SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - To the disappointment of many locals, a popular staple along Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara closed down. Rusty's Pizza was at the waterfront location for more than a decade, but has 7 other locations from Goleta to Carpinteria.
For years the company has been in talks with the city about replacing the aging Cabrillo Bridge located right underneath the restaurant. The proposed plan calls for the portion that currently extends over the creek to be removed with a second story added to replace the loss of that space, but the tower will remain untouched.
Locals who love this family style pizza restaurant were sad to see it go. Santa Barbara resident Charles Myles said, "it's really unfortunate, it's a really good spot."
Gillian Conway added "this is a staple of Cabrillo Boulevard. I grew up here. We always go to Rusty's. We'll just have to go to the other locations now."
The affected bridge is 90 years old. Costs for repair are estimated at $18 million. 88% of the project will be funded by the Federal Highway Administration Bridge Program as part of a national push to fix aging bridges. Construction is set to begin in the fall, and the project should be complete in about two-years.
Rusty's Pizza has left a sign on the door indicating a new location is set to open on lower State Street. They will move into the old Bee Bop Burger site at 111 State St sometime this Summer!