• What’s New in Santa Barbara

    POSTED June 20, 2022
  • What’s New in Santa Barbara

    POSTED June 20, 2022
  • What’s New in Santa Barbara

    POSTED June 20, 2022

If you’re considering Santa Barbara as a destination for an upcoming meeting, there are more hotels and restaurants than ever before, along with new flights into Santa Barbara Airport.

Here are some highlights. 

Hotel News

Palihouse Santa Barbara, a 24-room boutique hotel in the historic Presidio neighborhood has opened. Offering a “vintage preppy meets American Riviera vibe,” total group buyouts are available, as well as outdoor entertaining space for intimate events.

 Kimpton Canary will begin a renovation in late 2022, set to be completed in early 2023. The luxury boutique property will be refreshing its rooftop, meeting space, lobby and guest rooms. (The hotel has seven flexible meeting spaces for a total of 7,300 square feet of event space.)

Finch & Fork, the hotel’s signature restaurant, recently completed a renovation, and has appointed Craig Riker as executive chef and Jazz Moralez as beverage manager.

Drift Santa Barbara, from TCM Hospitality, is set to open in the fourth quarter of 2022 on downtown State Street. The tech-driven, affordable, contemporary hotel is aimed at the millennial market, with contactless check-in and a virtual concierge named Eve offering tips to local sights, drinks, and eats.

Riviera Beach House is the new name for the former Hotel Indigo. Located near the Funk Zone, the property has new ownership and is being refreshed in partnership with Pacifica Hotels, the owner and operator of a collection of design-inspired hotels in California and Hawaii.

Restaurant News

The State Street Promenade—a pandemic innovation—has revitalized the downtown corridor, with its mile-long street closure allowing restaurants, bars and pedestrians to expand into the streets. The city is exploring ways to make it permanent.

Known for mouthwatering lobster rolls, Santa Barbara sea urchin and oysters on the shell featured in past pop-ups at Municipal Winemakers, Broad Street Oyster Company opened a location at Kim’s Service Dept. in downtown Santa Barbara in January 2022. 

Bedda Mia, a State Street restaurant specializing in Sicilian cuisine, including seafood and fresh produce-forward dishes and Sicilian wines, opened in February 2022. 

Rare Society, a “retro-swanky” steakhouse, will open a new location in the Funk Zone later this summer.

Alma Fonda Fina, blending Mexican City cuisine with local ingredients, is set to open soon in the Montecito Country Mart. 

XO Santa Barbara, which opened a few months ago in the Funk Zone, has won a dedicated following for its delicious comfort food, including seared brisket-blend smash burgers, crispy fried chicken sandwiches, milkshakes and more. XO recently added a menu of decadent breakfast burgers and sandwiches.

Reunion Kitchen + Drink is serving scratch-made “elevated casual” eats on East Beach at the newly renovated Cabrillo Pavilion, a historic venue dating back to the 1920s. 

Santa Barbara Airport Updates 

Southwest Airlines has added a new route from Sacramento International Airport (SMF), with daily flights starting June 5, 2022. (The carrier began service in Santa Barbara in 2021 with routes including Las Vegas, Oakland and Denver.)

United Airlines has resumed daily service from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to SBA.

Alaska Airlines began a nonstop flight from San Diego International Airport (SAN) to SBA June 17, 2021.



Los Angeles has such a robust food and dining scene, it’s rare to be the first at anything these days. But Benny Boy Brewing  appears to have pulled that off with its claim to be the city’s first combined brewery and cidery. Located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood, just minutes from downtown, Benny Boy is anchored by a spacious outdoor beer and cider garden. Groups are welcome. The 1,200-square-foot cider house is available for private events of up to 51 guests while a full venue buyout accommodates 300. 


By a number of measures, hotels are doing well in San Francisco.  For starters, occupancy rates, according to preliminary data, were 67.2% for the month of April, with average daily room rates just above $225. As the San Francisco Travel Association notes, those numbers point to the best-performing month for San Francisco hotels since pandemic restrictions were put in place in March 2020.


The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), which is a LEED® Gold certified facility, marked Earth Day 2022 by announcing a ban on single-use plastic bottles throughout the facility.  

Levy Restaurants, the LACC’s exclusive food and beverage partner, has replaced single-use plastic bottles with aluminum bottles in cafés and catering operations. Beverages sold in the Center’s vending machines have followed suit.