Chase Bar and Grill in downtown Santa Barbara has changed ownership with the help of Community West Bank and Cal Coastal.
Mathis is a Camarillo resident who served in the U.S. Air Force, where he managed food and beverage operations. Merino was looking to spend more time with his family and Mathis wanted to try his hand in the restaurant business. The timing was right, Mathis said.
“The timing was never perfect. Now I’ve worked long enough and got old enough where the timing became perfect,” said Mathis, adding that buying an established business mitigated some of the risk.
Mathis does not have any major expansion or renovation plans, only some additions to the menu.
“What I intend to do is leave the tradition alone, it has been there 30 years as it is for a reason,” he said. “It is such an established landmark and has such a loyal following that all I need to do is provide my energy and a couple of new ideas.”
Goleta-based Community West worked with the nonprofit Cal Coastal, a loan provider and guarantor, to facilitate the change in ownership for the restaurant that has served Santa Barbara since 1979. Financing was secured through the Guarantee Loan Program, which promotes small businesses that create or retain jobs.
“Chase Bar and Grill is such a fixture on State Street,” said Bill Filippin, executive vice president and chief banking officer of Community West Bank, in a news release. “We were proud to partner with Cal Coastal.”
Community West, which has more than $600 million in assets, looks to debut a full-service branch later this year at 4464 Broad St. in San Luis Obispo— its first in San Luis Obispo County.
Cal Coastal predominantly provides 80 percent loan guarantees, similar to SBA loans, when a small businesses’ cash flow, collateral or guarantor aren’t strong enough to qualify for traditional loans.
The Salinas-based nonprofit had to close its Santa Barbara and Ventura offices during the recession and is left with its Santa Maria office. But business has increased for Cal Coastal over recent years as it looks to bolster its tri-county presence.