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Most anticipated San Diego restaurant openings in 2022

Customers sit in an outdoor dining area on India Street in Little Italy, June 18, 2020.
Andrew Bowen / KPBS
Customers sit in an outdoor dining area on India Street in Little Italy, June 18, 2020.

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.