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Carlsbad residents provoke new eatery influx

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The city of Carlsbad is experiencing a restaurant boom that will bring new eateries for just about every taste, budget and dining style. More than two-dozen eateries spread throughout all corners of the city are either opening or in the works, with choices ranging from Mediterranean cuisine to nationally renowned burgers, enormous fluffy omelets and margaritas the size of a birdbath.

"This influx of new restaurants is great for our community, especially in today's economy," said Sandra Holder, community development director. "Residents can enjoy new restaurants close to home, and our local economy gets a boost."

In a recent survey, Carlsbad residents were asked to identify the No. 1 way that Carlsbad could improve the city's economy. Expanding and improving shopping and dining was the most popular response, cited by 32 percent of those who provided an opinion. The survey was part of Envision Carlsbad, a city-sponsored visioning process that invites community members to work together to create a vision for Carlsbad's future.

Among the familiar names that diners might recognize is Hodad's, long an Ocean Beach institution for burger lovers, which is set to open its second location in the Carlsbad Village. Another transplant is Diane Powers' Casa de Bandini, now open in its new home at The Forum, following a long run in Old Town State Park.

The roster of newly opened eateries includes Sammy's Woodfired Pizza on Avenida Encinas, which reopened in June, after being rebuilt following a fire in 2008.

The downtown Village area is among the areas benefiting from the infusion of new dining establishments now under way. City redevelopment efforts have focused on establishing the village as a focal point of community life, a vibrant and pedestrian-friendly place with plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options, from galleries and high-end shops to award-winning theater.

Other parts of Carlsbad have no reason to feel left out. New eateries and cafes have opened, are under construction or in the planning stages in many different locations around the city. They include a new P.F. Chang's China Bistro and BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse that are being built at the Carlsbad Paseo project on Paseo del Norte, across from the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

Recently, Red Door Interactive announced the success of its recent online media campaign for Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill that ran in parts of California, Arizona and Utah.

The six-week initiative increased awareness of the new, limited time All-American Taco and resulted in nearly 10,000 coupon downloads, more than 2,000 new Beach Club email sign-ups and more than 19,000 store locator searches.

Red Door's campaign worked in conjunction with ad networks that focused on social data targeting, re-targeting and on-banner action creative as well as specific local Web sites in six markets; San Diego, Orange County, Sacramento, San Francisco, Phoenix and Salt Lake City. The results included more than 22 million impressions and 25,000 clicks to the Rubio's site. The restaurant chain also achieved a 13 percent coupon redemption rate across all markets, with San Diego leading the way with a more than 41 percent overall conversion rate and the highest number of Beach Club email sign-ups.

"We're estimating a significant positive return on Rubio's investment for this campaign," said Lauren Dougherty, business supervisor at Red Door Interactive. "This was achieved by identifying the online properties that had the best concentration of people we wanted to reach, utilizing effective behavioral targeting, and then tailoring our messaging and advertisements in ways that would pique their interest. We pride ourselves in our ability to turn this art into a science, and are proud of the response we received."

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego has been selected as a winner of the prestigious 2009 Gold Key Award by readers of leading industry magazine, Meetings & Conventions. Winners are nominated based on an exceptional level of professionalism and overall quality of the property and its meetings facilities and services. Hard Rock Hotel San Diego will be featured alongside other 2009 winners in Meeting & Conventions' November Gold Awards issue.

Properties are rated based on stringent industry criteria including staff attitude, meeting room quality, guest service quality, food and beverage service, proficiency of handling reservations, level of technical support, and equipment and range of recreational amenities.

Recognized as the West Coast's premier boutique yacht show, YachtFest 2009 will open the international yacht season at San Diego's Shelter Island from Sept. 17-20. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, YachtFest San Diego represented by San Diego Marine Exchange, offers what larger shows don't -- a close glimpse inside some of the world's most luxurious floating vessels that range in size from 60-155 feet, or more.

More than $60 million worth of boats, yachts, super yachts, luxury cars and other accessories will be on display and for sale during the show at Shelter Island's Island Palms Hotel and Marina.

Visit yachtfest.com for more information.

Mission Valley's Hazard Center recently welcomed All American Grill as its newest restaurant concept.

Owned and created by well-known San Diego restaurateur Mark Oliver, formerly of George's at the Cove, the new restaurant offers a creative chef-driven menu featuring high-quality American-made ingredients and flavors in a casual and comfortable setting that also includes an outdoor dining terrace and bar.

Joining Oliver at All American Grill is highly regarded chef Timothy Au, who collaborated carefully with Oliver on menu offerings that not only capture the spirit of America but have flavors for every palette. Au, previously chef de cuisine of Molly's at the San Diego Marriott and Marina, shares Oliver's commitment to offering only the freshest and highest quality ingredients at reasonable price points.

The restaurant is located in a former Trophy's location and since purchasing the prior sports bar last spring, Oliver has worked diligently on the new concept. In addition to creating all new menus for lunch, dinner and happy hour, he has reinvented the look and feel of the restaurant to reflect its new brand. The interior features carefully-chosen artwork that reflects icons of classic Americana -- from a vintage corvette, to images of Mt. Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, the 1969 Apollo Moon Landing and more. Oliver retained the television screens for those patrons who enjoy watching sports events.

Pala Mesa Resort in Fallbrook has promoted Travis Inchcliff to new head golf professional. With 10 years of golf management experience, he will be responsible for managing the day-to-day golf operations, member relations, tournament management and guest service.

Inchcliff began his career at Pala Mesa Resort in 1999 in Outside Services, and subsequently as assistant golf professional. Prior to his promotion, Inchcliff was first assistant golf professional at Pala Mesa Resort. He previously held the same title at The Retreat Golf & Country Club and Bernardo Heights Country Club.

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