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BizHawk: Owner Chad Brown Pumped to Open AREA 44 Gym in Old Town Goleta | Business

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From all-you-can-eat shrimp to all-you-can-lift weights — for $44 a month. The former Sizzler building in Old Town Goleta is now the AREA 44 gym.

Chad Brown, originally from El Segundo, opened the gym in October. He is newly married and is getting settled in the area.

“Goleta is awesome,” Brown said. 

AREA stands for Aggressive Resistance Exercise Association, and the gym is offering new memberships for $44 per month for the first 200 members, through the end of 2021. There’s no contract involved. Personal training sessions are available at an additional cost.

The gym features weight machines, resistance training, heavy balls, and a variety of training and aerobic equipment. Brown said the gym offers something for everyone, whether an elite athlete or someone simply trying to lose weight or build endurance. The gym’s trainers will develop an individualized plan for people who sign up.

“It’s not just heavy equipment,” Brown said. “It’s also functional to where you can go think outside the box.”

Brown, a former athlete, is also a certified trainer.

“If you are looking for someplace to have a good understanding of what fitness can be like and have fun, this is the place,” Brown said. “It’s a family-style gym.”

The building is at 5555 Hollister Ave. in Goleta. The space used to house the Sizzler Restaurant, before it went out of business in 2012. The building has been home to other businesses, including the Butler Events Center, over the years.

Aloha to New Fun Center?

Although no one is quite sure when, apparently the San Jose-based Aloha Fun Center is opening an entertainment center inside the old Macy’s building in Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara.

The center will feature laser tag, roller skating, an arcade and “good vibes.”

It’s unclear when the place will open. Efforts to contact the ownership for details were unsuccessful. 

According to Instagram, Aloha Fun Center is holding a hiring fair on Saturday, with “pay determined on experience.” Junior associate jobs start at $15 an hour, according to the social media post. Jobs include skate guards, skate instructors, an emcee DJ, an assistant general manager and shift leads.

“Aloha Fun Center is a growing family entertainment center in the Bay Area,” according to its Instagram post. “We strive to bring fun and enjoyment to people of all ages. We love our community and continue to grow it.”

The hiring fair ad states, “Walk-ins welcome. On the spot hiring.”

According to Mary Lynn Harms-Romo, the senior marketing director for the Paseo Nuevo mall, the company will occupy the first floor of the building.

“This is a great use for this building that will give families something new and fun to do in downtown,” Harms-Romo said.

Original Habit Burger Sells

The eight remaining independently owned Habit Burger eateries have been sold to Yum! Brands.
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The eight remaining independently owned Habit Burger eateries have been sold to Yum! Brands. (Jade Martinez-Pogue / Noozhawk photo)

Yum! Brands will assume ownership of the eight remaining independently owned Habit Burger eateries on March 1, according to a news release. 

Yum! Brands, a publicly traded company that owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC, purchased the other 300 Habit locations in a deal worth $375 million in 2020. 

The Reichard family had maintained ownership of the eight locations until now. 

Brent Reichard and his brother, Bruce, expanded from Goleta throughout Santa Barbara and then nationally. The original restaurant was founded in Old Town Goleta, at 5735 Hollister Ave. 

The restaurant is known for its old-fashioned milkshakes, charburgers, onion rings and generous portions of French fries. 

The national Habit Burger Grill operates nearly 300 company-owned and franchised restaurants across the United States and in China.

“I will miss working with all of our incredible team members and am so proud of all their hard work and commitment to take care of our customers every day,” Brent Reichard said in a prepared statement. “I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with many great people and really value what a great journey this has been.”

State Street Restaurant and Bar Closes

The Project Corazon Cocina & Bar has closed permanently.

The concept, at 214 State St. in Santa Barbara, shut its doors for good in November.

“With great pleasure we want to thank everyone for the amazing support we have received in the past two years,” the company stated on Instagram. “We hope to have brightened some of your darkest days with delicious food during the pandemic. COVID has won this one!”

The company still has a presence in the Santa Barbara Public Market.

Santa Barbara rushed to close State Street to cars and allow outdoor dining. The move boosted restaurants on the 500 block and nearby, but also pulled some restaurant traffic away from the lower blocks. 

The restaurant opened in July 2019 and vowed to serve high-quality, “elevated” Mexican food, with a focus on tacos, mescal tequila and beer. 

— Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.