Brick & Order: The Goodland Hotel

Brick & Order | The Goodland Hotel | Dine X Design


Very rarely do I find myself on vacation where I immediately feel at ease stepping into a hotel, suddenly having zero plans of going anywhere else for the remainder of the day. I’m one of those, runs my self ragged need a vacation from my vacation types of adventurers. That being said, I’m trying to embrace the art of the unplug and sit still long enough to recharge in the moment….thankfully The Goodland Hotel made this idea of R&R very easy.

Incredibly hip, and carefully edited the space is a perfect mix of eclectic and modern with a vintage surf-vibe bar and a restaurant patio of our own backyard dreams. Even the lobby is perfectly curated…I mean, when was the last time you actually sat and enjoyed a glass of wine in a hotel lobby? Exactly.

The attention to detail doesn’t stop with the decor – both the Good Bar & Outpost Restaurant have a surprisingly unique take on California cuisine with a few surprise southern twists….I’m still dreaming of the barrel aged grits. In fact, I’m already plotting my return visit to grab a seat at the outdoor bar as soon as possible.

We turn to The Goodland Executive Chef Derek Simcik & Design Firm Studio Collective to get a better understanding of the thought that goes behind creating a perfectly styled yet laid back Santa Barbara experience. 

image credit: john ellis

Chef Derek Simcik | The Goodland Hotel | Dine X Design


Explain your culinary vision for The Goodland Hotel in three words:

Unique, Approachable, thoughtful

How do you go about creating a menu that is reflective of the visual space and experience it’s being enjoyed in?

For me, it’s always been about the guest experience and trying to bring some fun with the food – both for myself and for the guest.  Our “build your own guac” is a great example of that.  It’s interactive and guests enjoy being able to have fun.  I also love creating dishes that bring back child hood memories—such as our banana pudding.

image credit: aubrie pick

Outpost Menu | Brick & Order | Dine X Design  image credit: aubrie pick

What specific dishes do you feel best represent look and feel of  The Good Bar and Outpost Restaurant respectively and why?

With GoodBar and Outpost there is a different vibe/feel to both but yet a cohesive flow at the same time so I try to approach both in the same way. Goodbar’s “good bites” are small dishes that represent an elevated lounge/bar menu.  I love drawing from the “California fresh food movement” – where I work with whatever is in season!  Another great example is the newly added Crostini, which is a charred grilled rustic baguette with a fresh spring pea romesco spread, arugula, mint, basil, crispy garlic and shaved parmesan.  It’s delicious. 

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image credit: kristin guy

As for Outpost, there is a lot of energy in that space, and a huge social aspect to the space! It is an open space, where the indoor seating and outdoor seating flow.  Outside, there is a large communal table in the middle of the patio and a large 29 seat bar in the center of the space.  It just screams to me “come in! relax and be social! have a few bites and a few drinks and let’s chill and talk!” In that aspect, the menu definitely menu goes in that direction.  Not only the “build your own guac”, but we have a whole section of the menu that is labeled ONE|2|three! The baskets full of bao buns and trays of tacos is nothing but Good Food with no pretentious about them inviting you to just lay back enjoy the snacks and have a great conversation with who you are with!

Outpost | Food | Brick & Order | Dine X Design

image credit: aubrie pick

The Goodland Hotel is an incredibly playful, yet chic environment. How has that inspired you as a chef and what can we look forward to in the future?

Oh it makes it easy to have fun when we’re coming up ideas for our special events! For example, on the second Tuesday of every month, you are invited to come get “baked” with me – Haha.  We do a family style large clam bake for the table.  It’s something fun, interesting and different.  As we keep developing the trust in our regulars and locals we will be able to push the limits just a little more and open up more doors to more fun and out of the box ideas with both food and drinks!

Good Bar Patio | Brick & Order | Dine X Design image credit: kristin guy


Studio Collective | Dine X Design | Brick & Order


Explain your design creative vision for The Goodland in three words: 

Carefree, California, Cool

How do you typically kick off a large scale project such as The Goodland, which is not only a hotel but one with multiple dining/bar options? What kind of research and creative think-tanking takes place in the early stages? 

Kimpton Hotels, who manages the property, held a large two day creative session including all of the key consultants and members of the ownership team whose primary goal was trying to determine the hotel’s ‘muse’.  This exercise was both extremely specific and useful, as it was something we could always go back to throughout the design process as a point of reference.  In addition, as a design studio, we always start projects out with a good amount of research, both in terms of creative inspiration as well as contextual relevance, casting a fairly wide net and then fine tuning the concept as me move through the design process.


Outpost Bar | Studio Collective | Brick & Order | Dine X Design

image credit: kristin guy

The Goodland has an exquisitely chic balance of modern pieces and vintage finds,What are your favorite pieces or design elements in both The Good Bar and Outpost Restaurant?  Did you have certain local vendors/creatives/stores that were key players to bring this California Cool vibe to life? 

Why, thank you!  With design, like children, its hard to pick favorites.  That being said, there are a few pieces we were very excited we got to include in the project.  As an example, the owner of the hotel (Paul Makarechian) was friends with Jim O’Mahoney, owner of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, who was kind enough to lend some amazing pieces to the project including an original California Lancers Flag from the Union Army from 1864, which found a perfect home in a cozy corner of The Good Bar (pictured below). 


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image credit: kristin guy

In addition to the collection of vintage and historical pieces, as you mentioned, we mixed in some custom, more contemporary pieces as well.  One amazing vendor that Rebecca from our studio found was a company called Evolution Product who provided several of the dining chairs for The Outpost (pictured below).  From a design point of view, they were a great fit, but even more importantly, the company donated two chairs to needy schools in South Africa for every one chair we bought for the project, so we were obviously excited to be able to work with them on The Goodland.

The Goodland | Outpost Interior | Photo Credit Silas Fallstich

The Goodland | Outpost Patio | Photo Credit Silas Fallstich

image credits: silas fallstich

What were the biggest rewards and challenges while working on The Goodland and what did you learn from this particular design experience? 

The schedule for the project was extremely aggressive and, as in several hospitality projects, proved to be the biggest challenge, but we had an amazing team, including ownership, the architect, landscape designer and the general contractor, all of whom bought into the vision we put forth and all of whom wanted to create something truly unique for this project.  The result was a fluid process which allowed us to make several creative design decisions on the fly and have them executed perfectly to create the vibe we were going for and meet the challenges put forth by the schedule.  The reward, of course, is seeing the finished product, open for business, being used and enjoyed by guests and locals alike.  As designers, there’s not a better feeling.

The Goodland | Good Bar Exterior | Photo Credit John Ellis

image credit:  john ellis


Looking to add a little Cali-Surf Vibe into your own space?

We put together a shopping guide inspired by this Santa Barbara style to get you some of that eclectic mix of zen-chic infused into your own private staycation.

BRICK & ORDER  is a DXD Original Series which takes a behind the scenes look at restaurant development by learning about the creative process of both the design firm & the executive chef, discovering how they each bring a unique experience to life on location and on the plate.

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