Whisknladle Hospitality Sells PrepKitchen Locations To Focus On New Endeavors Including Multi-Concept Food Hall

December 24, 2017

Whisknladle Hospitality owner Arturo Kassel and Chef/Partner Ryan Johnston have sold the restaurant group’s three Prepkitchen locations to a Las Vegas-based hospitality company in an effort to shift the group’s focus. Kassel and Johnston will still remain owners of the flagship Whisknladle property as well as Catania, the company’s newest addition to its culinary portfolio, and are in the process of opening Gravity Heights brewery restaurant and another new concept - Park Commons - in Sorrento Valley.

The Prepkitchen brand has been a mainstay in San Diego’s gastronomic arena since its inception in 2009 with the launch of the La Jolla storefront, followed by locations in Del Mar in 2010, and a larger urban site in Little Italy that debuted in 2012. In the time since its origin, the three restaurants have helped produce and foster aspiring chefs from Mark Bolton (Coin-Op) and DJ Tangelin (Bivouac Cider) to Charles Koll (Viewpoint Brewing Company) and Rick Daniels (Iron Pig), all who have become well-respected names in the San Diego dining landscape.

"While the decision to hand over the reins of the Prepkitchen brand was by no means an easy one, it will allow us the time and resources to exert our energy into making Whisknladle and Catania the best they’ve ever been while bringing two very exciting new concepts to life," said Kassel. "At the same time, we’re confident that Prepkitchen will continue to thrive under new ownership that’s passionate about the existing brand and realizes its potential."

As part of the new focus, Whisknladle in La Jolla has recently undergone a cosmetic overhaul that gave the space a fresh facelift, injecting it with a modern aesthetic complete with new furniture, artwork and an improved storefront for enhanced curb appeal. Concurrently, Kassel and Johnston will shift their efforts into the conceptualization of Gravity Heights Brewery & Beer Garden - a 7,000 square foot brewery and restaurant installing at 9920 Pacific Heights Boulevard in San Diego's North County.

The company is also in the process of building Park Commons, a 10,000 square-foot, multi-concept food hall and event space located at 9645 Scranton Road in Sorrento Valley that will feature numerous dining concepts housed under one roof. There will be Dr. J's Sandwiches & Such, Fricken Burgers Fried Chicken & Burgers, Slow Poke, Best Dressed Soups & Salads, Chilango Cocina Mexicana, and Allspice Middle Eastern Cuisine. Both Gravity Heights and Park Commons are slated for a 2018 openings in the Sorrento Valley area. Whisknladle Hospitality also maintains its ongoing involvement in Milagro Winery.

PrepKitchen is now owned by David and Deborah Krause of Las Vegas' A5 Group, a hospitality management and marketing and advertising firm. The husband-and-wife duo plan to keep the concept as-is and open more locations around California and Las Vegas. Deborah Krause is the former Chief Operating Officer of Pure Management Group of Las Vegas, a $100M hospitality group, while David Krause was its former Chief Marketing Officer.

For more information on Whisknladle Hospitality Group and its concepts, visit wnlhosp.com.