Tuesday, August 12, 2008

History of Rusty’s Pizza


Ever wonder how Rusty’s Pizza got its name? One might assume (as I did) that it was started by a person named “Rusty.” It turns out that my assumption was incorrect. There probably was a person named Rusty but he didn’t serve pizza; he served roast beef! In 1969, the founders of Rusty’s Pizza bought a restaurant named “Rusty’s Roast Beef” (see photo). It was located at 910 Embarcadero Del Norte in Isla Vista, currently the home of Dublin’s Sports Grill.

The plan was to turn it into a pizza parlor but money was tight at the fledgling business and they couldn’t afford to replace the large “Rusty’s Roast Beef” sign on the front of the building. What they did instead was alter the existing sign to replace “Roast Beef” with “Pizza” and a local legend was born.
Within three years, the locations on Milpas and State Street were added, followed closely by Carrillo, Fairview and Carpinteria. The 90’s saw the opening of Rusty’s on Storke Road in Goleta and Rusty’s on Turnpike Road. 2002 marked the opening of Rusty’s newest location on the waterfront across from Stearns Wharf. All Rusty’s locations are locally owned and operated. For more information visit rustyspizza.com. Better yet, order a pizza by calling 564-1111.

SLY’S OPENS: James and Ann Sly (James is the former chef at Lucky’s in Montecito) have opened their new restaurant named “Sly’s” at 686 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria. The eatery specializes in seafood, steak and cocktails. For more information call 805-684-6666 or visit slysonline.com.

BACKYARD BOWLS: A new eatery named “Backyard Bowls” will be coming to 311 Motorway Way, next to the Santa Barbara Roasting Co. off of lower State Street. Their food product is unique and I have been asked to keep it a secret until they open in mid-September. I can tell you that the mystery meal is unusual and that I look forward to trying it. Sorry to leave you hanging!

SPEAKING OF SECRET: Chef Brenda Simon, owner of The Secret Ingredient catering service, will be taking over the cafe at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State Street. The location was formerly occupied by Fresco Museum Cafe and Zal’s Museum Cafe.

LIVE CULTURE: Later this year (or early next) a “frozen yogurt lounge” named Live Culture will be moving into 11 W. De La Guerra Street in Paseo Nuevo mall, the former home of Pierre Lafond. A new sign out front reads “Live Culture frozen yogurt lounge, café & wine bar is the vision of three Santa Barbarans who want to share their love of life, specialty foods and good company in a comfortable yet stimulating environment.
Most of all we are creating a gathering place for our friends, family, like-minded locals and out of town visitors to relax and take in all that a nice meal and/or treat in a beautiful surrounding has to offer. We are dedicated to giving back to the community and will host charitable events for local & global causes. A community seating area with Wi-Fi access will be provided to encourage community and social development. We look forward to incorporating you into our Culture!” For more information visit liveculturelounge.com.

GRAPEVINE: The Grapevine Fine Food Market will soon be moving into 126 E. Canon Perdido Street, the former home of Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens. The new high-end food market should open in September.

CAFFEINE CRISIS? The Coffee Bean at 1226 State Street (next to the Granada Theatre) closed their doors for good last Sunday after being in business for 16 months. The 24-hour Java Jon’s (not to be confused with Java Jones) at 8 S. Milpas Street closed its doors recently too. This means that a total of four coffee places have closed in the last 13 months. Fear not a caffeine crisis, however. There are still 40 places in town that consider coffee to be their primary product.
Coffee is so plentiful that if you go to the Fairview Shopping Center in Goleta there are two Starbucks locations only 89 steps apart.

YANNI’S: Mackenzie Market at 3102 State Street has had a secret Greek & American deli on the premises for years. Apparently the word has gotten out. The market’s deli (and catering) business has grown so much in recent years that the owners have decided to give this side business an official name: Yanni’s Greek & American Deli. The name of the market will remain unchanged. For more information call 682-2051.

KA-CHING: Jaimie Perez of Santa Barbara recently won a contest put on by Domino’s Pizza as part of a promotion of its new Gotham City “Dark Knight Experience” pizza. Perez ordered a pizza and it was delivered with a check for $10,000. I hope she tipped the delivery person!

LOGO CHOCOLATES: Jill Marie Carré from Chocolats du CaliBressan in Carpinteria recently sent me an email about their new “logo” chocolates service: “Hi John, we have begun ‘Logo’ chocolates. This is especially great for any type of business that would like to create their own personalized chocolates, form, flavor and logo. Great for ‘Thank yous’, holiday gifts, employee incentive gifts - well you name it. They are excellent and CUSTOMIZED. Also great for people planning weddings, their own names and date on personalized chocolates. Anyone wanting to make a lasting yummy moment with their name or logo. You should come in and see or go on line and take a look at www.chococalibressan.com” - Jill Marie Carré, (805) 684-6900.

John Dickson’s column appears every Tuesday in the Daily Sound. E-mail your restaurant news tips to info@SantaBarbara.com

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