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Locals Only: Meet the New 
Santa Barbarans


Cool creative types have been moving from New York to Los Angeles since frustrated novelists and playwrights went off to try their hands at screenplays in the ’20s. But lately we keep bumping into transplants to a new Southern California enclave: sunny, civilized Santa Barbara. We asked three of them to tell us why they moved (or went bicoastal)—and give us some local recommendations, of course.


KIRK MILLER
Cofounder of tailoring brand Miller’s Oath and recent Santa Barbara transplant.

“We moved from the East Village in New York to Santa Barbara about a year and a half ago. We have two little guys and a little girl, and we just had that moment where it was time to make a change, and we totally went for it. The change of pace and lifestyle is kind of incredible. Up and down the California coast is a really magical place—it’s so diverse. Where we live now, if you go out our front door and go right, you’re on the beach in five minutes. If you go left, you’re in the mountains in five minutes.”


Photograph by Blue Caleel for C Magazine.


KIRK’S PICKS

CABRILLO BATHHOUSE
1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara

“A beachside café breakfast before the children go off to school—with a little early morning mist and a chill in the air—is my favorite start to the day.”

ESAU’S CAFE
507 Linden Ave., Carpinteria

“Time stands still (circa 1978) at this family-owned diner in Carpinteria, with old surfing movies on TV sets, a regular crowd of old-time Santa Barbarans and the best homemade biscuits and malt shakes.”


GANNA WALSKA LOTUSLAND
695 Ashley Rd., Santa Barbara

“Situated on the estate of Madame Ganna Walska, [the oft-married opera singer-turned-horticulturalist,] this unique collection of exotic cacti and plants is considered by many to be the most spectacular garden in America.”


MATT ALBIANI
Photographer and co-owner (with his boyfriend, Ron Brand) of Mate Gallery (1024 Coast Village Road) in Montecito, a hamlet in Santa Barbara.

“I’m based in New York, but I spend about a week each month in Montecito now. I always wanted to have a shop, and we wanted to bring a bit of the East Coast to California. We carry New England-slanted vintage products: one-of-a-kind art pieces, vintage brass, vintage tabletop items, textiles. It has been fun to roll around in a California beach town. It’s wealthy but understated—it’s very laid-back, not splashy or gaudy. I love the small-town feel; I love taking the dogs to the beach.”
Mate Gallery.


MATT’S PICKS

LA SUPER-RICA TAQUERIA
622 N. Milpas St., Santa Barbara

“Lines at lunch and dinner run out the door, so grab a taco and beer during the late afternoon for a postbeach snack.”

PLOW & ANGEL AT SAN YSIDRO RANCH
900 San Ysidro Ln., Santa Barbara

“This resort is one of the most magical places in Southern California. Be sure to ask for a table outside downstairs at Plow & Angel, and you’re guaranteed a romantic and delicious supper.”

PICKLE ROOM
126 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara

“This is the best local dive bar in Santa Barbara, and I like to call it ‘Star Wars Bar’ because of the characters that come in and out during the night. It has great bar food as well, and the fried pickles
are insane.”


DEWEY NICKS
Photographer (sometimes for J.Crew!) and commercial director, with a home in Carpenteria in southeastern Santa
Barbara County.

“I love vintage cars, and I’ve always loved to drive and listen to music. My dad was a commercial director when we were kids, and we’d go from home in St. Louis to stay at the Chateau Marmont, and I remember thinking, ‘I like this better.’ Some of my favorite movies were shot in Southern California in the '70s, in beach houses and mountain getaways, so I think I’m living out the fantasies of my youth.”

Dewey in Ojai.

A spread from God Bless Ojai by Dewey.


DEWEY’S PICKS

LOS PADRES OUTFITTERS
Greenwell Preserve Trailhead, Asegra Road, Santa Barbara

“You can ride horses on the beach in Santa Barbara—they’ll bring four or five horses right to the beach.”

ROSE CAFÉ
1816 Cliff Dr., Santa Barbara

“This Mexican café is right out of a movie from the '30s or '40s. It’s still family run, and they make the salsa and ranchera sauce every day, right in the back. Everything is delicious, especially the huevos rancheros.”

JIM HALL RACING CLUB
2600 Challenger Pl., Oxnard

“They have gas-powered go-carts you can actually race, and my kids love it. It’s so much fun. I can do that all day.”

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TAGS: mens, personal style, locals only
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