A formerly quiet industrial area in Santa Barbara near the railroad tracks has become a popular “Funk Zone” with wineries, restaurants, galleries and small shops. Here are a few highlights; download a map and find links at www.funkzone.net.
Get in the Zone
The Funk Zone is bordered by oceanfront Cabrillo Boulevard on one end and Highway 101 on the other, and contained between State and Garden streets. The Amtrak Station anchors one corner and is a good place to park. There’s also a lot off Anacapa near Cabrillo, and street parking throughout the Zone.
At Yanonali and Anacapa
Hip restaurant The Lark is the heart of the Funk Zone and usually booked weeks in advance, but there’s open seating at a communal table and at the bar. Next door, Lucky Penny churns out wood-fired pizza plus sandwiches and salads. Figueroa Mountain Brewery's popular outpost is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Area 5.1 Wines and Riverbench Winery both offer tastings near here, as does Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, where Ian Cutler brews bourbon, vodka and a delicious apple pie liqueur named for his grandmother. The Guitar Bar doesn’t serve drinks, but offers a relaxing place to try out different guitars and take lessons.
Across Anacapa Street is more wine tasting at AVA Santa Barbara and Pali Wine Company, and the wall space gallery that focuses on contemporary photography. The exhibits here are wonderful.
On Santa Barbara Street
Another cluster of shops is on Santa Barbara Street near Yanonali, and features galleries and artist studios. The Arts Foundry is a large gallery with sculpture, glassworks, jewelry and more. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., it is well worth a visit. Michael/Kate Interiors and Art Gallery is also a great place to browse and buy. Nearby is the gallery of The Arts Fund, which organizes Art Walks from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month -– the next one is July 8.
Anacapa near Cabrillo
There’s a collection of tasting rooms across the railroad tracks on Anacapa, not far from Cabrillo: Municipal Winemakers, Oceana Winery, Chatter/Drake Tasting Room and Corks n’ Crowns. From here, it’s a short walk to the beach, the Sunday Arts and Crafts Show along the waterfront or Chase Palm Park.
Tour the Zone
“Eat This Shoot That” is the creative name of a two-hour walking food and photo tour offered Wednesdays through Fridays at 3 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Eat and shoot your way through the Funk Zone, with stops at three restaurants, a wine bar and a brew house. Participants leave with full bellies and fab photos.
Segway of Santa Barbara offers local tours using these unusual personal electric vehicles that are surprisingly easy to drive, or “glide” as they call it. Hazard Cycle Sports, one of California’s oldest bike shops, is still going strong on Anacapa Street as the Funk Zone grows around it.