San Diego's Trust Restaurant Group Loses Founding Partner

April 2, 2020

After a nearly 5 year tenure building one of San Diego's most progressive and successful restaurant collectives, one of the founding partners has stepped down from his leadership role at Trust Restaurant Group.

Started in early 2016 with the opening of Trust Restaurant within design guru Jonathan Segal's Mr. Robinson Building on the outskirts of Hillcrest, Trust Restaurant Group was founded by alums of San Diego-based Eat.Drink.Sleep (JRDN, Decoy Dockside Dining), including Co-Owner/Chef Brad Wise, GM/Managing Partner Steve Schwob, and Pastry Chef Jeremy Harville. Trust immediately received rave reviews and became one of San Diego's most popular dining destinations, resulting in the team expanding in 2017 with the opening of Hundred Proof - a more casual bar & restaurant located four blocks north of Trust. In January 2019, the team (with financial backing by local real estate developer and co-owner of San Diego Legion rugby team Ryan Patterson) unveiled Fort Oak within developer Jonathan Segal's The Fort mixed-use building in Mission Hills. Early last year, the hospitality company also partnered with Small Bar in San Diego's University Heights in an attempt to revive the flailing University Heights neighborhood gastropub, but that relationship ended abruptly last October. This past November, the group unveiled Rare Society, a modern take on the classic American steakhouse opened in the former Hundred Proof space. In January 2020, Trust Group opened all-day restaurant, bakery and marketplace Cardellino within the space previously occupied by Brooklyn Girl Eatery in Mission Hills.

We found out early this week that Managing Partner Steve Schwob had left the Trust Restaurant Group, reportedly to spend more time with his family. Prior to opening Trust Restaurant in 2016, Schwob worked as Director of Operations for Cannonball and Draft at Belmont Park in Mission Beach, at that time under management of parent company Eat. Drink. Sleep. It appears that Schwob's decision to depart from the successful hospitality company he helped found was recent, as just last week (March 28), the Statement of Information for parent corporation was filed with the California Secretary of State reporting no change in ownership and it was signed electronically by Schwob. We reached out to Steve Schwob for comment but did not receive a response by time of publishing.

"With Steve and his growing family, he decided to step down as my 50% partner," explained Trust Restaurant Group co-founder and Executive Chef Brad Wise. "I know it was a very tough decision for him, however at the end of the day family comes first. We built something special over the last 5 years, we have an amazing work family that I will continue to nurture."

Chef Wise indicated that little will change moving forward, although all his restaurants are currently closed due to COVID-19 coronavirus precautions. Former Fort Oak General Manager Sophia Hussain was promoted to Director of Operations back in January to assist with managing the growing restaurant group.

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