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All-organic burger joint thrives downtown

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With a plethora of pricey restaurants flanking the streets of downtown San Diego, brothers Derek and Craig Cowling knew something was missing: a chic organic burger haven for cost-conscious diners.

Determined to offer food lovers a healthier take on the classic hamburger, the native San Diegans brainstormed their ideal restaurant. The duo opened O'Brothers, a green-minded refuge with inner-urban flair and massive windows overlooking Broadway Circle in Horton Plaza. What they didn't imagine was the incredible response to a menu where everything is 100 percent USDA Certified Organic.

Since opening their doors in February, the restaurant has grown 20-25 percent each month.

"Our eclectic menu and beverage selection will satisfy any diner who is committed to the organic lifestyle," said co-founder Derek Cowling. "From the bun and patty to the vegetables, condiments and drinks, every ingredient that goes into a customer's mouth at O'Brothers is USDA certified organic. No other restaurant downtown can make that claim. When we say everything is organic, we mean it."

To ensure O'Brothers' beef is 100 percent organic, each patty originates from humanely treated cows that graze over more than 300 acres of grass in the Dakotas for 16 months.

The brothers' concise menu includes an organic classic hamburger, cheeseburger and the Big O'Burger -- their signature creation served on a bun infused with O'Brothers secret spread and loaded with organic tomato, onion, avocado, cheese and bacon. Non-beef alternatives such as the veggie burger, chicken burger and Cobb salad are available. Drinks on tap comprise an assortment of organic beers, wines, teas and sodas as well.

In addition to lunch and dinner, O'Brothers offers a wallet-friendly Happy Hour menu on weekdays featuring sliders and fries for $5.

O'Brothers is located at 188 Horton Plaza, above the Levi's store.

Multi-media production company Groovy Like A Movie announced Creative Director Brian Kim received an Emmy for his work on the company's "Everyone Has a Story to Tell" TV commercial.

Kim won in the Animation and Graphic Design category at last Saturday's 35th annual Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards, which were held at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel.

"This is my second Emmy award, yet the sentiment of pride is unparalleled because this is the first Emmy award for Groovy Like A Movie," said Kim. "As the creative director, I've been brought in to raise our standard of work, and amongst each other we know we have been very successful. However, to be reaffirmed by your highly-respected peers within the community, in the form of arguably its superlative award, is nothing short of humbling."

The Emmy Awards recognize outstanding achievements in television and encourage the pursuit of excellence for those in the industry. The Pacific Southwest Chapter serves San Diego, Bakersfield, Palm Springs, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara and Las Vegas.

"The work that Brian produces for our clients is remarkable and his work on this commercial is a perfect example of why he deserves this award," said Brent Altomare, owner and executive producer of Groovy Like A Movie. "We're fortunate to have such a talented creative that helps us to produce top-notch products."

San Diego-based Groovy is also a past winner of the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) TORCH award for ethics.

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