Santa Barbara hotels, restaurants ready for Thanksgiving

Santa Barbara, CA – We’re only a week away from Thanksgiving.

This year, things should look a lot different for hotels and restaurants in Santa Barbara.

At the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, 358 rooms are already fully booked for the upcoming weekend.

“We are very excited to be fully open this year compared to last year,” said Derek Kokinda, Senior Director of Marketing for The Ritz-Carlton Bacara. “As far as occupancy goes, we were completely sold out on the weekend.”

With indoor dining back in full force, Thanksgiving brunch at the luxury resort is booked up, too.

So much so that the Ritz-Carlton Bacara has added additional holidays from Friday, November 26 to Sunday, November 2.

“Thanksgiving Day breakfasts and lunches are already full, so we’ve added additional brunches across all of our outlets to meet demand,” Kokinda explained.

Next week marks the start of the winter holiday season, so the Ritz-Carlton Baccara has added additional staff.

“We want to ensure our guests are taken care of,” Kokinda said. “So we’ve been working on staffing throughout the year and hiring hundreds of new hires.”

Across town at Harry’s Plaza Cafe, staff are preparing for a lot of people to talk on Thanksgiving.

According to general manager Kevin Hebert, the restaurant has already secured more than 700 reservations.

“Last year, there was only outdoor seating and places for on-the-go use,” he said. “This year at full capacity, plus outdoor seating, plus ready-to-use spaces, we expect it to be a big year for us.”

Despite a nationwide turkey shortage, Harry planned ahead while ordering nearly 90 turkeys in advance.

“Traditionally, we’ll make turkey with homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, broth, and homemade cranberry sauce,” Hebert said.

For Harry’s regular Bob Nelson, this week has been a tough one, as his wife, Joan, has passed away.

However, that won’t stop the 87-year-old from stopping at his favorite Thanksgiving spot.

“Even though she’s not here anymore, all my other friends are here,” Nelson said. “Harry is so unique and so special, I love him.”

Nelson won’t be eating alone on Thanksgiving, as some of his family members driving from Orange County are planning to sit with him at Harry’s iconic red leather booths.

Harry’s Plaza Café will remain open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving. For reservations, you can click here.

Thanksgiving brunch will be served at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara on Thursday, November 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 evening. It will also take place on Friday, November 26 through Sunday, November 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

To book this dining experience, you can visit their website.

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