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Solvang's Aaron Petersen expands CHOMP restaurant brand into Santa Barbara
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Solvang's Aaron Petersen expands CHOMP restaurant brand into Santa Barbara

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Aaron Petersen, owner of CHOMP and brekkies restaurants in Solvang, has opened two additional eatery locations on the Santa Barbara Harbor.

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.

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Salty at the Beach, located at the Santa Barbara Harbor, recently opened its doors.

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 access menus and restaurant updates, visit and

Lisa André covers local news and lifestyles for Santa Ynez Valley News. 


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