and drinks!
“The Waterline, located in the Funk Zone, is a one-stop shop for enjoying Santa Barbara’s local merchants and artisans. Start your afternoon at Topa Topa Brewing or Lama Dog for some of Santa Barbara’s best craft beers, then head to Nook for a late lunch or dinner — try their rockfish soft tacos, seafood burgers, or purple potato waffles with fried chicken. You can walk off your meal by checking out the talent at The Guilded Table, an artist collective with tons of private studios and a large common space where artists, craftspeople, photographers, jewelers, and designers come together to collaborate and share their work with the public.
The best part? The team at the Waterline works together to make their various tasting and dining menus cohesive and complementary, so going from spicy jidori chicken wings to a strong IPA makes perfect sense.”
Phase one of The Waterline project opened in May of 2016 which includes an eatery The Nook and Lama Dog taproom and bottle shop. The two businesses share a portion of two old warehouse buildings located at 116 and 120 Santa Barbara Street in the Funk Zone of Santa Barbara.
So far the public response has been overwhelming and these projects have been featured in the following publications.
For us at KMA the payoff for us is seeing our clients successfully open their business and exceed even their best projections. We couldn’t be happier for them and it has been great seeing them thrive. It’s important that customers are attracted to the space that we have created but it’s equally significant when our clients are excited to work In the kitchen or behind the bar. Recently, in an interview, Norbert – 30+ year veteran to the restaurant world – was quoted as saying “This is the first really happy place I’ve worked in a long time,” which to us is all we can hope to create.
I’d like to think one reason for this happiness is the way we positioned the kitchen and created transparency to allow Norbert to see the customers reactions and to allow the customers to see the action on the cook line. Additionally a mix of ages young and old sitting together at the communal table or the wide open bar creates a richer experience for everyone. We’ve had many people tell us that “it just feels good in here.” The energy of the customers and Pete’s and Norbert’s love of their craft mixes to create a space where everyone wants to be and come back for more. We hope you have had a chance to visit and try The Nook and Lama Dog, let us know what you think!
Check out the latest photos from our Santa Barbara Funk Zone restaurant progress!
The exterior is not far away from being complete, the doors and windows are in and the new siding is being prepared for installation. We have selected cedar siding with a charred finish as an accent around the outdoor bar. This is a traditional Japanese practice called Shou Sugi Ban, which is created by charring the wood with a large propane torch. Below you can see the variety of finishes that this technique can impart. We are very excited to see this installed and finished it will be a very unique element.
The interiors are well on their way as well. All the framing is complete and drywall is going up, electrical lines are in and lighting is ready for installation.
Check back in and we should have some more images of the siding installed and the shipping container being installed for the kitchen area!
Our design for the former Tony’s Restaurant in Carpinteria was well received by the Carpinteria Architectural Review Board!
If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook you may have seen some images of this project earlier in the design process. Now that the project has had a warm reception we wanted to share the some of the ideas, challenges and opportunities with the project.
This iconic building in the center of the seaside town of Carpinteria is due for a major facelift. The interior is dark, dated and the exterior is not inviting. We were asked to help the new owner breath new life into this ideal site for a restaurant on this intersection. The challenges are many; the building is constructed of concrete block and heavy timber roof framing, the restrooms do not conform to current code, a portion of the restaurant dining area is raised not allowing disabled access and the back patio is surrounded by a tall fence making for a claustrophobic dining experience. Really it’s a case study of how not to design a restaurant.
Our approach was to strategically open up the exterior to provide light and a visual connection for those passing by the restaurant, drawing them in with the new interior layout. The new openings create opportunities for customers to see and be seen, drawing more people in off the street. A new larger patio at the rear provides additional opportunities for outdoor dining. We have also added a bar that also opens up onto the rear patio making for yet another reason for people to visit and stay.
We are currently working with the City to resolve all the issues that come along with old restaurants, like calculating historical parking use versus current use and setback issues. Not so exciting I realize but a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make all the pieces of the project fall into place.
Check back in soon for more on this challenging project!