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New businesses open in Downtown Santa Barbara, quickly filling vacancies

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - New life is coming to Downtown Santa Barbara. More businesses are starting to move in and open, filling the downtown vacancies.

"This just came at the right time. The price was right. It was just such a good opportunity that I just couldn't pass it up, so we're really excited about it," said Sara Gehris, owner of SB Urban Flea Market.

Gehris expects to open her market next month, taking the old home of Pascucci Restaurant.

"It's going to be a vintage, just a flea market, very eclectic. I have over 18 dealers in here. I'm going to have some artisans, most of them are local," Gehris said.

SB Urban Flea Market is joining businesses like M Special and Tondi Gelato which also recently opened on State Street.

Downtown Santa Barbara attributes this success to the State Street promenade—which will remain for at least another year.

"I think it's tripled traffic. Like I haven't seen State Street this busy in probably five years," said Gehris. "On the weekends it's so packed it looks like a street city in New York. It's going to be really good."

The downtown area is also expecting a new Gastropub to move into the former Starbucks location on the corner of State Street and De La Guerra. They say the speed at which the spot found a new tenant, from one business closing to another opening, is an optimistic sign for State Street.

"I think shows a lot of promise for downtown. I think people are excited about the future. They are ready to get out of this pandemic, and they're seeing opportunities downtown, and we're very excited about that," said Robin Elander, executive director for Downtown Santa Barbara.

The downtown area said it's continuing to recruit more businesses to move in soon.

Santa Barbara - South County
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Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.

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