After 69 Years In Business, San Diego's Oldest Steakhouse Saska's Shuts Its Doors | OMG Hospitality Rumored To Have Purchased Historic Restaurant

April 26, 2020

After 69 years in business, Saska's restaurant in San Diego's Mission Beach served its final steak this weekend, but it is rumored local restaurant group, OMG Hospitality (Waterbar, Union Kitchen & Tap, Backyard Kitchen & Tap), has purchased the historic eatery.

Known as San Diego's longest running steakhouse, Saska's was owned by the Saska family since 1951 before selling to Gina Champion-Cain's The Patio Group in 2015. The Mission Beach institution has had a diverse history over the years, operating as a steakhouse, sushi restaurant, and sports bar.

"Saska's is one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego - I’ve been a regular for over 20 years," said The Patio Group founder Gina Champion-Cain after renovating and reopening the restaurant in February 2017. "Restoring the long-standing restaurant to its former glory is a dream come true, and a passion project brought to life."

Last summer, news broke that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had filed a complaint against Gina Champion-Cain, the founder of San Diego's The Patio Group and parent company American National Investments, for allegedly operating a "multi-year, $300 million scheme that defrauded approximately 50 retail investors." The fallout resulted in the court-appointed receiver overseeing Champion-Cain's assets closing numerous Patio Group restaurants, including Himmelberg's in San Diego's East Village, Swell Coffee locations, Bao Beach, The Patio Express branches, The Patio on Goldfinch, Fireside By The Patio, and Surf Rider Pizza branches in Mission Beach and Crown Point. San Diego's Cohn Restaurant Group was designated to operate The Patio on Lamont, Saska's Steakhouse and Surf Rider Pizza eateries in Ocean Beach and La Mesa. All of the properties were later listed for sale by area commercial real estate brokers, and The Patio on Lamont was closed in mid-March. Saskas was listed for $1,865,000. There is no word whether the it was sold.

After being open for take-out and delivery following the California stay-at-home order, Saska's served its last meals on Saturday, April 25. Word on the street is Eric Leitstein of San Diego-based OMG Hospitality Group purchased the property for a little over $2 million, but this has not been confirmed. Locally, OMG operates Pacific Beach Alehouse, Backyard Kitchen & Tap, Waterbar, Sandbar, Encinitas Fish Shop, Pacific Beach Fish Shop, and Union Kitchen & Tap locations in downtown San Diego and Encinitas. It is believed OMG plans to resuscitate the Saska's brand. We reached out to Cohn Restaurant Group founder David Cohn and OMG Hospitality for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publishing.

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