BizHawk: Cajun Kitchen to Open in Former Goleta Rusty’s Pizza on Calle Real
(written by Noozhawk writer Gina Potthoff)
The Cajun Kitchen is planning to open a second Goleta location at 6025 Calle Real later this year.
The Santa Barbara restaurant local chain hopes to open there — a former Rusty’s Pizza that recently moved down the street — in September after extensive exterior renovations that include adding signature patio seating, said Juan Jimenez, son of Cajun Kitchen owner Richard Jimenez.
Juan Jimenez, who has taken over most day-to-day operations along with brother Richard Jr., said this will be Cajun Kitchen’s fifth location, with two in Santa Barbara, one in Ventura and another Goleta restaurant at 6831 Hollister Ave.
“Goleta has always treated us well,” he said. “We appreciate the support from Goleta.”
Goleta has historically been Cajun Kitchen’s most popular location, where locals come to enjoy a Cajun and Mexican-infused breakfast and lunch menu.
The new site also plans to add a mural on the backside of the building, possibly resurrecting the“Gatorboy” mural the city of Santa Barbara forced the restaurant to take down from its 901 Chapala Street location in 2014.
Jimenez’s father, a Santa Barbara native, took over the original Cajun Kitchen on De La Vina Street in 1984 as a prep cook with no restaurant experience — growing the eatery with his wife to five locations.
The family has been searching for new space since last year, when they closed a Carpinteria location that had been open more than a decade.
Cajun Kitchen brought its proposed renovation plans before Goleta’s Design Review Board this week, presenting a design that would be more in line with Fairview Shopping Center across the street, which has the same property owner.