Some In-Person Events Will Help to Bring Back ‘Normal’

“Go fly a kite.” Image produced by Rob Robinson.

With summer about to start and Santa Barbara businesses getting ready, networking events and outdoor activities are being slated, even though the Summer Solstice Celebration and Old Spanish Days Fiesta will be virtual again this year.

Even without those big summer events, tourists from Los Angeles and others areas are still flocking to the cooler climes of Santa Barbara.

While many hospitality workers are slow to come back or are hard to find, entrepreneurs are forging ahead in advance of the anticipated June 15 “back to normal” date, even though things many never be quite normal again. 

The Greater Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce plans to have an-in-person networking event at 5 p.m. June 17 at Santa Barbara County Sleep Shoppers and & Design Center, 3609 State St. Sponsors include Vicky Reese of Caliber Home Loans, Casa Azteca, Farmers Insurance and Miguel Avila of Pacific Crest Realty. 

In a more unusual event, U.S Air Force veteran Rob Robinson and his brother, Mike Ledesma, are teaching a new kite flight camp for youth. Their goal is to “teach kids the love of flight, the value of teamwork and that the sky is the limit,” the organizers said. 

Youth participants will learn to navigate the wind, themselves and through this one-of-a-kind adventure power-kiting experience. Participants stay on the sand, and do not fly up in the air or out on the water. See 

And, some businesses are expanding such as the co-working space company Sandbox with its second location at a 7,500-square-foot space in the Paso Robles downtown business district at 1345 Park St. Sandbox has it first location at 414 Olive St, Santa Barbara. 

Meanwhile back around State Street, perennial restaurateur Warren Butler, managing partner at the 40-year-old Chase Lounge, is opening another eatery on Anapamu Street across from the Courthouse Sunken Garden. 

Some vacant spots on State Street are being filled such as the former Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf venue at 811A State St. The new coffee shop Caje opened last week. And a new art gallery, Melanin, has opened at the corner of Canon Perdido and State Street. 

Also. Some rumblings of starting a Coast Village Road business improvement district are being mulled. 

While summer signs are beginning to look like another re-start for the South Coast economy, many businesses won’t return after closing in the past 13 months. 

Posted June 7, 2021. 

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