CH Projects Continues Focus On Redesigns And Expansion In 2015

April 30, 2015

2014 saw monumental growth for the San Diego based hospitably group, CH Projects. Nearly doubling their roster with the additions of Ironside Fish & Oyster, Rare Form, Fairweather, Juice Saves, as well as second location of their ever popular UnderBelly ramen bar in North Park, the socially conscious collective’s plans for 2015 include building on their existing foundations while refining elements of the brand. Expect renovations, new chefs and invigorated menus at Neighborhood and Craft & Commerce, as well as a new location of Soda & Swine in Liberty Station in the former Roseville Cozinha space to open this June.

“Neighborhood (2006) and Craft & Commerce (2009) were CH’s first two restaurant concepts," says Chef Jason McLeod. “They helped to build unique culinary communities in East Village and Little Italy. Now nearly a decade later, we have this amazing opportunity to reapply what we’ve learned and refine our existing foundations. As a hospitality collective we want to make sure we’re continuing to push things forward on all fronts, and we’re excited to have this new era of talent within our group, helping us take the culinary programs to the next level at our existing locations."

Neighborhood, the East Village locale that started it all for co-founder Arsalun Tafazoli nearly nine years ago, welcomes Chicago transplant, Executive Chef Mike Gil (Au Cheval, Green Street Smoked Meats) to take the helm. On Tuesday, May 5, Neighborhood will temporarily shut down for two weeks to undergo a kitchen remodel, and upon opening doors will debut Chef Gil’s exciting new menu to complement the eatery's lauded beer program. Noble Experiment, the speakeasy-style cocktail bar behind Neighborhood, will remain open during the closure.

From humble beginnings as a self-taught line cook to executive chef roles within prolific restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff’s multi-concept Chicago empire, Mike Gil spent the past decade establishing his cooking credo in the ‘Windy City’ before migrating to San Diego in 2014. On the opening culinary team of Sodikoff’s Au Cheval, Gil was promoted to Executive Chef within the concept’s first year of operation and helped propel the French-American diner forward as one of Chicago’s "Best New Restaurants of 2012” and Bon Appetit’s top pick for the “the best cheeseburger in America.” Gil went on to launch Sodikoff’s former Jewish deli-inspired Dilman’s in 2013 before opening the collective’s popular bbq concept, Green Street Smoked Meats, in 2014. Joining the CH Projects family alongside celebrated chefs including Michelin-starred Jason McLeod (Ironside Fish & Oyster), butchery mastermind Aldo Negrete (Rare Form) and UnderBelly’s Michael Mora, Gil’s menus will celebrate Neighborhood’s roots as a burger and beer bar, a locals joint where the fare is good and the beer is cold, and is excited to continue growing with the collective as they expand.

In February CH announced expansion plans for their ever-popular mom-and-pop-style meatball and apple pie shop, Soda & Swine. The second location is slated for Point Loma’s Liberty Station in June of 2015, and with its launch chef/co-owner Jason McLeod will usher in a new Executive Chef, Andrew Nienke (Searsucker, Bottega Americano, Blue Point, Island Prime).

Executive Chef Andrew Nienke’s wide breadth of success is anchored in more than 15 years of culinary experience. Having had a hand in many of the city’s most notable restaurant openings, Andrew moved to San Diego in 2005 with a strong desire to make his mark on the city’s burgeoning culinary scene. He gained experience working with the Cohn Restaurant Group’s Blue Point Coastal Cuisine and Chef Deborah Scott’s Island Prime before joining the ranks of Brian Malarkey’s Enlightened Hospitality Group to open the former Burlap in 2011 followed by Searsucker Scottsdale in 2012. Promoted to chef de cuisine at both Searsucker’s Del Mar and Gaslamp locations, Andrew spent a year helming the kitchens before parting ways with Enlightened in 2014 to launch Bottega Americano as chef de cuisine. Andrew’s hands on experience within two of Southern California’s powerhouse restaurant groups has enforced the value of personal relationships and extending genuine hospitality to his guests – an ethos he’ll carry on throughout his career. As Executive Chef of both Soda & Swine locations, Andrew is excited to contribute to San Diego’s rising reputation as a culinary destination.

Arsalun Tafazoli and Nathan Stanton’s Little Italy staple sits at forefront of San Diego’s evolving urban movement and helped to reinforce a cultural revival in the Little Italy neighborhood in 2010. Now in 2015, CH reveals plans for a restaurant remodel. While details remain under wraps, locals can look forward to exciting updates in the Fall.

For more information on CH Projects and its restaurants, visit