State Street Businesses Slowly Start to Re-Open

Some businesses on State Street sported some signs like this one.

After the state governor loosened up his pandemic-stay-at-home this week, more businesses on State Street opened their doors May 8 with curbside service pickup and social distancing.

Even though the spring weather usually brings out a plethora of tourists and locals, the commercial corridor was still a general wasteland

Not all businesses were open, such a the popular Sandbar, Institution Ale and others. However, Night Lizard Brewery Co. was open along with NY Pizza and Santa Barbara Craft Ramen on lower State Street, among others.

It’s still a long way to go because many retailers still remained closed or just shuttered for good in the corridor. For example, the CBD shop on lower State Street has cleared out with an empty space next door.

Some possible changes are afoot, however. For example, the two-story former Scientology office at 524 State St. is being considered to be converted into a hotel with an additional 2,000 square feet.

Scientology moved to Ventura.

Last month, the Santa Barbara City Council considered a deal with the Paseo Nuevo mall operators to prop up the outdoor shopping center, which has been shut down recently with ongoing renovation and with supposedly temporarily closed shops and now take-out eateries.

However, since the mall lost Macy’s in 2017 and is soon losing Nordstrom, would the city’s involvement lead to a solution?

There is talk of making the mall into an “urban park.” It’s all up in the air. The mall was made 30 years ago with state and municipal redevelopment funds, but at the moment it is corporately owned.

Posted May 8, 2020.

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