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Jill's Place brings quality food to Santa Barbara

By Elisha Neubauer

For Jill Shalhoob, the food industry just seemed like home.

Growing up, Shalhoob spent her days in her father's butcher shop, The Shalhoob Meat Company. As she aged, she began working for the family business, learning the food service and meat cutting industry first-hand. Eventually, the business outgrew its location and left the Santa Barbara Street location open.

As the family had been rooted in the location since 1973, Shalhoob knew she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps. She quickly acted, opening her own business in 1987. Paying homage to her father and the business that started it all, she named the new shop Shalhoob Deli & Catering.

"My dad inspired me from such a young age," Shalhoob said. "I learned so much of the trade from him; meat cutting, grill techniques, basic good food recipes."

Shalhoob Deli & Catering served deli-style lunches and off-site catering. The spot quickly became a popular go-to for lunches for the surrounding Santa Barbara Street area, as it was the only proper eatery for several blocks. After 15 years of loyal dedication from consumers, Shalhoob decided it was time for an adjustment and launched a full-scale remodel of the facility.

"I decided to expand into a full-service restaurant, remodeling the original butcher shop space, upgrading the kitchen, and creating a dining room," she said. She continued with the old-school lunch menu but added a new sit-down full bar and dinner menu.

As it was no longer just a deli, Shalhoob realized the eatery's name needed a facelift, too. Having heard many of her long-time customers referring to the place as "Jill's," she believed it to be a fitting name and Jill's Place came into existence. When it comes to the atmosphere at Jill's Place, Shalhoob wanted it to be a comfortable setting; somewhere people would walk in and feel like they were family.

"It's a local neighborhood grill that takes pride in making the regulars feel special," she said.

Clearly, with so many years under her belt, Shalhoob managed to nail that sentiment. In fact, her eatery has garnered so much local attention, that she recently played host to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"This past year Jill's Place was selected to host Hillary Clinton, the DNC's first female presidential candidate," she said. Shalhoob said that the event made her feel humble, proud to be a small business owner for the past 29 years."To have in my restaurant a room full of local women that are dedicated, successful and powerful in their own rights was special," she said.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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