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San Diego Restaurant Week 2022 set to kick off

It’s a favorite of San Diego foodies. San Diego Restaurant Week is back. KPBS reporter John Carroll says restaurateurs are hoping it will give a shot in the arm to eateries, still struggling from the effects of the pandemic.

COVID-19 threw a wrench into a thriving dining scene in San Diego. Now that we seem to be past the darkest days of the pandemic, the restaurant scene is coming back to life, but there are still challenges.

“While the outlook is looking a little more promising, we still have an upward battle for sure," said Tom Ham's Lighthouse owner Andy Baumann at a Friday news conference to kick off San Diego Restaurant Week 2022.

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The news conference was held at Verbena Kitchen in North Park. The restaurant opened in July and, along with all of the nearly 100 restaurants participating this year, hopes that the deals offered during the next week will drive more customers to their tables.

John Carroll
San Diego City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn speaks at the news conference kicking off San Diego Restaurant Week 2022 held at Verbena Kitchen in North Park on April 1, 2022.

Restaurant Week begins on Sunday and runs through April 10. Prix fixe menus are available for lunch and dinner. Lunches are two-course meals from $10 to $25 a person; three-course dinners cost $20 to $60.

Though the worst days of the pandemic, when no indoor dining was allowed, seem to be behind us, restaurants are now struggling with supply chain issues.

At Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, Baumann said he’d had to pull one of the most popular items off of his menu: crab. He said there was just not enough of it on the market and what was there was not up to his standards.


And Baumann said it was still a big challenge to get enough people to work in restaurants.

“A great member, Dolores, who has Lolita’s Taco Shop that everybody loves, they’re now closed on Sundays and Mondays because of staffing," Baumann said.

Restaurants taking part in San Diego Restaurant Week 2022 are hoping that locals and visiting diners will, as this year’s motto says, "Savor The Spring" and help to buttress their bottom lines.