Sunday night at the Academy Awards, host Ellen DeGeneres joked about the rain that was depressing Southern California. There was probably one restaurant in Santa Barbara that didn’t find anything funny about the storm and the high surf that came with it.
According to KNBC TV in Los Angeles and multiple YouTube videos, customers of Moby Dick Restaurant in Santa Barbara witnessed and filmed a scary incident Saturday. Due to the winter storm, a group of giant waves came up so strong that they smashed through the building’s windows.
Forrest Buchanan was inside eating breakfast. He noticed the waves and figured the pier would be shut down.
“The dining room was filled with the sound of glass shattering and people screaming as a wave of water rush over the dining room carpet,” Buchanan wrote in the description of a YouTube video he uploaded. “I then looked at the manager and asked, ‘Do you mine (sic) I don't pay for my breakfast and move on?’”
Breakfast was on the house, or the ocean depending on how you want to look at it. Jill Freeland was also eating her first meal of the day and was filming when the tide came in.
“High tide and big swell can make for some salty eggs!” she joked in her YouTube video, which has over 150,000 hits. “Great front row seat for a much needed storm in our area.”
Thankfully there were no serious injuries. Of course, a few customers were soaked in the process.
“My concern was everyone in the room and a possible second and third wave,” Buchanan continued. “I literally had a few bites and found myself helping the patrons while staff stood around helpless.”
Buchanan posted three videos of the incident. The final piece is where the window actually smashes. That eight-second clip, uploaded Saturday, has over 700,000 views.
Moby Dick Restaurant closed Saturday but reopened the following day. A manager at the restaurant tells us that this was a unique experience for the business.
“I’ve been here 10 years, not once has this happened,” said Gerry Mora. “I think the wave didn’t physically break it. The wave damaged the pier, and I think it threw up a piece of wood. This is thick glass.”