The Cruisery story
Our initial opening team of 4 plus dogs (Tucker and Penni) flew over 1,500+ miles and drove back 2,000+ miles to help bring you the Cruisery. The trip took more than 8 nights and 9 days from start to finish. We left in late September 2018 and flew with the dogs to Dallas, Texas. Our plan was to pick up antiques from an auction we'd purchased and hopefully some inexpensive but unique vintage women's bikes. Our adventure to create a different but amazing experience on State Street had begun.
We did “research” the first night after we landed in Dallas- Check out The Tipsy Alchemist if you make it down there. After waking up late the next day we drove to pick up the 26 foot U-Haul (hungover of course). When we arrived at the auction house it was 98 degrees and 98% humidity in the middle of Nowhere, Tx. Luckily the two young guys on the team were STUDS and spent the next 3 or 4 hours in the blistering sun loading the giant U-Haul. The rest of us, including the dogs, took turns making up excuses to visit the air conditioned office with the women who ran the auctions. They guys were able to wring out their shirts by the time the truck was loaded- and it was PACKED!
After eating some BBQ we dropped the U-haul off at the nearest Walmart and headed off to do more “research” in Austin. If you ever make it to Austin- please go visit Rainey Street (see the Unbearable story). On our way out of town the next day we took our great friend Eric Klingensmith to lunch. Originally we knew him from Santa Barbara but had recently moved to the Austin area. Eric was instrumental in this process because he provided us with the list of places to “research”. I still miss him but he says he loves it there. After lunch we left for Oklahoma to pick up a puppy for one of our team. Denver was next but it was much more interesting with a new GSP puppy. We got to see my family, "research" some of Denver's MANY breweries and bars and stay in an epic loft Airbnb . We picked up a couple more vintage bikes in Denver and soon we were on our way back to Santa Barbara.
When we got back we knew we had a lot of ideas to talk through. We needed a menu that was creative, tasty and appealed to women as well as men. Our concept had to be interesting enough to compete with larger companies that were much better funded than us. We knew the Cruisery had to be approachable, affordable and fun. We spent the next couple of weeks researching menu ideas, testing drinks and picking up additional antiques and artifacts. Our amazing mixologist (and original General Manager- @jimbibe) came up with our drink menu in the kitchen at my house while we waited for the keys to 501 State Street. We received the keys on October 24th 2018 and after a lot of cleaning and painting, we opened 5 weeks later on December 5th.
Thank you for your support of this small Santa Barbara owned and operated business. We truly hope you enjoy our current version of the Cruisery. We are always working to get better for our amazing guests and friends. We are here because of you. We hope you cruise back soon.
Aron, Tucker, Penni and the amazing Cruisery team
PS- Brewery + Cruiser = Cruisery
501 State Street History:
The Shaw House was a 3 story hotel that had a beautiful wrap around balcony and remained an important part of downtown Santa Barbara until in the late 1880's it became the New Morris Hotel. Some of the pictures of the building over time are below.
The New Morris Hotel was destroyed by an earthquake along with much of Santa Barbara on the morning of June 29th, 1925. UCSB has photos taken the day after the quake. One of the pictures below shows the balcony collapsed on the ground around the hotel.
On July 3rd, 1928 a permit was issued J.C. Fast of Goleta by the city of Santa Barbara to rebuild 501 State Street. The permit said the building would cost $15,000. Chas M. Urton was the contractor and his phone number was 2271.
On August 27th, 1928 a permit was issued to erect two metal signs for "Western Auto Supply Company".
On June 2nd, 1948 a permit was issued to remodel the front windows for the new tenant "The Pep Boys of California".
On January 29th, 1976 an electrical permit was issued to "Santa Barbara Humane Society Thrift Store".
On January 4th, 1993 a sign permit was approved for "Duffy Daugherty's Gridiron Grill". The permit was issued to local restauranteur John Scott who also owns Longboards, Tee-Off, Harry's and the Harbor restaurants.
On May 25th, 1995 a permit for tenant improvements was issued to "Santa Barbara Brewing Company". This began the process of
501 State Street becoming the oldest continuously operating brewery in Santa Barbara.
The Cruisery opened on December 5th, 2018. Thank you for being a part of our history.