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Santa Barbara restaurants see record profits following Fiesta

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Fiesta may be over, but its economic impact is far reaching.

The week long celebration brought home the bacon and the birria for many restaurant owners like Stirling Nix-Bradley.

“This was our best week ever as a restaurant, and we're super excited about that. And we're really looking forward to the next Fiesta,” said Nix-Bradley, owner of Soul Bites Restaurant.

The wildly successful Fiesta days taught restaurant owners to stock up on more product for next year.

“In the middle of Saturday night, I ran out of beer. I mean, not all my beers, but some of my most popular. So I'm going to get more product. I didn't run out of chicken, thank goodness. Fried chicken sandwich kept flying out of the restaurant,” said Nix-Bradley.

“We ran out of pretty much everything halfway through the day,” said Brenda Rodriguez, who works at Casa Comal. "We were out of like half of the menu, really. And we were having to explain to people that there was a wait. And it was it's my first time working a service food job."

Santa Barbara was packed over the weekend, but some visitors are happy to be able to experience local cuisine without the long wait times.

“It wasn't a big wait time, so we get kind of the experience of it. Without the comebacks of all the wait times and the crazy lines and crowds,” said Skye Kellingsworth, who is visiting from Simi Valley.

Nix-Bradley said although things have calmed down since the week long festivities, he predicts another spike in business in late August.

“In a couple of weeks we've got 'The Busboys' coming, the iconic rock band from the eighties and nineties, their music was in '48 Hours,' 'Ghostbusters,' one of Eddie Murphy's favorite bands,” said Nix-Bradley.

Details for that August 19th performance can be found on

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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