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Blue Owl’s Cindy Black (right) and Nui now serve breakfast and lunch on Canon Perdido Street in addition 
to late-night State Street eats.

Paul Wellman

Blue Owl’s Cindy Black (right) and Nui now serve breakfast and lunch on Canon Perdido Street in addition to late-night State Street eats.


No Longer Just a Night Owl

Cindy Black’s Second Blue Owl Serves Breakfast, Lunch, and Tea


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Perhaps you’re afraid of the State Street scene, where the only thing in shorter supply than sobriety is the fabric of young women’s skirts. Or perhaps you go to bed so early you don’t even know there’s another 11:30 on the clock. If so, all the hot talk — an Independent Foodie Award last year, mentions in the New York Times and Food & Wine since — might not be enough to get you to the late-weekend-night-only Blue Owl at Zen Yai. Well, there’s good news for you, as Cindy Black is opening a second Blue Owl, this one in the former Bitterman’s Deli spot on Canon Perdido — and it’s only open for breakfast and lunch. Oh, and a laid-back tea time, the very antithesis of the original Owl’s drunken rowdiness.

Don’t worry, though, as this is still the same talented if endearingly crude Cindy Black, who once said about the original Owl: “Some nights, I’m Don Rickles with a vagina and a wok.” While the new spot’s menu is still in flux, Black stressed, “This is a very different Blue Owl. There might be a version of one of the late-night spot’s dishes — instead of fried rice it could be a cold rice salad — but don’t come expecting the same stuff.” She has been test-driving items like brûléed waffles and breakfast pizzas.

She sees this new spot as a place to grow, explaining, “I want to get better at making bread and pickles.” But don’t expect a typical deli. “We’ll serve homemade bread, but less bread on smaller open-faced sandwiches,” said Black. “They’ll be small, pretty sandwiches with ingredients from the Farmers Market. There are a ton of great delis downtown already. This will be a little bit different.”

Also different will be the family-style table that dominates the room. “As soon as people sit down for breakfast, we’ll bring them food — they don’t have to order,” she explained. “And the seating will force people to interact. Montecito couples will be right next to hipsters who will be right next to French tourists.”

4•1•1

Eat breakfast and lunch at the new Blue Owl (5 W. Canon Perdido St., [805] 705-0991, theblueowlsantabarbara.com, Mon.-Fri., 7am-4pm, Sat., 8:30am-4pm) or keep going to the original Blue Owl at Zen Yai (425 State St., Thu.-Sat., 11:30pm–2:30am).

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