Street vibrant again with shoppers and dinners
For the first time in weeks, Coast Village Road shoppers and diners spent Tuesday morning at their favorite local spots.
The Nurture Cottage children’s store at 1213 Coast Village Road welcomed shoppers with colorful children’s clothes, shoes and accessories. A family of Maileg mouse dolls greeted customers from their display at the front of the store.
Spokeswoman Dana Otanez said the store is following all Santa Barbara County Public Health department guidelines and only allows up to three people in the store at one time.
“We are all wearing our masks and cleaning constantly during the day. We cleaned this place stem to stem, and we continue to do it every day,” Ms. Otanez said.
She said the store is still working on a “fitting” policy, but staff quarantine all returned items for 24 hours before returning them to the floor.
“We’re following what a lot of other stores are doing, which is if we get a return, we quarantine it so it’s not constantly in rotation,” Ms. Otanez said.
She thanked the Montecito community for investing in local businesses, especially during hard economic times.
“I see a lot of similarities to when we closed for the mudslides. There is a lot of interest in being able to shop in our store again. There’s a lot of community support, and I really respect that people are trying to shop local,” Ms. Otanez said.
“There’s clothes, shoes, games. We have books, we sell linens, everything for your newborn to 8-year-old child,” she said.
Allora by Laura, a European and California-inspired women’s wear store, is open to shoppers at 1269 Coast Village Road.
Luxury women’s wear and home decor store Marcus is also open for business. A store spokeswoman said staff are limiting entry to 10 shoppers at a time. Marcus is located at 1155 Coast Village Road.
As eager shoppers filled their bags, diners relaxed with a cup of coffee on the porch of Renaud’s Bistro at 1187 Coast Village Road.
Manager Rebekah Pardo said the restaurant resumed dine-in service on Friday.
“We never closed, we were doing takeout. We’re opening our dining room this week, but outside our tables are six feet apart,” Ms. Pardo said.
She added that the restaurant did not lay off any staff during the weeks state regulations coronavirus prohibited dine-in service.
“It’s my first time having a coffee sitting down at a restaurant. It’s liberational,” Alicia St. John said. Ms. St. John said she has lived in Montecito for 15 years.
“I know that we still have to obey the health officer… but it’s so just great to sit down on the patio of my neighborhood Renaud’s with a coffee,” Ms. St. John said.
Montecito Deli owner Jeff Rypysc said the Montecito community is keeping his business afloat. The business had been located at 1150 Coast Village Road, Suite B, for 18 years. Mr. Rypysc said he’s been able to hire some staff back since his dine-in service reopened, but he’s still down one cook.
“The people have been great, they’re giving us extra money, the staff are getting great tips,” Mr. Rypysc said as a staffer grilled the flatbread for one of his signature Piadina sandwiches. Mr. Rypysc said he bought the recipe from the deli’s previous owner, who brought it back from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
“We make that flatbread here every day. But we’ll make anything you want scrambles, lox, bagels. The customers are great, and they kept us going through the fires, mudslides. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be open,” Mr. Rypysc said.
Two doors down at Bree’Osh bakery, Brenda Watson-Moud and Beth Keenen enjoyed pastries at a table outside.
“I think proceed with caution. I’m from Ventura and they’re very compliant there; our hospital cases are really low, so steady as she goes,” Ms. Watson-Moud.
“I haven’t had a croissant in two-and-a-half months so I’m super happy,” laughed Ms. Keenan.
Tre Lune General Manager Leslee Garafalo said the community has embraced the return of their dine-in experience.
“We’ve gone through to all measures to create a safe nvironment while still providing the Tre Lune experience, which is homemade fine Italian cuisine,” Ms. Garafalo said. She explained that management checks staff for temperatures every day and the restaurant uses disposable menus.
“We have a wonderful community, they’re like family to us. We have our welcome home sign out and this is their home away from home.”