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Café Coyote welcomes Mitchell as new GM

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Café Coyote Old Town has welcomed Mike Mitchell as its new general manager; in his position, Mitchell will oversee management, personnel and the overall operations of the restaurant.

Mitchell comes to Café Coyote most recently from the Oceanaire Seafood Room, where he served as general manager and operating partner. He opened the Oceanaire in late 2004 and under his leadership, the restaurant was honored with more than 50 industry awards.

"As much as I have enjoyed the fine dining market, I am thrilled to begin a new challenge in my career. Lehn and Ritch Goetz, owners of Café Coyote, have been dear friends of mine for more than 15 years and I look forward to working together with two of San Diego's most respected and established restaurateurs," said Mitchell.

Mitchell has established a loyal following through his general management of such San Diego establishments as U.S. Grant Hotel's Grant Grill, Marine Room, Fio's in the Gaslamp Quarter, the Star of the Sea Room and the La Jolla Country Club. He has also served on the CRA board of directors and education committee for the past 20 years, and last year served as president.

"This is an incredible opportunity for our restaurant. Mike is an exceptional leader and dedicated member of the community," said Len Goetz, restaurant co-owner and president of the CRA San Diego chapter. "I am confident that he will contribute significantly to the future success of Café Coyote; we could not be more thrilled to have him joining us."

The Gaslamp Quarter Association has taken the initiative to turn the Gaslamp Quarter into a top holiday destination during the 2008 season. Gaslamp for the Holidays, as it is being called, is expected to draw crowds from all over the world to see the historic district lit up and to participate in the festivities.

The Gaslamp Quarter will be illuminated and vibrant from 5 p.m. to midnight every night between Nov. 26 and Jan. 1. Plans have been developed to light up the rooftops of the historic buildings along Fifth Avenue and in addition to the specialty lighting, Gaslamp for the Holidays will introduce three all new holiday events, including Blue Christmas in the Gaslamp Quarter, the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade and the Poinsettia Bowl Battle of the Bands in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Scheduled to take place on Thursday, Dec. 11, Blue Christmas will target the jazz and blue enthusiasts with performances by blues and jazz musicians throughout the Gaslamp Quarter at various venues, with additional complimentary street talent.

The first-annual Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade will take place on Sunday, Dec. 14, where San Diego pet owners will be invited to dress up with their pet in their best holiday costumes and will march down Fifth Avenue under the famous Gaslamp Quarter arch.

Finally, on Sunday, Dec. 21, two days before the Poinsettia Bowl, the historic district will be filled with a competitive and festive crowd comprised of the competing teams, their cheer squads and sports enthusiasts, coming together to watch the bands battle.

There is a new West City campus being built for the San Diego Community College district's continuing education branch, which once complete, will be the district's Campus of Excellence for Hospitality and Consumer Science.

As part of the $1.55 billion propositions S and N construction bond program, the $16 million West City project is the culmination of many years of dreaming, planning and listening to the needs of the workforce and the community. The new facility was very thoughtfully planned by a team of faculty, staff, designers and experts in the area of culinary arts, sewing, business technology and the performing arts.

"The culinary arts program is the first of its kind in San Diego County," said Chef Lee Blackmore, professor of culinary arts. "Students receive a well-rounded culinary curriculum, plus all students are instructed in the practical aspects of operating their own culinary business ventures, which helps them not only build skills, but gives them real-world knowledge to help them succeed by puttinng those new skills to work."

Targeted for completion in April 2009, the facility will allow the continuing education branch to grow programs that support workforce training in the hospitality arts. There will be a number of independent cooking stations so students can simulate or practice at the same time as their instructor. The building's features also create a live-in laboratory for sustainable practices in building, teaching and learning and it will also be eligible for Silver LEED certification.

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