The Friendly To Bring NYC-Style Pizza & Flat Top Burgers To San Diego's Pacific Beach

March 10, 2022

The team behind NYC-style pizza & flat-top burger destination The Friendly will open their fourth location in San Diego's Pacific Beach neighborhood.

In early 2018, longtime San Diego restaurant general manager, pizza maker and cook Brandon Zanavich opened The Friendly on a quiet stretch of 30th Street on the outskirts of North Park. The pizzeria quickly gained a cult following due to its no-nonsense environment, frequent chef & industry pop-ups, and the popularity of its Dirty Flat Top cheeseburger. In September 2019, the team behind The Friendly opened The Friendly Tavern, an al-fresco restaurant devoted to the brand's iconic smashed patty burgers, sited in the former Carnitas' Snack Shack space in North Park. Last year, the Friendly crew took over the space that last housed Chung's Hair Barber Shop in the small Convoy Street plaza that also houses Tajima Ramen and Steamy Piggy for the opening of its third area location, dubbed Friendly 3, which has been much delayed but is anticipated to open by year's end.

The newest The Friendly location will open in the 1,900 square-foot unit previously occupied by Spot Brazil on Garnet Avenue in central Pacific Beach. This new branch will be the most ambitous yet, offering a tavern menu devoted to flat top smashed patty burgers, fries, onion rings, and other special dishes, as well as a glass case stocked with thin crust pizza. Food will be served from a fast-casual communal counter and open kitchen where cooks will interact with patrons. There will also be a 1,000 square foot outdoor patio. The team aims to establish itself as a neighborhood destination and work with other area restaurants on pop up specials. Like has become a point of contention at the original The Friendly, there will be no modifications to the menu offerings (#NoMods).

"This one feels like a success already knowing we are fulfilling our promise of giving majority back to our crew," explained The Friendly founder Brandon Zanavich. "I struggled financially while doing what I loved for a long time, and I never wanted that for our people. Long time manager Bruce Heelan is gonna take the lead on this one, and we are optimistic we will fit right into the community. Selling burgers and pizza to college kids by the beach makes sense to me. I might hate myself for giving this one away...haha! Fuck it! Only get to do this one time!"

The Friendly 4 aims to open by this summer at 1344 Garnet Avenue, in San Diego's Pacific Beach. For more information, follow The Friendly on Instagram