Ty Warner’s Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club set to reopen
Beanie Babies owner sends letter to members informing them of developments
The Beanie Babies fad may have faded with the end of the 1990s, but interest in Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club still remains.
The club, a property owned by Beanie Babies billionaire Ty Warner, is set to reopen on January 20, after being closed since March 2020 for renovations and pandemic-related restrictions, SFGate reported.
In a letter to club members, the notoriously reclusive Warner expressed gratitude for their support during the $135 million renovation, which includes notable upgrades such as a larger beach entry kid’s pool, a new cold plunge pool, resurfaced tennis and pickleball courts, and a renovated Fins restaurant with a wraparound bar.
Membership fees have increased from $500 to $700 per month when the club shut down in 2020 to $2,500 per month.
The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group will oversee all food and beverage operations at the Coral Casino, including the public-accessible Tydes restaurant.
The reopening follows controversies involving changes to the club’s rules, including making Tydes open to the public and concerns about increased traffic and parking issues.
“This is the exact time when local residents who can’t afford Ty Warner’s version of Channel Drive will come down and look for a space on a public county street to see the sunset for free,” Santa Barbara resident Chris Soldo wrote in an email to the Board of Supervisors on July 10, according to the outlet. “How will these limited parking spaces not be taken up by restaurant patrons cars? How can the Restaurant mandate and force public with reservations to use valet parking? Will valet parkers be permitted to use public streets?
“[The owner’s] desire is to create a place with ‘buzz, synergy’ (from his own Montecito Planning Commission presentation) but that does not belong juxtaposed on the serene public beachfront called Butterfly Beach,” Soldo continued. “This is why the Coral Casino has worked for years in the Community — its privateness has made it invisible. All that will change forever with a public business.”
Despite the concerns, county supervisors approved the changes in July. Warner’s other Santa Barbara properties, including San Ysidro Ranch and Montecito Club, remained open, but his Four Seasons-branded hotels, including the one in Montecito, have faced indefinite closure since March 2020, triggering labor disputes and a $6 million class-action lawsuit filed by former employees for loss of wages.
The Coral Casino’s reopening marks a significant development in Warner’s hospitality ventures, amid ongoing disputes and changes in his hotel portfolio, including a recent agreement to reopen his Four Seasons New York Midtown location in 2024.
— Ted Glanzer