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The Cruisery: A Journey of Passion and Dedication

Our incredible adventure began with a team of four humans and two faithful canine companions, Tucker and Penni. We embarked on a journey spanning over 1,500 miles by air and 2,000 miles by road, all in the pursuit of making The Cruisery a reality. This epic expedition unfolded over 8 nights and 9 days, commencing on September 5th, 2018.


Our destination: Dallas, Texas. There, we planned to unearth hidden treasures at an auction and seek out vintage bicycles, all while enjoying some Texan hospitality. After landing in Dallas, we decided to indulge in some 'research' at The Tipsy Alchemist, a remarkable establishment known for its incredible drinks. The morning after was a slow start, as you might imagine, but we eventually made our way to secure a 26-foot U-Haul, albeit still nursing our 'research' hangovers.


The Texas sun beat down relentlessly, with temperatures soaring to 98 degrees and humidity matching it at 98%. Our intrepid young team members toiled tirelessly for over four hours under the scorching sun, expertly loading the mammoth U-Haul with our newfound treasures. Meanwhile, the rest of us, including Tucker and Penni, took turns seeking refuge in the air-conditioned auction office, offering various excuses to escape the heat. By the time the U-Haul was packed, our dedicated team members could wring out their shirts – that's how hard they had worked!


After savoring some Texas BBQ, we dropped off the U-Haul at the nearest Walmart (thank you, Walmart) and continued our 'research' mission in Austin. Rainey Street, a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood, captured our hearts with its enchanting bars and unique atmosphere.


Our journey took an emotional turn as we bid farewell to our dear friend, Eric Klingensmith, who had relocated from Santa Barbara to Austin. Eric played a pivotal role in our journey, providing us with a list of must-visit places for further 'research.' We cherish the memories we made with him, even though he's miles away.


Our voyage continued as we ventured to Oklahoma to welcome a new puppy into our lives. Denver beckoned next, and with our new German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) puppy in tow, the city came alive in new and exciting ways. Family visits, brewery explorations, and memorable stays in an extraordinary loft (courtesy of Airbnb) enriched our journey. We also added a couple more vintage bikes to our growing collection.


Upon our return to Santa Barbara, we knew it was time to put our dreams into motion. Crafting a menu that was both inventive and delectable, and that appealed to all, became our top priority. We recognized the need for The Cruisery to stand out amidst larger competitors with deeper pockets. Our vision was clear – The Cruisery had to be inviting, affordable, and fun.


The following weeks were a whirlwind of menu research, drink testing, and the acquisition of additional antiques and artifacts to adorn our beloved Cruisery. Our brilliant mixologist and original General Manager, James (@jimbibe), worked his magic in the kitchen at my house while we eagerly awaited the keys to the building.


Finally, on October 24th, 2018, the keys were handed to us. After extensive cleaning and painting, we flung open our doors to welcome our first guests on December 5th, 2018.


We are profoundly grateful for your unwavering support of this small, locally owned and operated business. Our commitment to continually improve for our incredible guests and friends drives us every day. We exist because of you, and we eagerly await your return to The Cruisery.

With love and gratitude,

Aron, Tucker, Penni, and the extraordinary Cruisery team


P.S. The equation is simple: Brewery + Beach Cruiser = Cruisery.

501 State Street: A Tale of Transformation

Originally known as the Shaw House, this illustrious 3-story hotel graced downtown Santa Barbara with its presence, boasting a magnificent wrap-around balcony that added to its charm. The Shaw House remained a significant landmark until the late 1880s when it underwent a transformation, emerging as the New Morris Hotel. Some captivating snapshots of its evolution can be found below.

Tragedy struck on the fateful morning of June 29th, 1925, when a devastating earthquake razed the New Morris Hotel, along with much of Santa Barbara. UC Santa Barbara preserves haunting images captured the day after this cataclysmic event. One particularly poignant photograph reveals the once-elegant balcony lying in ruins around the hotel.


Hope, however, emerged from the rubble. On July 3rd, 1928, the city of Santa Barbara issued a permit to J.C. Fast of Goleta, allowing the rebuilding of 501 State Street. The permit estimated the cost at $15,000, with Chas M. Urton appointed as the contractor, reachable at the telephone number 2271.


Further chapters in the building's history unfolded. On August 27th, 1928, permits were granted for the installation of two metal signs, announcing the arrival of the 'Western Auto Supply Company.'


Fast forward to June 2nd, 1948, when another permit was issued, this time for remodeling the front windows to welcome 'The Pep Boys of California' as the new tenant.


In the year 1976, on January 29th, an electrical permit marked the presence of the 'Santa Barbara Humane Society Thrift Store.'


The year 1993 witnessed a sign permit approval for 'Duffy Daugherty's Gridiron Grill,' granted to local restaurateur John Scott, who also boasts ownership of Longboards, Tee-Off, Harry's, and the Harbor restaurants.

But the most significant transformation occurred on May 25th, 1995, when a permit for tenant improvements heralded the birth of the 'Santa Barbara Brewing Company.' This marked the beginning of 501 State Street's journey as the oldest continuously operating brewery in Santa Barbara.


Finally, on December 5th, 2018, 'The Cruisery' opened its doors, weaving a new chapter into the rich tapestry of our building's history. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have been a part of our storied past.

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