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Hospitality entrepreneurs keep expanding their entertainment empires across county

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San Diego hospitality entrepreneurs and restaurateurs are continuing to expand their touch of serving clientele, as notable owners and chefs are opening up new establishments this spring.

Tracy Borkum is bringing CUCINA enoteca to North County. It will act like a sister eatery of CUCINA urbana in Bankers Hill, which was also created by Borkum.

CUCINA enoteca will be a two-story, 7,000-square-foot restaurant and wine shop inside the recently renovated Flower Hill Promenade in Del Mar. It is taking over the former Chevys Fresh Mex stand-alone building.

The design of the multimillion project comes from Borkum, who is known for her designing talents, and Monika Crawford, who is a resident designer and retail buyer.

In-demand architect and designer Jennifer Luce will impart her expertise on spatial planning for the indoor and outdoor environments, while local artist Tocayo will create a massive mural to convey an urban sensibility. Mark Bausback is the architect of the entire project.

In addition, Vincent Design, Wood and Metal Design, Finishing Touch Millwork and Tazz Lighting will focus on various aesthetic elements throughout the space.

CUCINA enoteca will showcase a signature emphasis on custom-made creations, locally procured vintage finds, and reclaimed and repurposed materials.

Also as a nod to the location’s proximity to the polo fields and the nearby Thoroughbred Club, Borkum will create an “ode to the equestrian,” serving as a principal design focal point within a dedicated area of the space.

Eighty percent of the menu will mirror CUCINA urbana's line-up.

Furniture from CUCINA enoteca will also be sold at its online shop, as is the case at CUCINA urbana.

"I consider Flower Hill Promenade to be the best location in Northern San Diego,” Borkum said. “I’ve had my eye on it for nearly seven years and it’s the perfect spot for San Diego’s second CUCINA.”

CUCINA enoteca is slated to open in June.

On the westside of San Diego, Stone Brewing Co. is approximately nine weeks away from opening the second Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens.

This one will be located at Liberty Station in Point Loma and roughly 22,000 square feet. It will have a restaurant, brewery,1 acre of landscaped gardens and outdoor space, a company store and private event spaces.

The layout will be the same “industrial meets organic” design as the Escondido locale, said Stone Brewing Co. representative Sabrina LoPiccolo.

This location will also have a 10-barrel brewing system and a 40-plus tap draft system and a tasting room.

Stone Brewing co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner are investing $8 million in the new Liberty Station venue. It is slated to open in May.

Awbrey Cook McGill Architects, along with Hamann Construction, general contractor; Pratt Construction, general contractor for kitchen and bars; David Robinson Design Inc., interior design; Federighi Design Inc., kitchen design; and Schmidt Design Group, landscape design; are all part of the construction and design team.

The company also wants to add its fifth storefront (with 14 taps, tasting station and merchandise for sale like ones in South Park and Pasadena) on a vacant area on Kettner Boulevard, but no deals have been finalized.

“We are interested in the space but have not signed a contract to secure the location yet,” LoPiccolo said in an email.

In downtown San Diego, Ty Hauter, hospitality entrepreneur and owner of Good Time Design, plans to continue his “entertainment alley” vision in the Ballpark District with a new bar and dance venue opening in May.

Moonshine Flats will be an 8,000-square-foot rock-country/dance music club with a 100-foot bar; which Hauter said would be the longest bar in California.

There will also be a catwalk, similar to Hauter’s concert venue and club Block No. 16, over the bar.

Moonshine Flats (currently the Culy Warehouse) will be on Sixth Avenue, off J Street and around the block from his establishments the Blind Burro and the Cat Eye Club.

“The goal since we started down here was to, quite frankly, create an alternative area for the locals besides just Fifth (Avenue) and also create a new little district,” Hauter said.

Designs are continuing to be improved upon as construction goes, as is Hauter’s style, and final renderings of Moonshine Flats were not available.

After 44 years of service, El Bizcocho at Rancho Bernardo Inn has closed, but a new restaurant is scheduled to open in May.

AVANT will be the new 139-seat eatery and will offer a bar, portico, lounge and dining room seating, including two private dining rooms.

AVANT, the new restaurant at Rancho Bernardo Inn, is set to open this summer.

The name of the restaurant comes from the elegant counter-balance to the rich, warm and earthy décor the venue will have, according to executive chef Nicolas Bour.

The new space represents a $2.5 million transformation, designed to pay homage to the culinary history, local roots and legendary ambiance of the original space.

AVANT will focus on comfort cuisines with homegrown culinary touches paired with handcrafted classic cocktails, local craft beer and boutique wines from around the world.

At the helm of AVANT, Bour said his menu is simple, but made from fresh organic ingredients from Rancho Bernardo Inn’s on-property garden and local purveyors, sumptuous entrees; with smaller plate options “for a more advanced culinary experience when dining.”

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