BREAKING IN SANTA BARBARA: Downey's Restaurant is Closing

by Gabe Saglie, Senior Editor, Travelzoo

July 21, 2017

Chef John Downey
After 35 years as one of the very best restaurants in Santa Barbara, Downey's is closing its doors. John and Liz Downey have always been the consummate hosts, and if there was ever an early trendsetter in Santa Barbara's farm-to-fork movement, their restaurant was it. Working as a team, along with a solid staff, John crafted delicious food while Liz put together a wonderful, Santa Barbara-centric wine list.

For us, if a special occasion called for a special dinner, odds were we'd make a reservation at Downey's. We'll miss this place and this awesome couple!

The Downeys will likely retire by the end of August. More details to come. Here's the letter that broke the news today, sent out to Downey's email list.

Downey's, 1305 State Street, Santa Barbara. 805-966-5006. downeyssb.com.

We believe this may come as a surprise & disappointment to many of our loyal guests but, later this summer, after thirty-five years of serving you with Santa Barbara's finest cuisine, Liz and I will be retiring from Downey's and moving on to our next life adventure. There will be a new restaurateur taking over 1305 State Street and we are confident that they will offer you a very pleasant dining option in the heart of the downtown theater district.

Liz and I would like to thank you, our guests, for supporting our efforts through these years. We hope you have enjoyed our hospitality as much as we have enjoyed sharing it. It really has been a rewarding experience for us, from shopping at the Farmers' Market, to preparing food, to tasting wines, to serving you, to...well, maybe not to doing the dishes! But you get the idea.

We will miss so many of our regular guests and that will be one of the harder aspects for us. Downey's has been a huge part of our life for many years. But it really is time for us to relax and enjoy our life together. First thing will be a nice, long vacation to adjust to the "no-restaurant" lifestyle. It's been a long time since we have had such a chance.
If you have an opportunity to join us for one last duck with baby turnips or maybe a slice of raspberry millefeuille, then we would love to see you. Our last day is not yet determined but we anticipate closing around the end of August.

Warm Regards and Cheers!

John & Liz

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