I don’t know about you, but my anticipation for the completion of the Anacapa Project mounts daily. It seems like every time I stroll through the Funk Zone, I’m peering through construction sites waiting ever-so-impatiently for the plethora of shops, restaurants and tasting rooms to sprout up from the artistic community this summer.
Luckily, it’s already mid-May—which makes the June openings of The Lark, Lucky Penny and Les Marchands Wine Bar and Merchant that much more tangible. The three businesses—a large-scale full-service restaurant, a free-standing restaurant-meets-artisan-bakery and a wine bar, respectively—are all set to open their doors sometime in June, initiating the first phase of this Funk Zone area’s makeover.
The Lark, located in the former Santa Barbara Fish Market, brings delicious American family-style dishes from executive chef Jason Paluska and executive sous chef/pastry chef Nick Flores, both who recently emigrated from RN74 in San Francisco. For those who want a more casual dining experience or some grab ‘n’ go goodies to take to the beach, The Lark’s sister restaurant, Lucky Penny, offers a take-away mecca of bakery goods, coffees, wood-fire pizzas, fresh juices and snacks to be enjoyed on-the-go or in the quintessential courtyard.
Expect locally sourced seasonal ingredients at both culinary spots and classic and craft cocktails at The Lark using artisan spirits (from neighboring Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, perhaps?) and seasonal twists on your favorite drinks.
Prefer fermented grapes to distilled sugar and yeast? Les Marchands from winos Brian McClintic and Eric Railsback (both famous sommeliers, McClintic from documentary film SOMM fame and Railsback from Wine & Spirits Best New Sommelier 2010 award) will host tastings, wine futures tastings and shared plates—a perfect place to spend an afternoon with friends over a glass of vino.
The terrific threesome is part of the neighborhood brainchild of Sherry Villanueva, head honcho of the Anacapa Project, a face lift-meets-makeover-meets-cultural-Botox occurring between Helena and Anacapa Streets on E. Yanonali. Other soon-to-open tenants of this exciting new project include Figueroa Mountain Brewing, Avelina Winery, Riverbench Vineyard and Winery, Guitar Bar and Area 5.1 (Santa Ynez Winery).
With so many exciting additions to my already favorite part of town, I have a feeling this summer will be full of Funk Zone fun. Check back on our blog for more updates about the Anacapa Project.
-Taylor Micaela Davis