Most anticipated San Diego restaurant openings in 2022
Speaker 1: (00:00)
A lot of restaurants temporarily, or even permanently close during the pandemic. And now some restaurant owners are having trouble hiring enough staff. So what is it like to open a new restaurant in the middle of a pandemic? According to a recent article by San Diego union Tribune, reporter Pam Cragan at least three dozen new high profile restaurants in ours will be opening in San Diego this year. Pam joins me now to talk about some of the most anticipated restaurants of the year. Pam. Welcome.
Speaker 2: (00:28)
Thank you very much. Happy to be here.
Speaker 1: (00:30)
So these restaurants are all opening up sometime throughout this year, which means they've been in the works for a while. Now, what challenges has the pandemic brought to these restaurant owners trying to open a new place?
Speaker 2: (00:41)
Well, you mentioned one of them right up front, and that was the staffing shortage, uh, that has affected a lot of restaurants to the point that they are, many of them are now closed on Mondays and Tuesdays or whatever days were their slow days before. Uh, so that's been a big challenge and the supply chain problem limited access to ingredients. It's hard to get proteins and they're very expensive and labor prices. They just went up on January 1st.
Speaker 1: (01:05)
Now I wanna get into the details about some of the restaurants actually opening up this year. Let's start with Gordon Ramsey's hell's kitchen opening up at the Harris's resort in valley center. What can visitors expect there
Speaker 2: (01:16)
That should open probably sometime in the spring. And if you've watched Gordon Rams, these TV show health kitchen on, uh, Fox it's, it's a very colorful, big production kind of look. And that same look is gonna be transferred to the restaurant, which is taking over the former buffet restaurant. It's gonna have a full scale restaurant and a bar and a lounge, and it's gonna feature, sir. Some of the dishes that Gordon Ramsey is known for, which are like, uh, pan-seared scallops, lobster, Reto, beef, Wellington, crispy skin salmon, and sticky toy pudding.
Speaker 1: (01:49)
All sounds delicious. And this restaurant will be taking over the former buffet restaurant space at the resort. How has the pandemic impacted visa casino, buffets? Well, you
Speaker 2: (01:59)
Know, casino buffets for many years have been what they call lost for casinos. They would compete to offer the most extravagant buffet for the lowest price in order to drive foot traffic in hoping people would stay to gamble. And when the pandemic hit casinos closed and, uh, of course all buffets closed because they were seen as unsafe at the time. And, uh, casinos had to learn ways to lure customers back without a buffet. And they've gotten pretty good at that. So it's not likely they're going to generally for the most part, reopen those buffets unless they need to, because they don't wanna lose money. So hell's kitchen is a good example of reimagination of a buffet space. And some of the casinos are looking to use the space to create, sit down restaurants. Your plated food is brought to them. Maybe unlimited. You can keep getting several plates if you ask your server, but the good old use the same utensil in front of the Snee shield, uh, buffet days are gone.
Speaker 1: (02:55)
Another restaurant opening up is chicken Hawk and a local skateboarding. Legend. Tony Hawk is opening up this new restaurant. Can you tell us about it?
Speaker 2: (03:03)
Yes. Well, Tony Hawk is pretty well known as a fan of, uh, restaurant dining. He can spot him out all the time. He, he loves to eat out. And one of the restaurants he loves to eat out at is called ju which is a Michelin Stard French restaurant Carlsbad and their founding chef in Andrew Bashier left, uh, June and Jo last year to do some new things. And he's friends with Tony and they are gonna be opening chicken Hawk, which is a casual restaurant serving fried chicken sandwiches, food made with FreshCo, local seafood and cocktails. And it's gonna open in the former Panos Mexican restaurants based in Leucadia sometime in the spring, late spring, most likely,
Speaker 1: (03:42)
And the new American restaurant, Madam Bon's has a unique story behind the name. Can you tell us about the history behind this restaurant?
Speaker 2: (03:49)
Yes. Uh, the restaurant is opening in the former hotel, Lester, which was a gas lamp quarter district historic hotel that opened in 1905. And it is named for Bertha, Bonnie white, who ran what they call a respectable brothel in on the property in the 1920s in the former stingy district or the brothel district of the gas lamp.
Speaker 1: (04:13)
Hmm. And what can people expect with that restaurant?
Speaker 2: (04:15)
The menu is gonna be American with like Cajun prime, rib bite salad, house biscuits, rotiserie meats, Brio, bread, pudding, ice cream flights, and a pretty extensive cocktail menu, uh, with specialty of vodka Bourn and Jen cocktails. It should open in late February.
Speaker 1: (04:33)
All right. And glass box San Diego is another new restaurant opening up in Carmel valley. Can you tell us about this new place? And what's so unique about this restaurant
Speaker 2: (04:42)
Glass box will fill the last vacant space left in sky deck, which is a large 13 restaurant collective at the Delmar Highland shopping center in Delmar Heights. And, uh, glass box is just what it's described as it's a large rectangular glass box restaurant that people can sit, you know, on a bar, a surrounding the sushi chefs who are gonna be making, like I said, sushi and Yaka. And it is a project created by a, uh, local chef in San Diego who runs a Japanese restaurant. So, uh, it's got good chef credentials. And
Speaker 1: (05:14)
For people who are looking for a new, fresh juice in smoothie spot joy, organic kitchen is opening next month. Tell us about it. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (05:21)
Uh, Joya is going to be opening in a office and, uh, commercial complex in the LA Jolla area near U C S D. They're gonna be serving fresh pressed juices and smoothies Andys and coffee. They're also gonna do a lunch menu and they're gonna do a cocktail menu during the happy hour. And this isn't just for workers in that complex called the boardwalk at science center drive. It's also for the public
Speaker 1: (05:46)
And the lab collaborative. Isn't just a restaurant. It has more to offer. So what more will this venue have for visitors?
Speaker 2: (05:53)
The lab collaborative is just starting to open up its first elements on Cleveland street and Oceanside just this month. And a project is gonna be a chef driven, coastal seafood, uh, California restaurant with a full bar program. It's also gonna have its own mobile food truck. It's also gonna have a coffee bar named jet fuel, and it's also gonna have its own farm. But at this point point, the only thing that's opening up just jet is jet fuel coffee bar.
Speaker 1: (06:20)
Other than restaurants, a new winery is coming to town. The Liberty station wine garden will be opening soon. Can you tell us about it?
Speaker 2: (06:26)
Yes. That's a project from Carus sellers, urban winery, and they're gonna be opening a 10,000 square foot indoor outdoor wine garden and restaurant in the arts district at Liberty state, which is New York con pane restaurant. Uh, it's gonna have a Coppertop bar and two very large outdoor patios, and they're gonna serve panini and salads and build your own cheese and share Cary boards and items like that to accompany Caruth California style wines.
Speaker 1: (06:52)
And how do you foresee the restaurant industry growing this year as we are already seeing a in COVID cases at the start of the new year?
Speaker 2: (07:00)
Yeah, the year hasn't gotten off to a great start, but fortunately restaurants have not been ordered to close down as yet, but you know, honestly I do these, uh, most anticipated restaurant opening stories every year. And last year I had 20 this year, I have 40. So to me that's a good sign. Um, I think that at some of the trends that you're gonna see at restaurants are continuing problems with the labor shortage and, uh, restaurants trying to accommodate the higher wages that they're paying. So expect more restaurants to be offering order at the counter service kiosk, ordering, ordering from your cell phone and ways to reduce their front of the house staffing. I think restaurants are going to be using more sustainable reusable, take home packaging for regular diners to try and reduce their take home costs and kind of accept the fact that the third party delivery and takeout meal trend that started in the pandemic is going to continue.
Speaker 1: (07:53)
All right. I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune, reporter Pam Cragan Pam. Thank you so much.
Speaker 2: (07:59)
Thank you. I appreciate the time.
New restaurants, bars and wineries are opening around the county throughout the year, giving locals and visitors more dining and to-go options. At least 36 restaurants are set to open even as more challenges are presented to the restaurant industry amid rising COVID-19 cases.
San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Pam Kragen joined KPBS Midday Edition to talk about her recent article, which lists the most anticipated restaurants of the year.
Although the year has started with a surge of COVID-19 cases in the county, Kragen said, the number of new restaurants opening in the county has doubled compared to last year.
"The year hasn't gotten off to a great start, but fortunately restaurants have not been ordered to close down as of yet," Kragen said. "But honestly, I do these most anticipated restaurant opening stories every year, and last year I had 20, this year I had 40. To me, that's a good sign."
Some of the restaurants opening this year that Kragen talked about on Midday Edition were, Chick 'n Hawk in Encinitas, Glass Box San Diego in Carmel Valley, Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen in Valley Center, Joya Organic Kitchen in La Jolla, Liberty Station Wine Garden in Point Loma, Madam Bonnie's in the Gaslamp Quarter and The Lab Collaborative in Oceanside.
She said some trends she expects to see in the restaurant industry this year are continuing problems with labor shortages, owners trying to accommodate higher wages and more to-go and delivery options.