When Seabrisa’s Eatery moved from Fourth Street in Hollister to the Hollister Municipal Airport, some regular patrons thought it might be a mistake. It’s a little way out of town, but what regulars didn’t say was they were more than willing to travel to the airport simply because the food is that good, according to regular customer and Hollister City Manager Bill Avera.
Husband and wife team Kaley Arie and Lupe Farias bring passion to their business seven days a week. Arie, 23, admits running a restaurant full-time leaves little time to do much else. But it seems they wouldn’t have it any other way.
The new location of Seabrisa’s Eatery, which opened Feb. 18, is in a city-owned airport building. There’s been little time to rest as customers fill the tiny, two-room restaurant every day. With Farias, 43, as the sole chef rustling up everything from fish-and-chips to burgers and even spicy ahi tuna tempura rolls, Arie does whatever else needs to be done: prepping food, serving customers and bussing dishes. That’s because even with 10 employees it’s been difficult to keep up with the demand.
“We moved here because it was brand new, there was more outdoor seating and parking,” Arie said. “Parking at the other location was an issue for a lot of people. It’s been crowded every day since we’ve been open. It was that way at Fourth Street, but there was a lot of construction for a long time and people couldn’t get through, so they just stopped coming.”
Arie recently started advertising on a small scale with coupons delivered throughout the city. She also started a Facebook page and a Yelp page and is designing a website for the restaurant.
Arie came from Saint Petersburg, Florida, and ended up in Hollister five years ago. Farias, the veteran restaurateur of the two, was 17 when he came to California from Mexico. He was just 18 when he started as a dishwasher at Max’s Restaurant in Burlingame, working his way up to kitchen manager at Mimi’s Café in Saratoga, and then the Cheesecake Factory, where he met Arie. The pair also worked together at Johnny’s Harborside in Santa Cruz.
“We were commuting and working 16-hour days at Johnny’s and we said ‘why are we doing that?’ when we could open our own place and be closer to home,” Arie said. “We’ve put everything into the place and we put in the same amount of hours and dedication as we did there.”
Arie and Farias married in 2016 and opened Seabrisa’s in November 2017. While they work together every day, Arie also continues her online college studies in business. Farias said somewhat pridefully that he never went to school, yet he has gone far owning his own business.
“I just worked all my life,” he said.
Arie envisions Seabrisa’s Eatery as not quite a diner, but rather an upscale restaurant. The menu is a mix of seafood, American, Japanese, Italian, and the classic British fish-and-chips. The only thing the restaurant is short of, she said, is employees.
“I need more,” Arie said. “We’re so busy. It’s a little smaller than our other place, but there’s more things that need to be done. I need at least two more servers, two more cooks and maybe a prep cook, as well, because Lupe is our only chef and he’s here all day, every day. And I need busboys, too.”
She said the crunch will only increase when they open the patio, which the city has not been able to complete because of recent rain. The last piece of business is the transfer of their liquor license from the old location. Meanwhile, the taps are ready and waiting.
Seabrisa’s Eatery is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m to 9 p.m Sunday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
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