Solvang resident Aaron Petersen, owner/operator of Solvang-based CHOMP restaurants, including CHOMP, brekkies by CHOMP and The Coffee House by CHOMP, has launched a new set of eateries in the city of Santa Barbara.
Of the two new restaurants located on the Santa Barbara Harbor, SALTY at the Beach officially opened its doors Thursday to outdoor dining in accordance with COVID-19 safety and sanitation measures outlined by the Santa Barbara County Health Department. CHOMP on the Rocks is slated for an October grand opening.
The full-service restaurants and bars will offer daily lunch and dinner service menus sourced from local ingredients, according to a spokeswoman.
The two new family-friendly waterfront dining and drinking eateries are co-owed by a group of Santa Barbara County families, Solvang residents Max and Laura Hanberg, owners of Solvang Shoe Store, and longtime Santa Ynez Valley residents Ken and Ronna Sorenson, owners of Sorenson & Associates.
Southern California native Scott Gold, a hospitality industry professional, and Gold’s family, as well as Petersen’s daughter and son-in-law, both Navy lieutenants stationed in San Diego, also share ownership.
The businesses now occupy the former Endless Summer Bar Café and Chuck’s Waterfront Grill, spaces located within the Waterfront Center Building, a historic Naval Reserve Armory property that also is home to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
“The history of this building definitely won me over, with its ties to Santa Barbara’s place in naval history,” Petersen said.
SALTY at the Beach (upper deck) and CHOMP on the Rocks (lower level), are located at 113 Harbor Way, Suite 180, Santa Barbara. Opening hours for SALTY at the Beach are Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
To help revive the once busy town streets and restore visitor safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Solvang enlisted its new tourism marketing and events contractor in early June to transform two large city blocks into a walkable promenade, complete with wooden parklets and covered seating, greenery, vertical boundaries and decorative string lights.
After failing to get approval from the Board of Supervisors to move forward with a regional 1.5% wine assessment on all tasting room sales, the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association will return to its previously proposed 1% assessment on all California direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales that was considered in March.
Lisa André covers local news and lifestyles for Santa Ynez Valley News.
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