El Sueño To Bring Upscale Mexican Dining Experience With Rooftop Lounge To San Diego's Old Town

October 4, 2021

The owners of Trattoria Don Pietro are expanding their presence in San Diego's Old Town with the opening of El Sueño, an upscale Mexican restaurant offering an enormous dining space inspired by cartel lavishness and a rooftop lounge that will transport diners to the Mexican jungle. 

From father-and-son Sal & Pietro Busalacchi, who also own nearby Trattoria Don Pietro, and their partner Gustavo Rios, El Sueño is expected to open in summer 2022 in the space that housed La Pinata in Old Town from 1928 until the historic eatery shuttered in 2018. The new restaurant will offer a menu of "Vibrant Mexican" dishes, a contemporary wave of Mexican food using nothing but the most authentic Mexican products and transforming classic recipes into modernized ideas. 

"The inspiration for El Sueño will be elements of the Polanco neighborhood of Mexico city," explained co-owner Pietro Busalacchi. "I feel like it will be a cross between Javier's and Kettner Exchange, with a Pablo Escobar influence (I know he was Colombian but you get the idea - semi cartel-inspired vibes with sexy lowlight and mysterious decor). It will have a very lush and jungle-inspired ambiance, as if it was a hidden villa in the Mexican jungle."

The 3,744 square-foot standalone building will receive a complete remodel to transform it into what owners hope patrons will perceive as a villa hidden deep in the Mexican jungle. Expect total seating for around 600 patrons with lots of white stone work, an expansive courtyard-type dining area with two large bars, an outdoor patio with a stone floor covered with aztec designs with grass and greenery peaking through, and a rooftop bar and lounge with frequent DJ-spun music performances    

El Sueño aims to open by Cinco De Mayo 2022 at 2836 Juan Street in San Diego's Old Town. Follow the restaurant on Instagram to track progress.