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Iconic Mattei’s Tavern goes from restaurant to event and vacation rentals spot

The iconic Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos is coming back…but in a different way.

Many were sad to see the tavern, one of California’s oldest structures, built in 1886, close down on June 3rd. The owners Brian and Shamra Strange found the restaurant was not having the success they hoped so they closed it down and looked to a new future.

That future has brought Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals to manage the main house and turn it into a venue where people can rent it out for events. The tavern welcomes corporate events, weddings, intimate dinners, and parties.

If you want a little getaway they are also offering vacation rentals in one of the seven newly renovated bungalows.

The Strange family purchased the tavern back in 2017 in hopes to honor its long-standing presence in the community.

“When we heard that it could be potentially lost into foreclosure we wanted to buy it to preserve the history of Mattei’s,” Strange said.

It was originally called the Central Hotel that catered to stagecoach travelers. The inn became a famous landmark attracting framers, ranchers, politicians and even famous actors like Clarke Gable.

Strange plans to build out the property keeping all the original structures but adding on a five-star hotel and resort. He plans to keep that special mystique the vintage tavern holds.

Taylor Lockhart, Mattei’s Tavern event manager noted, “There is definitely a story behind Mattei’s Tavern, whether someone has their first drink here or maybe a first date or really special memories of a wedding.”

Strange hopes to break ground on the new hotel in six months.

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