Last week on 4th of July, three of San Diego's most respected names in the hospitality and brewing industry opened doors to the highly anticipated URBN St. Brewing Co., a new brewery out of El Cajon, alongside the third outpost of the immensely successful URBN Coal Fired Pizza brand. At the helm of the project is Jon Mangini, the respected restaurateur behind URBN Restaurants Inc. with venues including BASIC, the iconic East Village warehouse pizza concept, as well as spin-off location URBN in North Park and the Gaslamp's Gang Kitchen. Mangini joins partners, Executive Chef Alex Carballo (Restaurant Hospitality Magazine’s "12 to Watch in 2012", former Exec Chef Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido, Stone Catering) and Head Brewer Callaway Ryan (Stone Brewing Co., SD; Surly Brewing Co., MN; Real Ale Brewing, Live Oak Brewing Co.,TX) to bring their vision of great beer and food to life in El Cajon’s rapidly growing neighborhood.
Alongside two sister locations, URBN Coal Fired Pizza in Vista as well as a location in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, the new 4,000 square foot dual-concept launch takes URBN’s collective eastward, bringing a renewed spirit to a bustling street corner at 110 N. Magnolia Avenue in the heart of downtown El Cajon. Together, Mangini, Carballo and Ryan are thrilled to bring their vision of great beer and food to life in El Cajon’s rapidly growing neighborhood and have been meet with an overwhelming amount of support from the city and local community.
A multifaceted brewer, Callaway Ryan had to transition from production under Stone Brewing Co.'s twin 120-barrel systems to a much smaller scale 15-barrel, premier direct-fired brewhouse. Having spent the bulk of his career working on smaller systems, Callaway admits that he has missed many aspects of manual brewing and is excited to grow the brewery from scratch. With a variety of six staple suds to debut as the brewery opens doors, Callaway’s creations offer something for everyone — the 'core four' include an IPA, brown, saison and summer session along with a soon to be released 'ESB' [extra special bitter] and a hoppy wheat porter. With distribution already underway, expect to see URBN St. Brewing Co.’s beers on tap throughout greater San Diego in the months to come.
Alex Carballo is nationally respected as of one of Restaurant Hospitality Magazine’s “12 to watch in 2012” and noted in top industry publications such as Food & Wine, Sunset Magazine and Draft Magazine, Alex Carballo joins URBN El Cajon as Executive Chef and Partner. For the past five years, Alex served as Executive Chef and General Manager of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido, in addition to Stone Catering. A graduate of San Diego State University and the National Culinary & Baking School, Alex has helmed the kitchen at many prestigious San Diego restaurants, such as Crosby Country Club, Indigo Grill, Brigantine and The Fishery. He is a practicing member of Slow Food San Diego, which links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and environment; serves as a board member for Chef Celebration, is an advisor for the California Department of Education’s “California Farm to School Task Force,” and donates his time to many charities in Southern California.
Chef Carballo’s culinary program features URBN’s award-winning menu staple – a traditional thin crust, coal-fired pie, reminiscent of the famous pizzerias found in New Haven, Connecticut. Further down the line, Alex plans to introduce a handful of dishes unique to URBN’s El Cajon location alongside suggested beer pairings, creating a playful twist on pub favorites like signature wings, house made sausage and more to give neighborhood patrons a variety of approachable options. URBN El Cajon’s beverage program will feature 40 beers on draft, highlighting their brewery’s lineup, in addition to an eclectic selection of regional craft brews and local favorites. Lastly, craft beer education and ongoing beer dinners in partnership with a wide variety of San Diego breweries will be a monthly standard at URBN El Cajon, with a schedule to be released in the near future.
URBN boasts the same industrial feel and authentic New Haven style thin-crust pizza of BASIC with additional menu items and an extensive craft drink selection. Both establishments are consistently awarded for excellence in menu and concept, including an honor for Design Excellence by San Diego Home and Garden Magazine; recognized as “BEST PIZZA in San Diego” by NBC’s Golden Local, a viewer-based contest voted on by the locals; and was selected as a “Silver Fork” award winner by San Diego Home and Garden Magazine, an exclusive award that is handed out to only the best in San Diego dining and cuisine. BASIC has been featured in high profile media outlets such as The New York Times, MTV, The LA Times, and Riviera Magazine.
URBN Coal Fired Pizza and URBN St. Brewing Co. is open Sunday - Thursday from 11am to 10pm,
Friday & Saturday from 11am to 1am [late night happy hour menu offered till midnight], and is located at the former El Cajon Brewing location at 110 N. Magnolia Avenue. Visit urbnrestaurants.com for more information or call (619) 328-6922.