Papa Luna's Empanadas has closed its location at 1404 Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach, with the downtown location at 1050 Columbia Street in Little Italy closing by the end of the week. A new restaurant has already taken over the space in PB and will begin the renovations to create The Poke Chop, which will serve up the Hawaiian ahi tuna delicacy that has had a huge popularity boom in 2016. Rumor has it that Papa Luna's owner Simon Baer intends to reconceptualize the downtown space into a sandwich eatery.
Simon Baer opened Papa Luna's Empanadas in Pacific Beach in 2012. In 2014, they expanded to a second location within a small storefront in Little Italy. Empanadas for both shops were cooked in Pacific Beach, meaning that when the PB location closed, it was the end for the entire concept. The Little Italy location will close by end of the day on Friday, May 6, or when they run out of empanadas.
The Poke Chop is owned by Albert Tran and will open as early as this summer, serving a variety of poke bowls. Poke (pronounced 'po-KAY') means to cut or slice. It is a Hawaiian delicacy traditionally made with raw ahi bluefin tuna, cut into cubes and lightly seasoned with any number of preferential ingredients, including seaweed, soy sauce and onion, among others. The Poke Chop will open as early as this June.
Papa Luna's posted the following statement on the door of its Pacific Beach location:
Yesterday was our last day n business. We've had lots of amazing memories over the years and are very grateful to all you wonderful customers who kept this crazy idea going. We are sad to see it come to an end but it's been a great ride and no regrets.
Our departure is making way for Albert and his team who have some delicious Poke bowls coming your way soon!
Simon + PL crew