San Diego's 10-Year-Old Cueva Bar Becomes De Nada Kitchen & Market

October 27, 2020

After 10 years serving Latin & Mexican tapas in San Diego, Cueva Bar in University Heights is becoming De Nada Kitchen & Market.

Chef Oz Blackaller opened Cueva Bar in fall 2010, offering an internationally-inspired menu. Born and raised in Mexico, Chef Oz moved to San Diego in 2009 with his growing family. He has been featured on Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen and recently appeared on Chopped. In light of frequently changing precautions because of the coronavirus pandemic and other factors, Blackaller has decided to rebrand his decade-old eatery to become De Nada Kitchen & Market. 

"De Nada Kitchen & Market formerly known as Cueva Bar Cafe is a rebranding Jo and I felt was necessary due to the last 10 years of experiencing the following: people not knowing how to explain what was that Cueva Bar offered, people thinking we were a bar and not coming in, people thinking we were a bar and coming in expecting mixed drinks," explained Chef Oz Blackaller. "We also feel this change will go more in line with what we can offer to our neighborhood. Think of this change a little bit like a book cover that doesn't clearly explains what the contents of the book are. Jo and I truly hope you find that the essence of what we are about, the delicious food, tasty wines and beers, and a space where you can nourish your belly and soul, have not changed. As I shared on the news, the last 10 years have been edgy, living on a month to month with the costs of doing business continuously increasing and making being sustainable quite difficult. We aren't doing this just for us, but also for our team who we really enjoy working with, and for the community we've been able to build together with you all. We ain't going anywhere we are excited for the future. It is our wish for you to find time to come experience the new De Nada Kitchen & Market starting next week."

De Nada Kitchen & Market will open this Thursday at 4pm, offering a menu featuring Latin-inspired dishes, grain bowls, and unique 10" pizzas with Mexican flavors like chicken mole and chilaquiles. Chef Oz will also offer a 6-course tasting menu Wednesday through Saturday for $65 that must be reserved 24 hours in advance. The onsite market space will feature locally sourced food items such as pasta, spices, and more, plus Chef Oz's housemade sauces like chimichurri, mole, salsas, salads and grain bowls to go, cheese boxes, as well as kitchen ware.   

"Jo and I have been feeling a big change was needed since two years ago, we just didn’t know how to let go of the Cueva Bar CafĂ© name," continued Chef Oz. "We had been conceptualizing adding a market to our space and COVID just pushed us over that edge so it was fly or splat." 

De Nada Kitchen & Market is located at 2123 Adams Avenue in San Diego's University Heights. The restaurant will be open this week Thursday through Saturday from 4-10pm. Starting next Tuesday, De Nada will be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit denadakitchenandmarket.com.