Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, July 10, 2008

State Street Update: Mel's to Close Doors

Perhaps the last local business in the immediate area which preceded Paseo Nuevo, Mel's Lounge is set to close on August 24th. Open since 1963, reports are that their rent was doubled to $10,000 per month. I doubt rent was that high when Piccadilly Square surrounded the rather Santa Barbara institution. I'm not sure what former-Mayor Harriet Miller will do without her coffee there in the morning!

The Disneyfication of downtown continues -- does anyone know what's going in there? Would have to be something with high volume, high price and some cachet. I can hear the LA types now -- "Look dear, they are finally cleaning up that side of the mall! Thank God....".



Anonymous Gang Member said...

Don't know. Probably another upscale bar selling $14.00 + martinis. "Coffee" still free for corrupt council members. Wink Wink Nod Nod.

7/10/2008 6:59 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

It appears to me that the current models for State Street are Orange County beach towns like Huntington Beach and Corona Del Mar. That would be consistent with the Caruso project, the plans soon to be discussed in Goleta for Bishop Ranch, and what developers want to do to the Gaviota Coast (starting with Naples). If you want to see what Bishop Ranch and the Gaviota Coast are going to look like in 10 years, take a drive on PCH between Corona Del Mar and Laguna down on the Orange County coast and glance up on the hillsides there. Can we stop such development from occurring here? The cynic and the idealist within me are currently debating that question. The cynic's derisive chuckle is becoming annoying.

7/10/2008 8:09 AM  
Anonymous suzy q said...

and stroll through La Cumbre Plaza and Newport Fashion Island and try to tell the difference (once they get rid of Sears). Our development happy council, who have marched to the tune of the rich and powerful, have sold this place off one parcel at a time. And they have squandered our uniqueness for their own political advancement, not to behave as caretakers of this place.

7/10/2008 1:20 PM  
Anonymous the chupacabra said...

Piccadilly Square sucked without a doubt who misses that place? At the same time hate to see Mels go but its probably better suited to a off State Street location anyways. To be honest its a two way street Mels was a lot cooler before the mall when it was in the cul de sac. The saddest thing about this though is many of the people who will decry this the loudest and whine about the LA people didnt live here and drink there when it was a better vibe. As for someone taking the space at 10k good luck, hope Mels gets a good spot off State somewhere.

7/10/2008 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Goletian said...

Part of the beach by UCSB is closed off for snow plovers. The entire beach is closed for the public most of the year in Lompoc, for the snow plovers.

Imagine if we closed off east beach for the snowy plovers. Lompoc could do very well if they had an accessible beach, maybe put a wharf there, etc.. But people in Santa Barbara want to see pretty snowy plovers... in Lompoc, but not east beach.

That doesn't mean we have to be McDisneyland, but let's get realistic about development or at least consistent.

What I'm hearing is, I got my development in and I don't want anyone else to do the same.

I could be wrong of course, I'm sure others here are lobbying for closing off east beach to protect the snowy plovers. They would love that huge stretch of sand. They're not native to areas you don't visit often. There is no "Goleta Snowy Plover" or "Lompoc Snow Plover". They'd love to reclaim some of their lost land.

7/11/2008 4:12 PM  
Anonymous AN50 said...

For God’s sake, Eckermann, do we really have to endure another round of “evil Orange County developer”? It gets a bit tiring when the anti do anything crowd pulls out the same old tired cliché. Orange County, LA Count, San Diego County or any where else they actually build stuff, all look pretty much the same, because that’s how they do it now. Development is driven by market forces and they way development looks is part of what the market wants. You’ve spent too much time wallowing in the land of do nothing to realize the rest of the world has passed you by. You and the no-nothing-never crowd here are rapidly becoming fossils. As for Mel’s, another victim of the lets keep SB small and sprawling even if it wipes out the very ambience the small and sprawl was supposed to preserve. More proof, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

7/12/2008 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Gee an50, I like it here and have for more than 3 decades. That is why I live here. If I were as angry and dissatisfide as you seem to be, and as much in love with architecture of Orange County as you claim, I would move. There are high paying jobs down there (I could nearly double my salary) and lots of homes for sale. However, in the course of business, when I run into colleagues who live down there, to a person they invariably remark about how lucky I am to live in Santa Barbara. Indeed I am. So are you. Relax and enjoy it.

7/13/2008 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Sara Jessica Parker said...

They should open a place called "Bouncers" where there is rope and a line out front, manned by the finest SB roided-up meat heads with tudes! Then inside meatheaded bartenders serving work-out smoothies and stiff drinks...of course if the alcohol effects you in any way, you get thrown out on your head and/or arrested once you land in the upscale plaza for drunk in public, with little defense as Joe Biceps manhandles you with some rear-naked choke he just learned while he watched the UFC fight on the TV inside he just finished watching!

7/16/2008 9:06 PM  
Anonymous shoreline shark said...

SJP, do you have a story to share with us about your weekend?

7/17/2008 7:27 AM  

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