Breweries Giving Santa Barbara’s State Street a Buzz

Release Date: August 1,2019

M. Special Leases Tonic Space Downtown

The popular M. Special Brewery has leased the 4,000-square-foot former Tonic space at 634 State St. in downtown Santa Barbara.
The popular M. Special Brewery has leased the 4,000-square-foot former Tonic space at 634 State St. in downtown Santa Barbara. The owners hope to open the new location early next year. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)
 

 

The popular M. Special Brewery has leased the 4,000-square-foot former Tonic space at 634 State St. in downtown Santa Barbara.

It's the latest brewery headed to State Street, and responsible for giving new life to Santa Barbara's main corridor. 

"Time will tell what the carrying capacity of taprooms is in the downtown area, but it’s likely that we are witnessing peak beer," the Q2 Hayes Commercial Group report states.

Counting Funk Zone breweries, there are about 17 taprooms in or near downtown.

Among the more popular destinations for downtown have been Institution Ale, with is now infamous neon sign visible from the street, Night Lizard, and The Cruisery. All three opened this year.

In the Funk Zone, according to Hayes, Rincon Brewery just leased 205 Santa Barbara St. for a brewery. 

"We're hoping for early next year," said Josh Ellis, brewmaster and one of the owners of M. Special. 

Ellis said M. Special has a large local following, and he is looking forward to offering a local presence on State Street for people who want quality beer.

"We have customers in Santa Barbara who are really excited about us coming downtown because they don't want to drive to Goleta," Ellis said.

The Goleta M. Special is at Building C, 6860 Cortona Drive in Goleta.

The new spot has the "best patio in Santa Barbara," Ellis said. 

They plan to lighten the building, add patio dining, and bring live music to the venue. They are exploring the possibility of offering food.

"It is a blank canvas for us," he said. "We're going to create an open feel. We want to reinvigorate the space."

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