Hillstone Restaurant Group To Bring R+D Kitchen To Former Bully's Space In Del Mar

March 11, 2018

We announced last summer that Los Angeles-based Hillstone Restaurant Group was moving forward with plans to take over the nearly 50-year-old Bully's North in Del Mar. Now we have exclusive details that Hillstone will be building an outpost of the company's R+D Kitchen at the space for an anticipated 2019/2020 opening.

Hillstone Restaurant Group got its start when George Biel opened the first Houston's Restaurant in 1977 in Nashville, Tennessee. The company now has 48 restaurants around the United States, with a third of its concepts located in California. Last July, Hillstone presented site plans to the city of Del Mar's Design Review Board and has recently been approved to move forward with building a restaurant in the space that was occupied by Bully's North from 1969 until it closed in late 2017.

Hillstone has been eyeing property in San Diego for nearly 3 years. Originally, the company presented plans to Del Mar for a 5,200 square-foot restaurant with a three-level parking garage to be installed after a complete demo of the longtime Bully's building. They've finally agreed upon a 4,500+ square-foot restaurant with underground parking. This project will be the first new commercial building to be constructed in downtown Del Mar in more than 30 years.
Artistic rendering of R+D Kitchen Del Mar
"We were thinking the Del Mar location would be great for an R+D," said Hillstone Restaurant Group Vice President Brian Biel. "We are excited to finally open a restaurant in San Diego County and Del Mar especially."

Heading into the lot at 1404 Camino Del Mar is the fifth outpost of Hillstone's R+D Kitchen concept, which has locations in Newport Beach, Santa Monica, Yountville, and Dallas. The restaurant will offer an approachable menu of California-influenced American dishes, including sandwiches and burgers, large salads, comfort-focused entrees, and a variety of sides and desserts. The design of the restaurant will be in the hands of Hillstone Restaurant Group’s internal design department and Fleetwood Fernandez Architects. The builder will be Angelone Builders. The eatery will offer an exhibition kitchen layout with a full island bar, a dining room filled with leather booths and outdoor patio seating facing Camino Del Mar. Based on the success of R+D Kitchen in Del Mar, Hillstone may open additional eateries in the San Diego area in the near future.

Lester Holt and George Bullington opened the flagship Bully’s in La Jolla in 1967. Bully’s North opened two years later in Del Mar, with a third location debuting in Mission Valley in 1971. Holt’s daughter Yuhause-Becker took over the Del Mar and La Jolla locations after her father's death in 1995. In 2008, the La Jolla location was shut down, with the Del Mar outpost finally closing in December 2017. Bully’s East Prime Bistro remains open in Mission Valley. 

R+D Kitchen Del Mar is expected to begin construction this Spring with an 18 month build out to follow, so do not expect it to open until late 2019/early 2020. For more information on R+D, visit rd-kitchen.com and check out the menus below. 

Lunch menu
Dinner menu