The Friendly Founder To Take Over Operations At Short-Lived The Porchetta Shack In North Park, Converting It To New Biscuit-Based Bar & Restaurant

Bottom photos courtesy of Frank Sabatini Jr. 
July 28, 2019

The owner of The Friendly will soon take over operations at short-lived The Porchetta Shack (formerly Carnitas' Snack Shack North Park) and will be changing the concept into a biscuit-fueled bar & eatery.

Husband-and-wife partners Chef Hanis Cavin & Sara Stroud founded the Carnitas' Snack Shack brand with the opening of their first restaurant on the outskirts of San Diego's North Park neighborhood in 2011. The walk-up eatery became an instant hit with its menu of pork-centric dishes. A second location of the popular pork paradise opened in Del Mar in August 2014 but shuttered in late 2016. Along with partners Sweet100, a local private equity firm led by Mike DiNorscia, the team brought a Carnitas' Snack Shack location to San Diego's waterfront Embarcadero in Spring 2016. Snack Shack also expanded to Petco Park in 2017, where it still has two locations in left field.

Last year, Cavin teamed up with Chef Willie DePascale and Cohn Restaurant Group founder David Cohn for the opening of The Pioneer, a barbecue-focused bar and restaurant built in the former McCarter's Bar & Grill space in San Diego's East County. Carnitas' Snack Shack's original North Park restaurant closed on January 6 of this year, first stated to be for a design refresher, but Chef Hanis actually rebranded the location into a new concept called The Porchetta Shack, which opened in March and has already shuttered. From our understanding, Cavin & Stroud essentially transferred approximately half of their interest in the Carnitas Snack Shack brand to Sweet100, which also has investment stakes in Broken Yolk Café, Cucina Enoteca, and Burger Lounge, as well as some operational role in the Little Italy Food Hall. The Embarcadero and Petco Park locations of Carnitas continue to be operated by Sweet100, albeit without Cavin working directly with the company.

"The Pioneer is so busy it wasn't realistic for me to run 2 places," commented Chef Hanis Cavin. "Brandon had approached me with an offer that made sense. It's a win win for both of us."

Chef Hanis is reportedly in the process of partnering with Brandon Zanavich from North Park's The Friendly, who will be taking over management duties of the new concept installing at The Porchetta Shack space at 2632 University Avenue in North Park. Prior to opening The Friendly in early 2018, Zanavich worked at Pizzeria Luigi, Carnitas' Snack Shack and BeerFish. Although Zanavich is still working on finalizing a name for the new restaurant (tentatively set to be called "Bizkit"), he knows the menu will be centered around all things biscuits and gravy, albeit without eggs. The eatery will also have a full bar with cocktails and beer. There is currently no timeline in place for the opening.

This is a developing story: We will update this post as we learn more.