The Fess Parker legacy within Santa Barbara County is quite a large one. Directly owing to the late movie star are a myriad of establishments including the Fess Parker Winery in Los Olivos and The Fess Parker – a Doubletree Resort by Hilton in Santa Barbara, among a number of other establishments. In April, the Fess Parker name gets to add one more business to its lasting heritage.
Eli and Ashley Parker recently announced the opening of their restaurant, The Bear and Star (2860 Grand Ave., Los Olivos at the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn & Spa). Dining features refined ranch cuisine inspired by the Santa Ynez Valley and the Lone Star State. The name of the restaurant is in fact a nod to Fess Parker himself, who, before arriving in California, grew up in Texas. The restaurant’s name is a combination of California’s grizzly bear flag and Texas’ lone star flag.
Head of the culinary division of the restaurant is celebrated Chef John Cox, who carries accolades for his work at Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. Cox is flanked by the culinary expertise of Santa Barbara native Jeremy Tummel and Sous Chef Trent Shank. Overseeing the beverage program is General Manger Andrew Scherer.
The restaurant receives its beef from the Fess Parker Home Ranch, located seven miles away on Foxen Canyon Road. There 75 head of cattle graze on the spent grains and pomace from the family brewery and winery. The ranch also houses quail, chickens, rabbits, pigs, bees, fruits and vegetables which will be available for the restaurant as well. With this all-encompassing ecosystem developed under John Cox’s passion and vision, the Parker family links their lasting history and expertise in hospitality, wine-making, and ranching to the dining experience.
The restaurant is set to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and brunch service takes place on the front terrace, where diners may enjoy a view of Los Olivos locals going about their days. Dinner becomes a perfect blend of sophistication and rustic elegance as the dining room features jewel tones of garnet and ruby coupled with dark barn wood floors and sleek marble surfaces.
“John and his team are incredibly talented and passionate about this ambitious project. Connecting the restaurant to our family ranch is something we’ve always dreamed about, and with John’s guidance, it’s finally coming to fruition. What a great fit with the Parkers,” states Eli Parker. “Ash and I are very excited to share the refined ranch cuisine concept with our valley locals and visitors.”