Frankland’s Crab & Co. Opens April 5th In Montecito; Phillip Frankland Lee Gives Us A Glimpse Inside

A few months ago, we learned from Eater that Phillip Frankland Lee (Scratch Restaurants) was taking over the restaurant spaces in the Montecito Inn.  After a number of delays one is about to open, bringing new lifeblood to a community devastated by the Santa Barbara Fires and Mudslides.  Recently, I had a chance to speak with the energetic and affable Lee, who was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to give me a glimpse inside his newest eateries.  Frankland’s Crab & Co. is set to open April 5, and offers a menu of seafood in a bright and airy casual space with high stools and communal tables.  His other Montecito Inn restaurant will be named The Monarch and has a menu of  local Santa Barbara products cooked over almond wood: think pizza, pasta, and “We’ll see”.  Look for an opening in late summer or early autumn.  We wish him the best of luck.

IMG_3290.jpgPhillip Frankland Lee inside Frankland’s Crab & Co. 

IMG_3288.jpgThe progress inside The Monarch

IMG_3292.jpgFrankland’s Crab & Co. at night

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Hillstone Restaurant Group Expands Into Montecito

It wasn’t that long ago that an old-timey nursery sat at 1255 Coast Village Road in posh Montecito, a relic of the now-tony street’s utilitarian past that has disappeared to accommodate the patrons of estates worth millions just a stone’s throw away.  The nursery was demolished to make space for a new development that will house a branch of LA-based Hillstone Restaurant Group (Houston’s, South Beverly Grill, Gulfstream, Bandera), according to the ABC application posted outside.  This will be a prominent national chain presence in the sleepy seaside town known for its fiercely local and independent restaurant scene.  And while I can confirm neither an opening date nor the exact branch of the HRG, rumor has it that the new venue will be an R+D Kitchen.

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