FIRST LOOK: Replacing Historic Saska's, Moe's Is Set To Open This Week In San Diego's Mission Beach

March 2, 2022

Replacing the historic Saska's Steakhouse, which closed in 2020 after nearly seven decades in business, Moe's is set to open this week in San Diego's Mission Beach.

After 69 years in business, Saska's restaurant in San Diego's Mission Beach shuttered in spring 2020. 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. Champion-Cain also converted part the neighboring Saska's sushi concept into a Surf Rider Pizza location. Both spaces sold after news broke that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had filed a complaint against Gina Champion-Cain for allegedly operating a "multi-year, $300 million scheme that defrauded approximately 50 retail investors. After pleading guilty to criminal charges, Cain was sentenced to the maximum term of 15 years in prison last March. 

In 2020, Saska's and Surf Rider Pizza in Mission Beach were purchased at auction by OMG Hospitality Group, a San Diego-based restaurant collective founded in 2008 by CEO Eric Leitstein. OMG operates such San Diego bars and restaurants as 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. OMG originally planned to resuscitate the Saska's brand as a classic steakhouse, as well as reopen Surf Rider Pizza and its second tier rooftop, but they are now rebranding both spaces. In addition to Moe's, the neighboring bi-level space that was last Surf Rider Pizza will become a new restaurant named Molly's, a health-focused restaurant named after Leitstein's paternal grandmother that will serve Mexican-inspired hearty bowls, salads, brunch, and more. 

The former Saska's will continue on as a classic steakhouse concept, but under the new name Moe's (no relation to MO's in Hillcrest or Moe Coffee). The name change is a way for Leitstein to honor his late grandfather, named Morris "Moe" Leitstein, who would take young Eric to classic Italian, East Coast steakhouses when he was growing up in New York and Florida. The 2,500 square-foot space has undergone mini-makeover led by local firm Tecture Design and Fabrication (Nolita Hall, Kettner Exchange). Expect an old school steakhouse vibe with red vinyl booths and dark wood accents. 

The menu at Moe's will be in the hands of Executive Chef Jay Scollon, a graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena who previously led the kitchen at the popular Las Brisas in Laguna Beach. Scollon also has experience in several upscale kitchens including Hatfield’s, a Michelin star-rated restaurant in Beverly Hills, and spent several years as the executive sous chef for the Tavistock Restaurant Collection. Scollon's menu for Moe's will include classic steakhouse dishes, including a variety of prime cuts of steak, fresh seafood, salads, soups, pasta, sides and appetizers. There will also be a full bar with old school cocktails, local beer, a curated wine selection, and even private liquor cabinets for "the regulars".
Moe's will have soft opening hours starting this Friday, March 4, and will officially open on Tuesday, March 8, at 3pm, at 3768 Mission Boulevard in San Diego's Mission Beach neighborhood. For more information, visit and check out the menu below.