After 10 Years In Business, Searsucker Ends Run In San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter

July 27, 2020

Founded by San Diego celebrity chef Brian Malarkey in 2010, Searsucker has been a dining destination in the Gaslamp Quarter for nearly a decade, but we have received word that the iconic downtown restaurant shuttered after yesterday's service.

Nightlife guru James Brennan and local celebrity chef Brian Malarkey opened the original Searsucker at the corner of 5th and Market in the heart of San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter in July 2010, and the restaurant has packed the house ever since. Searsucker was the first of what would be many fabric-themed restaurants under the Enlightened Hospitality brand. The group eventually opened Searsucker locations in Del Mar, Austin, Scottsdale, and Las Vegas.

In early 2014, Brennan and Malarkey sold the majority stake in their then-depleted restaurant collective to Abu Dhabi-based Hakkasan Group. The Searsucker Del Mar closed last September, leaving the Las Vegas outpost as the last remaining Searsucker unless something revives downtown San Diego's branch. Locally, Hakkasan also operates Herringbone restaurant in La Jolla, and although the restaurant remains open at this time, there is no word about the future of that concept.

After selling his original restaurant mini-empire to Hakkasan, Chef Malarkey restarted anew with the opening of Herb & Wood and Herb & Eatery in San Diego's Little Italy in Spring 2016. Under the Puffer Malarkey Holdings umbrella, the group now has multiple eateries including Herb & Sea in Encinitas, Herb & Ranch food hall in Irvine CA, Anime near downtown San Diego's harbor and sister concept NIMA Cafe. News broke over the weekend that Malarkey recently gave up operational management of his three La Jolla office park eateries - the 2 Green Acre locations and Farmer & The Seahorse. Malarkey, who first tasted fame as a finalist on Bravo's Top Chef Season 3 in 2007 while he was Executive Chef of downtown San Diego's Oceanaire, was also a 'chef-testant' on the most recent season of Top Chef.

We received word from several former employees that Searsucker management had announced to staff its permanent closure. Even Brian Malarkey, himself, posted an "RIP" tribute to his first restaurant (see below). Regardless, following the publishing of this article, Hakkasan Group representatives reached out to relay the closure was merely "temporary" and they would be reopening at some point in the future. Only time will tell.