Skip to Content

‘Vital’ Victoria Street closure gives SB Public Market more breathing room

SB Public Market Victoria St
Ryan Fish/KEYT
The Santa Barbara Public Market added about 70 outdoor seats after Thursday's Victoria Street closure.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Public Market is already enjoying Victoria Street's new closure to cars between State Street and Chapala Street.

The Market is now able to expand seating from its outdoor patio onto the street, adding about 70 seats in the process for roughly 110 total.

Before the street closure, the Market's patio area featured only about 40 seats. Before the pandemic, the Market had more than 300 seats for dining inside.

Owner Marge Cafarelli says the street is too narrow to safely build a parklet for dining while still allowing cars to pass.

"It was either a street closure, or we didn't know what we were going to do," she said Friday.

Cafarelli says the extra seating was quickly filled during lunchtime Thursday, the first day of the street closure. The extra business helps keep the Market's restaurants afloat and employees paid.

"“When… State Street closed and people could come or sit and dine [outside], it actually hurt our business because we didn’t have the outdoor seating that other places had,” she said. "It was vital for us to get this lifeline."

People still order or pick up food inside the building. Masks are required at all times inside and outside the Market, except for when at a table. Guests are currently limited to only an hour and a half at a table to allow new groups to sit down.

The Victoria Street closure is beneficial not just for the Market, but also for the several other restaurants on the block. Some were building new seating areas Friday to take advantage of the space on the street.

The Market's seven restaurant tenants are thankful for the new opportunity to bring in customers.

“This is a great, great opportunity for businesses to stay open and have people still sit outside and eat and enjoy,” said Daniel Shabtai of vegan, Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant Fala Bar, located in the Public Market. “Like, you’re in Santa Barbara. Beautiful weather. You get to see a beautiful view. So it’s just been such a blessing to have something like this open up.”

Article Topic Follows: Lifestyle

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Ryan Fish

Ryan Fish is a reporter, sports anchor and forecaster for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Ryan, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content