After Less Than 4 Months In Business, Casa Rústica Closes In Carmel Valley

October 18, 2018

Amidst juggling numerous new projects, Johan Engman's Rise & Shine Restaurant Group has pulled the plug on its casual Mexican restaurants in Carmel Valley. Casa Rústica has closed its doors after a short run and sister concept California Taco Club was announced but never opened.

Johan Engman's Rise & Shine Restaurant Group began in 2008 with the opening of the flagship Fig Tree Cafe in Pacific Beach. The burgeoning San Diego hospitality collective now operates three Fig Tree locations (PB, Hillcrest & Liberty Station) and packs the house at 7 locations of its Breakfast Republic eateries (North Park, Ocean Beach, East Village, Encinitas, Liberty Station, Carmel Valley, and Pacific Beach). Expected to open this past May inside The Shoppes at Carlsbad was the 8th Breakfast Republic, but that project is still unfinished. Two more BR outposts are also in the works for Mission Valley and Irvine, CA. Rise & Shine is also in the process of introducing a new morning concept named Eggies, which will be a fast-casual line of walk-up eateries operating out of converted shipping containers installed near three of San Diego’s busiest Breakfast Republic locations.

More previously announced but unfinished projects include North Park Breakfast Company, the from-scratch Italian kitchen previously dubbed Pizza Republic in North Park (now called NorPa Kitchen), and Feast & Fareway at Coronado Municipal Golf Course. This past June, Rise and Shine did manage to open its upscale Mexican restaurant in Liberty Station, El Jardin, but online reviews for that concept have been sliding.

Casa Rústica opened in early July within the space that housed another short-lived restaurant - Crudo by Pascale Lorange - in The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch in the Del Mar area of San Diego's North County. There is no word on the reason for Casa Rústica's sudden closure or what is planned for the incomplete California Taco Club. A sign on the door reads: "We are closed effective immediately. Thank you to all our guests for your support! Sincerely, Management." We reached out to Johan Engman and his PR for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publishing. 

For more information on Rise and Shine Restaurant Group, visit