Out With the Old, In With the New and What the Future Holds | The Ultimate List of Restaurant Openings and Closings in 2014 and What’s Coming in 2015

December 19, 2014

We’re not going to narrow down the many, many restaurant openings of 2014 into some dainty list of what we arrogantly deem “best,” because we’ve already explained how we feel about that. But we were inclined to come up with an ultimate rundown of all the openings and unfortunate closings of the year, as well as what we already know to be coming in 2015. Check out our alphabetized list, look up the eateries, plan your visit and let us know if we missed anything!

2014 was an exciting year in San Diego (especially in Little Italy and the East Village) as our culinary community continued to evolve and excel. We've done our best to compile all the noteworthy restaurant openings, closings and what's rumored and known to be opening in 2015. Making a list, checking it twice...

Coming in 2015

Artisan Bentō, Bankers Hill - The crew behind Azuki Sushi is taking over Gourmet on 5th at 2505 5th Avenue in Bankers Hill and converting it into a high-end bento box concept. Variety is the spice of life, and that's the beauty of the bento.

Backyard Kitchen & Tap, Pacific Beach - Moondoggies has been sitting dormant for all of 2014, but in the new year, 832 Garnet Avenue will reopen under the supervision of Eric Leitstein, known for melding elevated bar food with delicious craft brews, as he has with his other spots, Union Kitchen & Tap and Pacific Beach Ale House, amongst others.

The Backyard, Liberty Station - Two 'backyard's in a row?!? Hope this doesn't cause any trouble. The Patio people are venturing into Liberty Station and will likely replicate their fancy-yet-casual, dog-friendly style that's worked on both Goldfinch and Lamont Streets. Taking over the old Navy firehouse at 2855 Perry Road, this concept will be a tad bigger than The Patio Group's other eateries, with indoor and outdoor space accommodating nearly 300 people.

Beerfish, University Heights - We've been hearing about Beerfish seemingly all year now. Abel Kaase of Sessions Public targeted UH for this craft beer meets seafood destination.

Bracero, Little Italy - We're probably more excited about this project than any other. I dream of being able to hop in the car and take a short trip to enjoy the amazing creations of Chef Javier Plascencia. Although we didn't mind heading to Romesco in Bonita or any of his many other restaurants in Baja, it will be nice having him so close. This 4,800 square foot, dual level/concept eatery is reportedly taking flight from 1490 Kettner Boulevard at Ariel Suites as soon as March 2015.

Brian Malarkey in Little Italy - San Diego's culinary golden boy hasn't opened a new restaurant in America's finest city in what seems like decades now (it's only been two years), but in 2015, he returns with an unnamed concept (Velvet, maybe?) to open at 2210 Kettner Boulevard.

Bruxie, Horton Park - Who likes waffles?? This waffle sandwich chain is opening a second location in San Diego at the coming soon Horton Park downtown.

Buddy's Diner, Pacific Beach - All we know are rumors about this spot at 1564 Garnet Avenue. This place has looked finished since before the summer, but we cannot seem to get any info from the owners, no matter how many times we reach out. Hopefully, it's like the diners I remember from my youth in New Jersey, the diner capital of the world.

Cafe Gratitude, Little Italy - The Little Italy neighborhood has it all! Well, almost - it will by the end of 2015. Los Angeles-based, vegan only Cafe Gratitude will open its San Diego location at the Broadstone Little Italy building early in the year. San Diego native Jason Mraz is a part-owner.

Cannonball, Mission Beach - It opened in 2013, then closed. An elevator kept them from reopening in 2014. But 2015 is the year when Cannonball makes a splash at Mission Beach's Belmont Park. Sushi, craft beer and amazing views will keep people hopping aboard.

Carnitas' Snack Shack, Embarcadero - The Pig Pen is heading to the revitalized North Embarcadero in 2015. Get ready to munch down the famous Triple Threat sandwich while watching the ships roll in.

Catania, La Jolla - Whisknladle Hospitality Group has seen much success with its Prepkitchen and Whisknladle concepts, and in 2015, they're launching Catania in the new La Plaza La Jolla shopping center at the corner of Girard Avenue and Wall Street. Owner Arturo Kassel will bring Italian coastal flavor with the help of Executive Chef Ryan Johnston.

Coastera/880 Harbor, Harbor Island - The Cohn Restaurant Group's biggest project to date is a $10+million, 24,000 square foot indoor/outdoor restaurant, lounge and event center on Harbor Island at the former location of Reuben E. Lee. Located at 800 Harbor Island Drive, the Port of San Diego property is adjacent to Cohn Group's Island Prime and C Level and will include an on-the-water, floating dining space.

Duke’s La Jolla - The former Top of the Cove restaurant space at 1216 Prospect Street in La Jolla has sat dormant for nearly a decade, but in 2015, it will become Duke's. Owned by TS Restaurants (which also owns Jake's Del Mar), Duke's is a high end steak and seafood restaurant that started in Hawaii in 1977 and now has multiple locations in Southern California and Hawaii.

Galaxy Taco, La Jolla - The owners of George's at the Cove, Executive Chef Trey Foshee and owner George Hauer, are taking a piece of the former La Jolla Shores Market at 2259 Avenida de la Playa and gearing up for the taco revolution. We're thinking of a Puesto-esque, upscale taqueria, but who knows what's coming?

Half Door Brewing Company, East Village - Half Door Brewing Company is a new brewpub concept coming to 903-915 Island Avenue in San Diego’s East Village early next year. The brewpub will offer Irish family-style hospitality and feature several house beers brewed on-site to complement a menu "full of new twists on Old World traditions and New World comfort food."

Inland Tavern Bar & Grill, San Marcos - Penny Lane Pub & Grill has stood the test of time for over two decades at 1001 West San Marcos Boulevard in San Marcos, but in 2015, it becomes Inland Tavern. Expect California coastal cuisine in a revitalized setting with an emphasis on craft beers.

Jinya Ramen Bar, Hillcrest - Ramen is all the rave right now. A Japanese owned chain of ramen bars and izakayas, Jinya will open at 815 University Avenue. Slurp!

Karina’s Mexican Seafood, Downtown - There are already locations in Chula Vista, National City and El Cajon, but in 2015, Karina's is opening at 925 B Street in downtown SD. Expect pretty ladies dishing out authentic Mexican cuisine.

Kula Revolving Sushi Bar, Convoy - This Los Angeles-based chain is bringing its conveyor belt sushi concept to 4609 Convoy Street. At Kula, people pick what they want from an every changing sushi-go-round.

Liberty Public Market, Liberty Station - Catt White and Dale Steel tried to get a central public market in San Diego, but in 2015, it's Coronado native David Spatafore's turn. The principal of Blue Bridge Hospitality (Leroy's, Stake Chophouse) plans to transform the 1920s-era warehouse-style building into a 22,000 square-foot artisans' mecca. This indoor-outdoor public market will be filled with a carefully curated lineup of 30+ specialty purveyors. The $3 million project is anticipated to be finished by June of 2015.

Lucha Libre, North Park - The ever-popular, professional wrestling-themed taco hut is expanding to North Park, taking over Marie's Cafe at 3016 University Avenue. Get ready for the taco smackdown.

M Winehouse, Little Italy - The oldest house in Little Italy will become a wine bar in 2015. Local entrepreneur Ruth Melero will take an 825 square foot space within the 1888 Gothic Victorian house and convert it into a quaint, old-world-style tasting room.

Oceana Coastal Kitchen, Catamaran Resort & Spa, Pacific Beach - Executive chef Steven Riemer will oversee the kitchen at this brand new, bayfront restaurant at the Mission Bay resort. Anticipate elevated California modern cuisine, a sophisticated bar program with tiki-inspired cocktails, a twist on the classics, an extensive wine list, and craft beer options – all local, including a signature beer.

Omnia San Diego, Downtown - Stingaree is no more, but the Hakkassan Group will transform the location at 454 6th Avenue into Omnia, a nightclub concept similar to the original being outfitted at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Pan Bon Italian Market, Little Italy - Joining Javier Plascencia's Bracero at the new Ariel Suites high rise tower at 1490 Kettner Boulevard is this two level Italian market that also serves as a casual eatery and full service restaurant.

The Quad Ale House, Gaslamp - Gaslamp Tavern is undergoing a reconstruction, which includes this second floor, craft beer-centric concept. Expect 28 taps and a focus on barbecue.

Quartyard, East Village - Open seven days a week, Quartyard will be a public plaza designed on a 28,500 square foot lot incorporating a bunch of retrofitted shipping containers, and will offer rotating food trucks, art and fashion shows, film festivals, educational events, local farmers markets, and public and private events. There will be a wine and beer garden, a Meshuggah Shack Coffee Shop, and another incarnation of S&M Sausage and Meats.

RakiRaki, Little Italy - Damnit, Little Italy! You have everything! The Kearney Mesa ramen hotspot is opening an outpost in the Olea Apartments building at 2250 India Street.

Richard Blais' New Casual Eatery, Little Italy - Juniper & Ivy could do no wrong in 2014, but in 2015, Richard Blais is taking it casual with a new eatery in the same lot as J&I. There isn't a name yet or any real information on the concept, but expect it to be a success.

Rustic Root, Gaslamp - RMD Group and Chef Antonio Friscia are redoing the former Marble Room location at 535 5th Avenue and turning it into an modern American restaurant featuring the Gaslamp's only rooftop dining. We love Friscia's neighboring Don Chido and only expect greatness from Rustic Root.

The Market Hall, East Village - Located at the base of the Strata apartment building, this combination food store and restaurant will open up in early 2015, with plans of expanding the concept throughout the country.

Water Grill, Downtown - Another outpost of LA's seafood-centric Water Grill will open at the former The Palm Steakhouse space at 615 J Street in 2015.

Wheat & Water, Bird Rock - Pizza and beer come together as harmoniously as any two things can, and in 2015, Wheat & Water will embrace both at the former Bella Roma Pizza location at 5737 La Jolla Boulevard in Bird Rock/La Jolla.

New Restaurants in 2014

85°C Bakery Cafe
5575 Balboa Avenue, Suite 330, Clairemont
(858) 278-8585

AJ’s Fish Merchant
7407 Jackson Drive, Cowles Mountain
(619) 462-3474

Allegro Bistro
1735 Hancock Street, Downtown/Little Italy
(619) 955-5711

Allure Restaurant
825 4th Avenue, Gaslamp
(619) 236-0800

Baja Beach Cafe
701 Thomas Avenue, Pacific Beach
(858) 230-6315

Bake Sale Bakery
815 F Street, East Village
(619) 515-2224

Ballast Point Tasting Room & Restaurant
9045 Carroll Way, Miramar
858) 790-6900

6830 La Jolla Boulevard #103, La Jolla
(858) 263-4925

Bayside Landing
3780 Ingraham Street, Crown Point
(858) 270-9200

Bazinga Eatery
3382 30th Street, North Park
(619) 255-8940

Berkeley Pizza
3934 30th Street, North Park
(619) 937-0808

Bijou French Bistro
1205 Prospect Street, La Jolla
(858) 750-3695

Bird Rock Oyster and Sushi Bar
5752 La Jolla Boulevard, Bird Rock
(858) 412-4105

Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar
2958 Madison Street, Carlsbad
(760) 434-4959

Blue Smoke Sushi Lounge
7007 Friars Road, Fashion Valley Mall
(619) 291-7711

Bottega Americano
1195 Island Avenue, East Village
(619) 255-7800

Boudin Bakery
5407 Balboa Avenue, Clairemont
(858) 737-6571

5157 College Avenue, SDSU College Area
(619) 272-4203

The Buffalo Public House
406 University Avenue, Unit B, Hillcrest
(619) 458-9198

Cafe 21
802 5th Avenue, Gaslamp
(619) 795-0721

Cafe Cantata
2670 Via De La Valle, Del Mar
(858) 925-7297

Cafe La Rue
1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla
(858) 454-0771

Carnitas Snack Shack
12873 El Camino Real, Del Mar
(858) 350-7675

Chicken Charlie’s FryBQ
5407 Balboa Avenue, Clairemont
(858) 279-1111

City Tacos
3028 University Avenue, North Park
(619) 296-2303

Common Theory Public House
4805 Convoy Street, Kearney Mesa
(858) 707-7016

Común Kitchen & Tavern
935 J Street, East Village
(619) 358-9707

Cookbook Tavola Calda
2034 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy
(619) 450-6064

The Cork & Craft
16990 Via Tazon, Rancho Bernardo
(858) 618-2463

Coyote Ugly
820 Fifth Avenue, Gaslamp

Croce’s Park West
2760 5th Avenue, Bankers Hill
(619) 233-4355

967 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach
(858) 230-6567

The Curious Fork
512 Via De La Valle #102, Solana Beach
(858) 876-6385

Don Chido
527 5th Avenue, Gaslamp
(619) 232-8226

Double Standard
695 6th Avenue, Downtown
(619) 269-9676

3105 Ocean Front Walk, Mission Beach
(858) 228-9305

Draft Republic
4282 Esplanade Court, La Jolla
(858) 450-1400

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood at The Headquarters
789 West Harbor Drive, Downtown
(619) 615-0281

El Agave Del Mar
1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar Plaza
(858) 519-8765

Encinitas Fish Shop
1010 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
(760) 436-4665

Encore Champagne Bar & Dining Room
531 F Street, Downtown
(619) 255-5152

Farmer’s Bottega
860 West Washington Street, Mission Hills
(619) 458-9929

Fire Horse Asian Bistro
3023 Juniper Street, South Park
(619) 980-6708

The Flight Path
1202 Kettner Boulevard, Suite 104, Downtown/Little Italy
(619) 709-1202

Florent Restaurant & Lounge
672 5th Avenue, Gaslamp
(619) 595-0123

Full Moon Sushi & Kitchen Bar
926 5th Avenue, Gaslamp
(619) 233-3711

Garage Kitchen + Bar
655 4th Avenue, Gaslamp
(619) 231-6700

Green Dragon Tavern & Museum
6115 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad
(760) 918-2421

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
9844 Hibert Street #1, Mira Mesa
(858) 693-3790

The Hake Kitchen and Bar
1250 Prospect Street B10, La Jolla
(858) 454-1637

Harbor Breakfast
1502 India Street, Little Italy
(619) 450-7926

Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar
902 W. Washington Street, Mission Hills
(619) 955-8451

Hello Betty Fish House
211 Mission Avenue, Oceanside
(760) 722-1008

Iron Pig Alehouse
1520 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach
(858) 412-4299

Ironside Fish & Oyster
1654 India Street, Little Italy
(619) 269-3033

Izakaya Pacific Beach
4516 Mission Boulevard Suite E, Pacific Beach
(858) 274-4272

James’ Place
2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla
(858) 638-7778

Juniper & Ivy
2228 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy
(619) 269-9036

Kettner Exchange
2001 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy
(619) 255-2001

La Jolla Brewing Company
7536 Fay Avenue, La Jolla
(858) 246-6759

La Marque (Pop Up Restaurant)
3590 5th Avenue, Bankers Hill
(619) 550-5397

The Land & Water Co.
2978 Carlsbad Boulevard #110, Carlsbad
(760) 729-5263

La Tequila
89 Bonita Road, Chula Vista
(619) 651-1000

Le Parfait Paris
555 G Street, Downtown
(619) 245-4457

Little Lion Cafe
1424 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, Ocean Beach
(619) 756-6921

The Local Pacific Beach
809 Thomas Avenue, Pacific Beach
(858) 263-7475

Lucky Liu’s
332 J Street, Downtown
(619) 255-5487

10550 Craftsman Way, Suite #186, 4S Ranch
(858) 312-1036

OB Noodle House Bar 1502
4993 Niagara Avenue, Ocean Beach
(619) 255-9858

OB Warehouse
4839 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach
(619) 222-1700

Oscar’s Mexican Seafood
646 University Avenue, Hillcrest
(619) 798-3550

Ototo Sushi Co.
5651 Balboa Avenue, Clairemont
(858) 505-8700

Panama 66
1450 El Prado, Balboa Park
(619) 696-1966

Papa Luna's Empanadas
1050 Columbia Street, Downtown
(619) 236-8400

The Parlour
550 Park Boulevard, Suite 2104, East Village
(619) 795-8690

Parq Restaurant & Nightclub
615 Broadway, Downtown
(619) 727-6789

The Patio on Goldfinch
4020 Goldfinch Street, Mission Hills
(619) 501-5090

Perfect Pairings
300 Carlsbad Village Drive #120, Carlsbad
(760) 453-7974

Pillbox Tavern
117 Plaza Street, Solana Beach
(619) 858-0322

Promiscuous Fork
3801 Ingraham Street, Crown Point
(858) 581-3663

The Rabbit Hole
3377 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights
(619) 255-4653

Rare Form & Fairweather
793 J Street, East Village
(619) 255-6507

Richard Walker's Pancake House
909 Prospect Street, La Jolla
(858) 459-8800

The Rusty Brothel
420 3rd Avenue, Downtown
(619) 702-4455

S&M Sausage and Meat
4130 Park Boulevard, North Park
(619) 344-2177

The SafeHouse
2930 University Avenue, North Park
(619) 458-9200

Saja Korean Kitchen
417 4th Avenue, Downtown
(619) 566-9449

Savoie French Italian Eatery
2015 Birch Road Suite 720, Chula Vista
(619) 591-5757

Sea180 Coastal Tavern
800 Seacoast Drive, Imperial Beach
(619) 631-4949

1310 Morena Boulevard, Bay Park
(619) 230-5715

Single Fin Surf Grill
3844 Mission Boulevard, Mission Beach
(858) 352-6611

Sirena Gourmet Latin Seafood Restaurant
1901 Columbia Street, Little Italy
(619) 564-8970

Slater’s 50/50
110 Knoll Road, San Marcos
(760) 759-2900

Sonata Bistro & High Note Cafe
750 B Street, Downtown
(858) 999-8217

Stake Chophouse & Bar
1309 Orange Avenue, Coronado
(619) 522-0077

Stella Public House & Halcyon
1429 Island Avenue, East Village
(619) 234-0808

Stone Tap Room
793 J Street, East Village
(619) 727-4452

Shorehouse Kitchen
2236 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla
(858) 459-3300

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee
4002 30th Street, North Park
(619) 546-9010

Strozzi Socal Italian
1805 Newton Avenue, Barrio Logan
(619) 487-0366

Sugar & Scribe Bakery
7660 Fay Avenue, La Jolla
(858) 274-1733

SuperNatural Sandwiches
7094 Miramar Road #105, Miramar
(619) 356-1992

Swami’s Cafe
2920 University Avenue, North Park
(619) 269-3797

Szechuan Taste
8199 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Kearny Mesa
(858) 754-8888

Table No. 10
369 10th Avenue, East Village
(619) 550-1262

Tacos Perla
3000 Upas Street Suite 105, North Park
(619) 795-0700

3739 6th Avenue, Hillcrest
(619) 269-5050

Tanganyika Grill
1640 Camino Del Rio North, Mission Valley
(619) 504-3815

Tap & Press
540 University Avenue, Hillcrest
(619) 683-7710

1404 Vacation Road, Paradise Point Resort
(858) 490-6363

Tin Roof
401 G Street, Downtown
(619) 230-8606

TJ Oyster Bar Third Location
4410 Bonita Road, Bonita
(619) 434-4780

3000 Upas St., Ste 104, North Park
(619) 487-9909

Union Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp
333 5th Avenue, Gaslamp
(619) 795-9463

URBN St. Brewing
110 South Magnolia Avenue, El Cajon
(619) 328-6922

Werewolf American Pub
627 4th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-0094

Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub
1815 South Coast Highway, Oceanside
(760) 271-0531

Zarco Comida de Baja
277 Third Avenue, Chula Vista
(619) 934-5700

Zymology 21
750 5th Avenue, Gaslamp
(619) 546-9321

Restaurant Closings in 2014

30th Street Cafe
3620 30th Street, North Park

Acme Southern Kitchen
901 E Street, East Village

American Voodoo
4655 Park Boulevard, University Heights

Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria
3958 5th Avenue, Hillcrest

Armando's The Green Flash
701 Thomas Avenue, Pacific Beach

Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen/Social Experiment bar + kitchen
530 University Avenue, Hillcrest

The Boardwalk
3704 Mission Boulevard, Mission Beach

Bolillo Torta
417 4th Avenue, Downtown

Casa de Luz
2920 University Avenue, North Park

925 B Street, Suite 101, Downtown

China Inn
877 Hornblend Street, Pacific Beach

Chopahn Restaurant
750 6th Avenue, Downtown

Ciro's Pizza and Beerhouse Pacific Beach
967 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach

Donovans Steak & Chophouse
4340 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla

East Village Asian Diner
406 University Avenue, Hillcrest

Farm House Cafe
2121 Adams Avenue, North Park

French Concession
3671 5th Avenue, Hillcrest

1005 Rosecrans Street, Point Loma

The Gathering
902 W Washington Street, Mission Hills

Gen Lai Sen
1065 Park Boulevard, East Village

Harvey Milk’s American Diner
535 University Avenue, Hillcrest

Heights Tavern
3377 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights

Iberico & Josefas
909 Prospect Street, La Jolla

Jimmy Love's
672 5th Avenue, Gaslamp

Juan Chou
3023 Juniper Street, South Park

600 F Street, Downtown

La Jolla Strip Club
4282 Esplanade Court, La Jolla

Maitre D’
5523 La Jolla Boulevard, La Jolla

4475 Mission Boulevard, Pacific Beach

Nick's at the Beach
809 Thomas Avenue, Pacific Beach

North End Lounge
1971 India Street, Little Italy

860 W Washington Street, Mission Hills

Penny Lane Pub & Grill
1001 West San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos

7845 Highland Village Place, La Jolla

Pita Jungle
1045 University Avenue, Hillcrest

Pizzeria Mozza
789 West Harbor Drive, Downtown

Quality Social
789 6th Avenue, Downtown

South Paw Social Club
815 J Street, East Village

Little Italy Spaghetteria
1953 India Street, Little Italy

Steakhouse at Azul
1250 Prospect Street, La Jolla

St. Germain’s Cafe & Bistro
1010 S Coast Highway 101, Encinitas

454 6th Avenue, Downtown

Swoon Dessert Bar
3139 University Avenue, North Park

3442 30th Street, North Park

Wet Willies(?)
555 Market Street, Downtown

Zenbu Sushi
7660 Fay Avenue, La Jolla