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Wait to try the orange juice.
Baha Shehab, otherwise known as “Monsieur B”, has opened a restaurant specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine on the site of the former Pizza Mizza at La Cumbre Plaza in Santa Barbara.
Her fresh squeezed, mashed and whipped orange juice, which looks a lot like an Orange Julius, but much better and healthier, is just the beginning of the fresh produce Shehab sells.
It sells falafels, beef, chicken, burgers, sandwiches, hummus, baked goods, espressos, lattes, and a variety of Middle Eastern dishes.
âMost of the products we specialize in here are Jordanian cuisine,â Shehab said. “We try to make everything as fresh as possible. We don’t like to use anything pre-cooked. We cook everything here.”
Shehab spoke with Noozhawk on Wednesday from his restaurant.
He was born in Jordan and immigrated to the United States in 2011. The 30-year-old first moved to the San Fernando Valley, where his father lived.
âI love the food,â Shehab said. “That’s why I want people to taste something good and healthy.”
The biggest challenge he faces now is hiring people. No one applies for jobs, he said, from cooks to service staff. Once he is able to hire more people, he wants to offer grilled kebabs and other grills.
He also plans to open a second Mr. B restaurant in the food court of the Pacific View Mall.
So far, he said, Santa Barbara and La Cumbre Plaza are a perfect fit for his restaurant.
âI love this mall,â he said. “I really hope to see him alive again. I’m really doing my best to attract clients here. It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful.”
Shehab redesigned the interior, vacant since 2018. He sanded the tables, painted the walls and gave the restaurant a sleek and classy new look.
He is married with three children and can’t wait to open a chain of restaurants across California.
âI am really confident in what we are offering,â Shehab said. “It’s fresh, healthy and cooked just like at home.”
The restaurant is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dune Coffee opens on Calle Real
Dune Coffee continued to expand with a new restaurant in Goleta. Dune opened on December 20 at 5915 Calle Real.
“This cafe is the light of the pandemic: we signed the lease on March 7, 2020,” according to the company’s Facebook post. “Thank you for your patience. I can’t wait for you all to have coffee here with us, it’s really special.
Despite its high visibility on Calle Real, the spot experienced difficulties under the previous ownership. A yogurt shop and a pizzeria have both failed inside the building in recent years.
Dune has another location in Goleta, near Target, as well as two locations in Santa Barbara. It was formerly known as the French Press.
Toyota mechanic wins national award
Noah Marx, an ASE Certified Automotive Technician, recently received a National Achievement Award as Toyota / ASE Master Automotive Technician of the Year, according to a press release.
The event took place in Arizona, during the fall meeting of the Board of Governors of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
Around 48 automotive professionals were awarded at the event.
âNoah, who works at Toyota of Santa Barbara, is one of the outstanding ASE Certified Professionals recognized each year by different segments of the automotive service and repair industry,â said Timothy Zilke, President and Chief Executive Officer. ASE’s management, according to a press release.
âASE has honored extraordinary industry professionals across the country for over 40 years. We are proud to partner with Toyota in recognizing Noah’s commitment to excellence by providing the best auto service and repair. This dedication is reflected in the talented professionals we recognize each year and Noah represents the best of the best.
County unemployment rate is falling
The unemployment rate in Santa Barbara County was around 3.9% in November, with the highest unemployment rates in Guadalupe at 6.1%, and Santa Barbara at 5.9%.
Unemployment was down from 4.4% in October and 5.7% a year ago, according to the Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board.
Buellton had the lowest unemployment rate in the county, at 1.3%, followed by Goleta, at 2.6%.
The number of unemployed fell by 3,300 in November for the hiring of seasonal workers.