Meze Owners Plan Liberty Public Market Stand, Take Over Prohibition Speakeasy & Move Into Former-1919 Space | Dual Concepts El Chingon Bad Ass Mexican & Havana 1920 Are Coming To San Diego's Gaslamp

February 23, 2017

The owners of downtown San Diego's Meze Greek Fusion, GBOD Hospitality Group, are in the process of a large expansion. In addition to an incoming concept named Saganaki by Meze to be installed in Liberty Public Market later this year, the crew has also taken over management of Prohibition speakeasy and is reconceptualizing the former 1919-space in the heart of the Gaslamp for the opening of two new concepts - El Chingon Bad Ass Mexican to debut as early as this March & Havana 1920, a Cuban-inspired concept anticipated to open by this summer.

Once completed, the three concepts - Prohibition, El Chingon & Havana 1920 - will bring the Gaslamp back in time to the roaring 1920s, respectively transporting patrons to prohibition-era United States, Mexico and Cuba. While the popular San Diego speakeasy Prohibition is currently open and will not change much, the right side of the former-1919 space is currently receiving a renovation to transform it into El Chingon, offering an eclectic design inspired by Baja California nearly a century ago with plenty of sugar skulls and authentic Mexican decor.

El Chingon will offer a menu centered on elevating classic taco shop fare with high-end ingredients while staying true to traditional recipes inspired by Northern Baja California. Expect straight forward dishes like giant burritos, rolled tacos, tamales, rice and refried beans. Behind the bar, there will be a huge selection of Mexican spirits - tequila, mezcal & sotol - as well as beer, wine, sangria and an extensive cocktail list designed by notable mixologist and the company's beverage director Ryan Andrews.

Havana 1920 is the passion project of GBOD Hospitality Group's COO Joe Santos, whose grandfather migrated to the United States from Cuba. The concept will occupy the two-tier left side of the building at 560 5th Avenue and is very much still in development. Although the company hopes to have the space open by this summer, they are currently focusing on El Chingon first and foremost. The menu will be authentic Cuban, including serving bread delivered daily from a Cuban bakery in Miami, with cocktails designed by Ryan Andrews that are inspired by the Caribbean. Once completed, the menu for both eateries will be served on each side.

Like GBOD Hospitality Group doesn't have enough on its place, slated to debut this spring inside one-half of the former Grape Smuggler space (other half will be Smoothie Rider) within Liberty Public Market in Point Loma's Liberty Station is Saganaki by Meze, which will offer a menu of sweet and savory versions of the traditional fried cheese dish that the eatery is named after. Expect a menu of pan-seared cheese concoction, as well as Mediterranean-style wraps and other Greek dishes.

El Chingon is anticipated to open by late March. The company is currently hiring front of the house employees and is holding open interviews on February 27. For more information, visit and check out the hiring flyer below.