What's New For 2014? Many Changes and New Businesses to Take Over San Diego's Cityscape

Roosterfish is only one of the new restaurant locations set to
open in 2014
December 19, 2013

San Diego may look like a whole new city in 2014, as many changes are set to take place, with restaurants closing, eateries changing hands, and a whole host of new businesses popping up around America's Finest City.  We have a forecast of what's new, from rumors to realities, so keep reading and start planning all the fun adventures you'll have in 2014!

San Diego is certainly evolving as a culinary destination, especially in light of our expanding craft beer industry and the evolution of beer as a meal accompaniment. In 2014, the evolution of our culinary community will certainly continue.  Here's what's coming, what's going, and what may or may not be:

The Palm Restaurant on 615 J Street will soon close and Good Time Design will strengthen its stronghold on the East Village by taking over the space for a new seafood market concept - Roosterfish Rocks Bar - with former Oceanaire executive chef Sean Patrick Langlais taking charge in the kitchen.

Donovan's Prime Seafood will bid downtown adieu, and the space located at 333 5th Avenue will be taken over by OMG Restaurant Group, the local restaurateurs behind Pacific Beach Ale House in PB and Union Kitchen and Tap in Encinitas.  Expect a focus on craft beer with elevated bar food and possibly a replication of Union Kitchen & Tap. The space also comes with a live entertainment license, which may provide for frequent musical acts. Donovan's Steakhouse around the corner will stay put with no intentions of closing.

Green Flash Brewing Company will open a tasting room and restaurant in the East Village, which will include an extensive barrel-aged program. Green Flash has held many successful pop up beer dinners at its Mira Mesa tasting room this year, so opening a restaurant is a natural progression.

CH Projects (formerly known as Consortium Holdings - the crew behind Craft & Commerce, Neighborhood, El Dorado, Noble Experiment, Underbelly, Soda & Swine and Polite Provisions) will continue to expand its empire in 2014.  In addition to partnering with their Michelin Star-clad Chef Jason McLeod for Little Italy's Ironside Fish + Oyster Bar (set to open February 2014), they also have plans to take over half the Simon Levi Company Space adjacent to Petco Park for a new concept. They also plan on opening a second Underbelly location at some point 2014.  We doubt the expansion will end there.

The second half of the Simon Levi Company space neighboring Petco Park will be scooped up by Stone Brewing Co., as they continue to inundate the city with their craft beer. The space is slated to open prior to the 2014 Padres season.  There is a pizza oven in the space, so in addition to a tasting room, the new Stone location will likely offer a food menu. The Stone Hotel in Escondido is also underway, but no word on when that will be open for business.

After 30 years as a Gaslamp fixture, Croce's Jazz Bar will close it's doors at 802 5th Avenue at the end of 2013, but this isn't the end of Ingrid Croce's culinary honoration of her late husband.  Croce's Park West will take over the space at 2750 5th Avenue in Banker's Hill that was left dormant by Avenue 5 and will offer patio seating, a music room, small plates beginning in January 2014.

La Jolla Brewing Company is taking over the La Jolla Brew House space and will offer over 20 local beers and a handful of house brews.  Owner Brett Stampf boasts more than 18 years of experience in commercial brewing, including a stint at Green Flash, so expect some good beers to be flowing from this spot. La Jolla Brewing Company will also offer a high-end comfort food menu.

Frauds and Swindlers couldn't make it a year in the Gaslamp, but it's loss is gain men looking for scantily clad bartendresses ready to dance sexy for your tips.  Coming in February 2014, welcome Coyote Ugly (yes - like the movie) which will take over the space, as well as the adjacent pizzeria.

Ken Irvine and Ryan Studebaker
Ken Irvine of Kensington's Bleu Boheme has retained chef Ryan Studebaker (formerly of Solace & The Moonlight Lounge and Gingham) to take the reigns at the 4,000 square foot space off 6th and F Street in Downtown SD for Encore Champagne Bar & Dining Room.  The menu will focus on champagne cocktails as well as French delicacies like caviar.  We're super-excited for this opening, as Bleu Boheme is one of our favorite restaurants.

Sea Rocket Bistro has closed its doors in North Park.  Chef Tommy Fraioli is moving on to work at Beaumont's in Bird Rock.  The space will be taken over by local restaurateur Leila Oualha, who will renovate the space and turn it into a mac n' cheese-centric eatery.  The current plan is to open sometime in February 2014.

The gents behind MiHo Gastrotruck are going wheel-less with the opening of JU/KE inside the North Park location of Bottlecraft. Get ready for interesting dishes done well.

The owners of Leroy's Kitchen + Lounge, Blue Bridge Hospitality is opening its 6th Coronado eatery - Stake Chophouse + Bar.  Stake’s culinary program will allow guests to indulge in a variety of offerings versus more traditional, larger entrée style portions. Cuts of steak will be more approachable in size with an innovative, chef-driven spin. Guests can expect to find an extensive selection of fresh seafood on the menu in addition to a bar program showcasing an incredible selection of wines as well as a signature martini menu.

There is a new Top Chef coming to San Diego.  Top Chef All Star winner Chef Richard Blais is opening Juniper + Ivy in the Helix Wholesale Co. building at 2228 Kettner in Little Italy.  Expect handmade pastas, local ingredients and certainly a bit of molecular gastronomy thrown in.

Richard Walker's is taking their famous flapjacks to La Jolla.  Vigilucci's couldn't cut it, so breakfast it is at this central spot off Prospect Ave.

In addition to Chef Chad White, proprietor of pop-up concept, Plancha Baja Med, opening La Justina, a Tijuana gastropub, rumors are that he is also planning a similar brewpub venture in San Diego's East Village. Known for his Baja-inspired fare, Chef Chad's concepts will undoubtedly be a hit.

The Cohn Restaurant Group, known for such ventures as BO-beau, Gaslamp Strip Club, Island Prime, Corvette Diner, and many others, is opening OB Warehouse Street Food + Bar at the two-story space on 4839 Newport Avenue in OB.  The Cohn Group will embrace the OB culture and offer a more casual eatery and tavern.  Expect it to be awesome.

Sara Stroud and Chef Hanis Cavin of Carnitas' Snack Shack
Carnitas' Snack Shack has made quite the name for itself in it's two years of existence.  The location at 2632 University Avenue in North Park can't keep up with the demand, so Chef Hanis Cavin and his wife Sara will open a new location in mid-2014. The address is yet to be revealed, but rumor has it, multiple locations may follow.

From the owners of San Diego's oldest tavern The Waterfront, and Point Loma hot spot, Harbor Town Pub, will come Werewolf - a London-style pub that will take over the space previously occupied by Gaijin Noodle + Sake House.

Although not a new restaurant Jsix Restaurant at Hotel Solamar will go under a complete interior renovation and menu overhaul, closing it's doors until the refreshed concept is unveiled to the public in February 2014.  For regulars, don't fret as Chef Christian Graves will continue to put out fantastic food.

After appearing on Diners, Drive-Ins and DivesOB Noodle House has become too big for its britches.  The eatery, known for serving hip Asian fusion combined with an extensive craft beer list, intends to open a second location less than a mile from the original at The Blue Parrot's old space at 4993 Niagra Avenue in Ocean Beach.  We can't wait! No, seriously, we literally cannot wait in those lines anymore! They've been out of control since Guy Fieri's visit.

Eddie V's Prime Seafood is bringing its seafood and steak concept to the new The Headquarters at Seaport District in February 2014.  This is Eddie V's second San Diego location.

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is set to open a new coffeehouse on the corner of Juniper and Kettner in Little Italy.  Their original location on La Jolla Boulevard in Bird Rock is extremely popular, as well as their Petco Park location that was opened earlier this year.  Expect BRCR to open sometime in the summer 2014.

From the owners of the dog-obsessed The Patio on Lamont will come The Patio on Goldfinch in Mission Hills right next to Lefty's Pizza.  Expect it to be similar to The Patio on Lamont in menu and design, and don't be surprised if they only show photos of dogs on their Facebook page. The Patio on Goldfinch is slated to open in April/May 2014.
Nick's At The Beach has shuttered, and come 2014, we hear that the space will be taken over by the group behind OB's Wonderland, much like they took over the Nick's location in Ocean Beach.  Expect them to completely update and utilize this prime space and carry the location into the 21st century.

Rock Bottom Brewery on 4th and G is allegedly closing down and being replaced by the Tin Roof Bar concept out of Nashville.  Should be a very cool live music/whiskey bar.

Rumor has it that the crew behind PB's Tap Room is taking over the location previously occupied by Patt Flower Shoppe at 1560 Garnet, and opening a 24 hour '50s diner concept.  No word yet on the name or menu, but we'll let our readers know when we find out more.

Eat.Drink.Sleep, the company behind the Belmont Park renovation and such locations as Tower 23 Hotel, Moondoggies (which is also reportedly closing), The Dog, and more, is converting the space below Cannonball to open this spring as a concept called Draft, which will feature a large selection of draft and bottled beers. They are still fine tuning all the plans, so nothing is set in stone just yet.

If you have any tips on news, information, rumors or what-have-you's, don't hesitate to shoot an email our way at [email protected].