SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Coast Village Road is getting its sparkle back in Santa Barbara after suffering from the Montecito mudflow disaster in January.
Ironically, the street only had significant damage on the eastern end, but it was the only open road on this side of town to fill in while U.S. Highway 101 was closed by tons of debris and water. It became a major passage way for emergency vehicles.
Now it's cooking again, with nearly all the restaurants open and customers coming out for evening meals, and to see their friends..
At Little Alex's, a corner restaurant where Coast Village Road and Hot Springs come together, the tables were full for the dinner rush.
Mary Dombek checked Thursday to be sure before she came down with her husband. "I called and said 'hello?' and I said 'are you open?'" Then she found out Alex's had food starting today. Dinner plans were immediately set.
"It's really nice," said Steve Dombek. "We're gonna come as often as we can."
Besides restaurants, the area has quaint boutiques, housing and many financial institutions.
Earlier in the week Jeannine's restaurant opened the doors with coffee and pastries to create a welcoming spot for customers and neighbors, and the charge was only a donation.
For workers on the front line, they have desperately needed to have things return to normal, to stabilize their income and in some cases, make their monthly rent.
They were also very happy to see some familiar faces coming through the doors.
"They missed it. They miss the food," said Jose Maldonado who works behind the counter at Alex's. "They were anxious for us to be open. We are glad to be open again."
Some locations have big banners out announcing their reopening.
Others, like Starbucks had surprises. The hot drinks were on the house all day.
A few businesses still need some time to get everything back in place and reopen. They include the famous Lucky's restaurant and the landmark Montecito Inn, which turns 90 years old this month.