We’ve always loved Dawn O’Brien’s bars — the Mercury Lounge in Goleta and Elsie’s in Santa Barbara, which she has since sold, not that it looks any different. But DOTW has never been able to cover them because of their lack of hard liquor n’ cocktails.
That has changed, sometime back in July, with the opening of The Imperial, in the location once held by the Bak-Dor. And Ms. O’Brien has brought her own funky style to the remodel. There’s the tiki vibe, the low golden brown lighting, and the extensive vinyl selection, from Blue Note jazz to modern pop.