Pedigree Team Of Dan Russo, Jason Paluska And Nick Flores Create An Artisan Take-out Restaurant In Santa Barbara's "funk Zone"

Pedigree Team of Dan Russo, Jason Paluska and Nick Flores Create an Artisan
Take-Out Restaurant in Santa Barbara's "Funk Zone"


SANTA BARBARA, California; August 8, 2013 - Lucky Penny, arguably the most talked about new structure in Santa Barbara, will open to the public on Friday, August 9, 2013. This free standing take-out restaurant, with a fa�ade completely tiled in real copper pennies that shimmer from the Central Coast sunshine, is one third of the triumvirate that includes The Lark and Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant in the center of the Funk Zone and home to the Urban Wine Trail. Along with its sister businesses, Lucky Penny joins the commitment of sourcing directly from the surrounding areas while welcoming visitors to rediscover the magic of Santa Barbara and experience this revitalized section of the city.

Headed by General Manager Dan Russo and the culinary team of Executive Chef Jason Paluska and Executive Sous Chef Nick Flores, Lucky Penny will offer artisan pizzas from a hand built wood-burning oven, fresh baked goods and carefully crafted coffee drinks prepared from La Colombe coffee, the acclaimed Philadelphia company that sources earth conscious farm-direct coffees. Guests may order from indoors or a walk up window for casual take out snacks that can be enjoyed on the property's charming rustic patio, one of the nearby wine tasting rooms, packed for the beach or enjoyed at home. Other beverages include Lucky Penny red and white house wines blended from local Santa Barbara Country fruit.

Lucky Penny is located on the grounds of the historic former Santa Barbara Fish Market owned by the Castagnola family, who originally built the 10,000 square foot building in the 1920's as a commercial fish processing plant. In this once thriving fish market space within walking distance to the Santa Barbara train station and Stearns Wharf, the restaurant is destined to become the leading landmark for locals and visitors.

It took the team six months to hand-glue each penny onto woven mats backing before the tiles could be affixed to the building. Local high school volunteers from the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Future Leaders of America and Youth Interactive made the tiles in exchange for donations to their respective organizations, raising $1K for each charity. A social media competition is currently under way, inviting people to guess the exact number of pennies on the exterior for a chance to win the Grand Prize of having an eponymously named pizza plus a hosted pizza party for ten. Lucky Penny will continue its mission to give back to the community with the Lucky Penny Foundation, serving the needs of the Santa Barbara area.

Inside, the wood-fired oven was custom built by hand by Giuseppe Crisa, a trained pizzaiolo from Sicily, Italy. At a peak temperature of 1000 degrees, the oven can cook a pizza in less than a minute. Like its sibling businesses, The Lark and Les Marchands, Lucky Penny makes use of repurposed materials in whimsical fashion. The hanging train bell dates from 1886 and was used to announce meal times on board. Wooden crates, perched on the south wall, were previously used to dry fruit and salvaged from an orchard in Napa, California. The copper trim on the exterior, slowly self-burnishing to a turquoise patina, originated form an all-girls school in France. The retro modern d�cor pays homage to the historic value of the past while inviting the public to enjoy the Funk Zone and the fascinating cultural mix found within its boundaries.

Longtime Santa Barbara resident and Managing Partner Sherry Villanueva decided to put in her two cents when she saw a destiny for the Funk Zone. She began planting the seeds of an idea to transform an old warehouse one block from State Street into a gathering place for locals and visitors to eat

Contact: 

Jannis Swerman Jannis Swerman & Company
818.789.7747, 323.646.7981 jannis.swerman@gmail.com