History, future of Mattei's Tavern focus of fundraiser for Sheriff's Benevolent Posse

October 12, 2018
Mattei's Tavern in Los Olivos

Mattei's Tavern in Los Olivos, currently owned by Brian and Shamra Strange, opened in 1886 and has a storied past filled with famous and infamous guests.
Daniel Dreifuss, Staff

by Mike Hodgson

The history as well as the future of Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos will be presented at a late afternoon dinner and auction to benefit the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse.

Mattei’s Tavern, at 2350 Railway Ave., will be the location of the fundraiser from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, said a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse.

Noted Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society historian John Copeland will guide attendees into the past with “Tales of Mattei’s,” little-known stories of the famous and infamous who visited the stage and rail stop as well as the property’s many legends.

Mattei’s current owners and proprietors, Brian and Shamra Strange, will give the audience a vision of the future with their plans for the restored and enhanced property, the spokesman said.

Guests will be greeted at the hitching post by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Mounted Enforcement Unit, which will later present the colors, and will get to meet the Sheriff’s newest canine officer, Krypto, along with other members of the K-9 unit.

A full dinner with a top sirloin or barbecued chicken main entrée will be served along with beer from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. and wines from Strange Family Vineyards, Happy Canyon Vineyard, Saarloos & Sons and C5 Ranch and Vineyard.

Tickets at $125 per person or $1,000 for a table of eight are available at www.sbsheriffsposse.org.

Proceeds from the tickets and the limited-item auction will benefit the Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse and its efforts to provide items and equipment needed by sheriff’s deputies.

“We deeply appreciate Brian and Shamra Strange’s personal involvement in hosting and participating in this event to benefit the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office who work so hard to protect us every day,” said Richard S. Kline, president of the Benevolent Posse.

What funds will do

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse board is composed of volunteers from throughout the county who donate their time to help the Sheriff’s Office fill needs not funded by the constrained county budget, Kline said.

Recently, the Sheriff’s Posse has helped obtain such equipment as protective vests, night vision goggles, specialized weapons, computer equipment and a headquarters barn for its Mounted Enforcement Unit.

The Posse has also supported the DARE program that teaches elementary school students to make good decisions and understand the harmful effects of substance abuse, bullying and violence.

Currently, the Benevolent Posse is helping identify technology and equipment gaps in the Sheriff’s Office and working to procure those items.

“The pace of change with respect to technology and safety equipment makes such assistance critical to help keep the deputies safe and operating at the highest level of efficiency,” Kline said.

“Unfortunately, our list of needs for the Sheriff’s Office continues to grow faster than our ability to raise monies to fill those needs,” he continued.

“And, with the likelihood of emergency situations occurring such as fire and flooding, which will require new advanced specialized equipment, community support through the Posse is vital.”

As a not-for-profit public benefit corporation, all contributions to the Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse are tax deductible.