ORCUTT, Calif. - The name is Old Town Orcutt but there's plenty of new things happening in the northern Santa Barbara County town that's become a destination for wine country tourists and locals.
What was once sleepy truck stop between Highways 1 and 135 in the southern Santa Maria Valley is now bustling with activity and commerce.
"I think its approaching a destination, I think its getting there", says local resident Brian Tedsen, "we've lived here for 15 years now and its certainly more of a destination than it was 10 or 15 years ago and I think that trend is only growing with local the wine industry."
Investment in Old Town has been substantial in recent years and continues to attract new businesses.
"I personally think there's a lot of potential in Old Town Orcutt", says local realtor Lincoln White, "you see what's going on in Los Alamos and the popularity down there, and you look at what we have up here, bigger streets, better parking, more options, I can't imagine that this isn't going to be the place to come for the foreseeable future."
Town planners have preserved the old west charm that has a new energy from businesses like Niya, the first sushi and Asian-fusion restaurant in Old Town.
"Its been good, we have a lot of good locals that come back regularly", says Niya owner Eric Huynh, "Old Orcutt supports us, we support all the other restaurants in Old Orcutt, so its been a good response."
Then there's well-known establishments like the Far Western Tavern.
"There's no hustle and bustle, its a small town vibe and its beautiful and you can still come up here and get a good meal", says chef Adam Measurall, "and this is wine country, you know there's a lot of really good wineries up here and we're producing a lot of really good wine."
These are good times in Old Town Orcutt and that's music to the ears of those who've invested much in its future.
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