Jon Mangini of URBN Restaurants Inc. -- the guy behind Gang Kitchen, BASIC Urban Kitchen + Bar and URBN Coal Fired Pizza — recently announced plans to expand east into downtown El Cajon. Expected to open in early 2014, the dual-concept initiative will house a yet-to-be-named brewery and a third URBN Coal Fired Pizza to Mangini's repertoire.
Mangini is bringing on Alex Carballo as executive chef and partner. Now executive chef of Stone Brewing Co., Carballo will leave Stone this month.
"El Cajon is uncharted territory for the group, and I love the idea of being able to offer the neighborhood something new and totally original," Jon Mangini says. "In regards to the new brewery, quality beer has always been a passion of the collective, and we're excited to share our interpretation of what great beer should be with the rest of San Diego."
Led by co-owners Arsalun Tafazoli and Nathan Stanton, the project details are under wraps, but the build-out is in the early stages of construction with a projected opening in early 2014, and is called their most ambitious concept yet.
The building was occupied for decades by Ironside, the wrought-iron gatemakers. The 1920s-era structure is the last industrial space in the immediate area to be redeveloped, according to a press release.
The mission of the restaurant's wine program is to make wine accessible for everyone. The wine list represents more than 300 selections from 14 countries.
The 2013 restaurant award winners were recently announced on Wine Spectator's website and will also be featured in the magazine's August issue.