SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A fast food chain that got its start in Santa Barbara County has been purchased by a major food brand.
Yum! Brands Inc., which owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC, announced Monday that they will acquire Habit Restaurants Inc., which is headquartered in Irvine.
Habit Restaurants is the corporate identity of The Habit Burger Grill, which specializes in char-grilled burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads and sushi-grade ahi tuna sandwiches in a fast casual atmosphere.
The first Habit Burger was started in Goleta in the late '60s and has since expanded to 300 locations in the United States and China. The original Habit Burger is still in operation on Hollister Avenue in Old Town Goleta.
Locally there are franchises in Goleta, Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Buellton, Lompoc, San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, Camarillo, Oxnard and Port Hueneme.
The Santa Barbara County locations will remain under local ownership, we are told, while the others will join the new company.