Aztec Food Hub Grand Opens In San Diego's College Area

May 21, 2022

Founded by the former CEO of ride-share giant Uber, CloudKitchens is rapidly expanding its "virtual" restaurant kitchen locations across the United States and has opened its second San Diego collective in the San Diego State University College Area.

In 2018, Uber cofounder and former CEO Travis Kalanick (who is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in HBO's Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber) invested $150 million in a startup called City Storage Systems, which bases its business on repurposing under-utilized real estate buildings to become spaces for new industry sectors, such as online food delivery. The following year, City Storage founded CloudKitchens, which now has more than 40 locations across the country, including in metropolises like New York City, San Francisco, Nashville, Philadelphia, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, and several in Los Angeles. Once CloudKitchens renovates and outfits its buildings, it then leases spaces to national chain and independent food purveyors for "virtual" take-out & delivery-exclusive eateries that do the majority of their business via online delivery apps like UberEats, Postmates, GrubHub, Doordash, etc., with only some locations housing onsite dining area. In early 2021, CloudKitchens opened its first San Diego outpost, dubbed the Barrio Food Hub, a 10,000 square-foot warehouse that can house more than 50 eateries.

The bacon classic burger from Smash & Dash at Aztec Food Hub. 
CloudKitchens has tried to separate its parent company from each of its more than 40 properties, using names like "Food Center" and "Food Nest" for its locations. The second San Diego branch is named the Aztec Food Hub and can house up to 30 unique restaurant concepts within a 9,000 square-foot former music store near San Diego State University. Tenants currently serving food from the collective space include chicken wings specialists Wingalings, soul food focused Southern Grocery, smash burger eatery Smash & Dash, and many more.

Like other CloudKitchens location, the College area branch has a central pick-up window and tablets for delivery drivers to sign in, a large flatscreen listing order updates, and a waiting area with onsite bathrooms for drivers. There will also be a kiosk to allow for walk-up take-out orders. Patrons are also invited to bring their food to neighboring The Ugly Dog Pub if they'd like to eat it hot and fresh with a cold beverage. At least one more CloudKitchens outposts is expected to open in San Diego County.

Virtual, online-only "ghost kitchens" are a growing business trend as diners more frequently choose to have meals delivered rather than eating at restaurants. Many delivery-exclusive ghost kitchen concepts now operate in San Diego, including FlavorTown Kitchen by Guy FieriMrBeast BurgerGeorge Lopez Tacos, and Reef Technologies also has plans to launch a ghost kitchen in the heart of San Diego's La Jolla Village.

Aztec Food Hub is located at 6334 El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego's College Area. For more information, visit