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HobNob Tavern
[closed, no longer in business]

21 W. Victoria St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 564-7100


Reviews by the General Public

Great Find off State
Reviewer: Krista and Tony from Goleta, CA
Hob Nob turned out to be a great happy-hour find for us recently. They seem to have a decent selection of bottled beer and are one of the few places in town that serve the excellent Figueroa Mtn. Brew Co beers on tap. Wine wise their selection is a bit limited but impressively they serve by the glass from bottles kept fresh on a nitrogen system. We only had appetizers but were quite impressed by the Chicken satay and the prosciutto flat-bread. Although we didn't order them the sliders looked pretty good too. The atmosphere here is really nice, its hip but still traditional and while its off State its still close to the theater district and easy parking. Honestly we couldn't find a fault here and look forward to going back. T


Poor Service, Overcharged Credit Card
Reviewer: Amber from Santa Barbara, CA
The waiter was not friendly and barely paid attention to us. I thought he forgot about us for a little while. When we asked what type of seafood was in the seafood linguini, he said "fish". The food was fine, but there are many other places to go in SB that are way better for the price. Then I checked my account balance and they overcharged my credit card by three times the amount! Glad I saved my receipt! I won't go back even though I usually like to go have a drink in the bar.


out? OUT!
Reviewer: rick brown from Santa Barbara, CA
Went there on a Friday night w/a party of 24 Had reservations. Ordered an N/A beer,was told they were out. On a Friday night?! Was told they had ginger ale. To be fair my server felt bad to give such a lame excuse. Obviously a managent problem. Actually had to go BUY my own and ask them to serve it to me Rick Brown first time diner


Relaxing.
Reviewer: Sean Weber from Santa Barbara, CA
The atmosphere is relaxing and fun; everyone here in friendly. Food is great.


Great food, Great Bartender
Reviewer: Christy from Santa Barbara, CA
Finally a bar with a great bartender. I'm so sick of going into bars in town and being served by inexperienced, young girls who have no interest in good - old fashioned service. I think his name is Chris. This is a hip and fun place. The chef is top notch. The food is beautiful and delicious. Service in the resturaunt is so so. My server was sampling his ghetto rap (explicit version) to another table nearby which was just obnoxious. He was so full of himself it was such a turn-off. I may not be back to eat but I will be back with friends to drink in the bar.


Owner lacks etiquette, very uncomfortable experience
Reviewer: R Williams from Santa Barbara, CA
We have been to Hob Nob a few times since the name change. The drinks and food are good but having to hear the owner verbally abuse his employees is something I rarely see in any restaurant setting, let alone a place which is attempting to be somewhat of a nice establishment. In an effort to provide constructive criticism here are my suggestions: 1) speak to your employees as though they are human beings 2) it is always best to deal with issues out of earshot of customers 3) an owner should be personable - my last 3 visits was the same: no smiles while he storms about the restaurant. This COULD be a great restaurant....


Good Aptmosphere, Great Staff and Really Bad Ownership
Reviewer: James Biesty from Santa Barbara, CA
This is hard to rate the service because the staff is excellent and so is the service. The food is good as well but the biggest problem is the owner. He comes in and yells very in appropriate and berating things to the staff. It makes you feel very uncomfortable and most of what is wrong with Hob Nob is because of him. My wife and I have been there 4 times and every time we heard the owner say things to his staff that were incredibly inappropriate over trivial issues. It kills the mood. If it wasn't for the owner we'd love this place. We just don't want to see another waitress or bartender get treated like a slave.


What's up with the new SLOW bartender?
Reviewer: Ronald Woz from Santa Barbara, CA
Went into Hobnob for the second time this past Fiesta Friday and the FREE Fiesta food was excellent but our drinks took forever!!! I guess there is a new "bar keep" that was having a hard time with multi-tasking ??? Maybe the owners should teach the "new" bartender how to actually pay attention to the drinks that are ordered instead of trying to do some fire tricks at the bar (when your slow you can show off!! We were very thirsty). The server appologized for the "new" bartender and that our drinks were coming soon; but when I went to use the washroom, I saw the bartender outside smoking talking on his cell(Do that on your own time, not while customers and staff are waiting for drinks and shame on you for not washing your hands before returning to make our drinks.) I will return to Hobnob because I love it there, but I really hope he learns multi-tasking and soon.


Great Food and Service
Reviewer: Carol from Eugene, OR
My daughter and I had dinner at HobNob recently and really enjoyed our meal. The wait staff was courteous and prompt and took good care of us. We will definitely go again on our next visit to Santa Barbara.


one word, AMAZING!
Reviewer: Bradley Wents from Santa Barbara, CA
i was very reluctant to go to HobNob tavern after reading some of the reviews. i can honestly say that my expectations were blown out of this universe. the service was great, the food was amazing, and the atmosphere was fun. upon walking in and sitting down the bartender instantly left his station and brought a menu and a smile! he was very knowledgeable on the drinks and menu and gave some great recommendations, the Ahi nachos, i know weird right? were amazing! and the sweet ace was to die for; not too sweet, easy drinking, and strong! we later found out the the drink was his specialty cocktail and was named after him! its so refreshing to see owners running a family style business! will definitely be back!


Great place
Reviewer: Beth from Southern Ca
Wow, a lot of negative feedback. Our experience was quite the opposite. We arrived with a party of 7 adults and 2 small children. Service was immediate, and I was told the food was very good. (I didn't eat) Our waitress, Jamie, was awesome. Very perky and attentive to all of our needs. She knew what we would need, and delivered, before we even asked. I can't really say that about the rest of the staff. Lacking basic interpersonal skills, they were clumsy and appeared bored. The owner may want to implement training on basic customer service skills. A smile goes a long way! Overall, we plan on returning with hopes our fave Jamie is there.


Same old Epiphany
Reviewer: Brendon from Santa Barbara, CA
I was excited to try the new HobNob Tavern but what a disappointment. The lack of effort to try and hide Epiphany's old menu was amazing. From the 'Cougar Cooler' to the 'Truffle Fries', it was the same old mediocre Epiphany. My mojito had a brown stem and three wilted leaves! At least go to the effort of picking the mint off the stem! The Happy Hour special 'Sunny D' cocktail was anything but special. The food was good & bad. Good flatbread but soggy calamari & the truffle fries were lacking in truffle...Don't even get me started on the 'Live Music' which was RatPack done badly. At least it was a welcome change from the piped music mix of 80's disco & bad techno!


not much has changed since epiphany
Reviewer: clare from Santa Barbara, CA
i've dined here before when it was epiphany, they changed the name and some of the decor but not much else. service was not bad, but i was sitting at the bar and overheard the bartenders talking about the horrible ownership and problems with their checks??? the owner, alberto? (not sure if he was or he just said he was), happened to be sitting outside and was being loud and a tad bit obnoxious. food and drinks a tad bit overpriced. probably wont be back soon.


Fun environment, tasty food, expensive drinks
Reviewer: Brie from Santa Barbara, CA
Fun place to hang out with friends after work or on the weekend. The food is pretty good. Drinks are a little overpriced..I've been to much nicer restaurants where drinks are cheaper. $9.50 for a small margarita is a little too much. I would go more often if drinks were cheaper.


It's OK for the price, but not fine dining.
Reviewer: Gail from Goleta
This was our first time. When we entered we were overcome by the cacophony from the bar/tavern area, where folks were having a grand time, and accoustics there were nil. We had reservations for dinner on a Friday night. It was not busy when we arrived, but no one was there at the desk to greet us. (I think they might have been short-handed.) We asked for a table away from the noise, but we weren't seated too far away. The bread plates on the table were dirty and greasy, so we sent them back. Our waiter was very friendly and helpful. The rolls were delicious! Food was OK. They have a ways to go to make this a good dining experience.


Fun and hip place for drinks and nibbles!
Reviewer: Jill Lintukorpi from Santa Barbara, CA
Fun hot spot with a younger crowd for SB. The bustling bar had nice decor and intimate hip feel like a local bar in New York. Also, good service. Our waitress remembered our last name when I added another drink our tab after 45 minutes. When does that happen in SB! The appetizers we tried were good. Outdoor patio great for parties with cool enclosed couch booths.


A horse by any other name...
Reviewer: KAJ from Santa Barbara, CA
First time visiting since the change over from Epiphany. Wait staff was very challenged by a busy friday night. Slow to order drinks and even slower to receive them. Had the 'fresh' local halibut which was firm and crisped outside but inedible and mealy on the inside, veggie risotto was crunchy and flavorless. Thank gosh they could handle steamed spinach! Staff was apologetic but the owner was condescending. Way better places to spend your hard earned dollars at in this fine town!


Yum! So good!
Reviewer: Jennifer Foster from Santa Barbara, CA
We had a gift certificate for Epiphany's that we didn't get to use in time so we used it for Hob Nob instead. We had never been so didn't have any expectations. Boy we were impressed, the food was beyond good- Ahi Nachos- amazing, sliders were so good, on this fantastic housemade bread, the best slider I've ever had! Service was friendly and un-rushed, cocktails inventive and delicious, dreaming of that Cucumber press now! We will be back!


$3 split salad fee? you must be joking.
Reviewer: Bryan from Santa Barbara, CA
but they aren't. two people. two meals. one salad. split fee? turns out that's just the beginning. the food & wine aren't so cheap, so why should the restaurant be?


Food enjoyable, service atrocious
Reviewer: Katie from Santa Barbara, CA
Our first time at Hob Nob. Will nerver go back. Food was acceptable. It was one of the worst dining experiences we have ever had. Service so rushed we could never relax. Our server tried to sell us a full bottle of wine. When we opted for two glasses we were served small portions. It is noisy, rushed, and plain not fun. They need to to have a real training session for their servers and emphisize letting the diner relax!.Bad, bad, bad!


We had a blast!
Reviewer: Doreen S. from Santa Barbara, CA
A group of us ( 8 adults in their 40's) met up at HobNob last night- I had not experienced it since it changed over from Epiphany. Love the new changes and new menu. Casual. fun. hip. Menu is simple and good. Easy items to share with a group. Best sweet potato french fries Ive ever had, loved the steak bites and the local halibut that most of us ordered we all gave a thumbs up. Service we had was great not one issue? It was packed and there was good people watching- all ages seem to come and go there. Great place to meet up with a group- lots of people celebrating birthdays! We will be back.


Great for cocktails and appetizers in the bar
Reviewer: K from Santa Barbara, CA
Great time with some girlfriends. The night we were there they were short staffed but it was great to see the owners and bartenders all pitching in to serve tables. We always sit in the bar and have always had great service. Prices are totally reasonable and the martinis are fantastic. As a former restaurant manager I really appreciate seeing owners who jump in and start bussing tables! Nice job!


SAD!!
Reviewer: james from Santa Barbara, CA
The service is horrible, i went there with my girlfriend recently and i ordered the mac and cheese because i know from experience that it is awesome. The mac was not the same, i mean if you are going to bring in a new chef... and he plans on keeping old items from previous chefs at least cook it right!! Very sad, my girlfriend got steak bites, which was the only thing i could recommend and they were like chewing on cardboard!! Re: the service, i overheard the bartender complaining about money and how the owners just changed the name of the rest. so their checks could clear!! WOW the owners should be running a better business than that and tell your staff to watch who they r talking around!!!! VERy sad that "hob nob" has gone so down hill...


A MUST.
Reviewer: Sean Weber from Santa Barbara, CA
Very good food. Good Atmosphere. Friendly people. The Mac 'n Cheese is outstanding.


High expectations
Reviewer: Veronica from Santa Barbara, CA
The food was good and may had tasted even better had the service not ruined our dinning experience. First we were greeted by a waitress, took our drink order and five minutes later greeted by a waiter. Turns out he wanted the table and we realized this since he was fighting with the waitress just a few steps from the table. As the evening progressed we only witnessed more of this behavior amongst the staff and also from the manager towards the staff. Maybe this is common in a busy restaurant, but we had not witnessed it before. It would probably be a good idea not to sit customers in front of the kitchen area were orders are coming out and tables are being discussed. If I ever go back I would request to be seated elsewhere and also make sure they are honoring any discounts they are advertising, but that's another story.


Terrible attitude
Reviewer: Richard from Ojai, CA
We had enjoyed Epiphany so we decided to try HobNob at the same location. We had a reservations and were seated immediately, that was nearly the last time we saw anyone. We sat down for 20 minutes with no one approaching us, as they walked by. Finally we got the attention of someone who brought us a waiteress. Nearly the first word out of the waitresses mouth was that she had to charge us corkage on the bottle of wine that we brought, not about how she was sorry about the wait or the specials. We were then told by the owner that we were seated at the wrong table and had to move, this is after 25 minutes there. They took us to an area that had not been cleaned and the waitress was spraying the table with cleaner as we were starting to sit. There was no table clothe or silverware and a very dirty bench seat. At this point we decided to leave. The attitude of everyone there seemed dismissive and non-apoligetic, including the owner. The food may be great but we will never know. We dine out often in SB and we had never left any restaurant before.


first visit to santa barbara and what a find
Reviewer: Terry Moore from Alameda California
My wife and I made our first trip to Santa Barbara last week. We did all the top ten best and most popular restaurants and we had great food and service at most. We found HobNob quite by accident and were more than pleased. The atmosphere was warm and very comfortable. The service was very good. The menu had something for everyone and the prices were very reasonable. The homemade potato chips with blue cheese and the mac and cheese were great. The flat bread and the filet mignon were excellent. Every thing we had was cooked perfectly and tasted great. On our next trip we will definitely visit Hob Nob again to try the many other interesting items on the menu.


welcoming in a new era
Reviewer: lemonjelly from santa barbara, ca
I attended HobNob's soft opening on 12 March. I have a lot of patience for restaurant openings, and a soft opening is a great way for a new business to enter the scene, learn from the experience and make fast adjustments.
For a soft opening, HobNob's first night was crazy busy. Construction was probably taking place just moments before the doors opened. The two bartenders were very busy preparing new cocktails developed just for the new business, and with limited resources. They did an amazing job of making me and my friends a number of specialty cocktails, and coordinating with the wait staff to provide bread and butter and our appetizer of the mac and cheese.
I only visited Epiphany for its cocktails and small plates, so I'm happy to see that this is now the primary focus of the new space. It's now more fun, casual and affordable than the full sit-down dinner they had before (with the corresponding higher price tag)
Cocktails: I liked the Old Pom best, with bourbon and pomegranate syrup. Second favorite was the Cucumber Crush, which was very light and refreshing, just in time for this great spring weather.
Of the breadrolls, there was a sundried tomato, a rosemary and a plain roll provided, alongside a big pat of butter. I liked the rosemary best, while the sundried tomato was good without butter because the flavor was strong enough to hold its own. Or maybe with a little olive oil instead of butter? The mac and cheese was good! Rich, without being stodgy. Love the toasted breadcrumbs on top.
People who came to the old business for the drinks and apps might not find that much has changed, but the move to focus on casual nibbles and a more affordable overall bill makes sense to me. I have fewer dining dollars available in the current economy, so I welcome the opportunity to have a specialty cocktail and a small plate of something for under $20.


shows promise
Reviewer: Alisa Haley from Santa Barbara, CA
We ate at HobNob the 2nd night it was open. The service was warm and friendly and efficient. The food was mixed. Our group loved the ahi "nachos", sweet potato fries, and steak bites. The fish tacos and grilled cheese with bacon & tomato were both OK, not great. The biggest disappointment was the truffle parm fries. HobNob offers several types of gourmet fries, but they are ordinary frozen shoestring fries with some added toppings. For an item figuring so prominently on their menu, the fries should be something a bit more special. At least house-made.


Opening Night Jitters
Reviewer: Brian from Santa Barbara, CA
We went on Friday, the 12th. I think it was their opening night after postponing for a week or two. I was expecting something totally different from Epiphany but was a little disappointed. Not much had changed. I cannot give too bad of a review because I think there was some opening night logistical issues that plagued them. Some examples were the beer taps weren't working and the staff didn't seem to know a lot about mixing drinks or what they had available to serve. I am sure that will improve with time. Didn't try too much of the menu but the mac and cheese was pretty good and the drinks were not weak. I'll give them a month and then go back for a second look.


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