Rockin' Baja Lobster Owner To Take Over Tin Fish In San Diego's Gaslamp For New Bar & Restaurant Concept

May 9, 2022

The founder of Rockin' Baja Lobster Coastal Cantina is taking over the 4,500 square-foot Gaslamp Quarter space occupied by Tin Fish restaurant for more than two decades. 

Inspired by road trips to the Baja Norte fishing village of Puerto Nuevo, Rick DiRienzo opened his first Rockin' Baja Lobster restaurant in 1992 at the Oceanside Marina in North San Diego County. Along with his father Joe, the family converted their former grocery into a restaurant with a menu centered around signature Baja buckets filled with fried and seasoned seafood. Over the years, the restaurant concept grew in popularity and eventually led to locations throughout Southern California, as well as in Texas, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. 

DiRienzo is in the process of finalizing a lease to take over the mostly al-fresco space that housed Tin Fish restaurant since 1998, located directly across from the San Diego Convention Center in the Gaslamp Quarter. Previously slated to become a new location of Pacific Beach-born Sandbox Pizza & Wings, that deal ultimately fell through for a variety of reasons. DiRienzo will take over the Tin Fish space this June and keep it as is through the Padres season. This fall, he will convert the building to become Gaslamp Trolley Cantina & Grill, an offshoot of the Rockin' Baja brand featuring an approachable menu of Mexico-inspired appetizers, tacos, burritos, seafood platters and entrees. There will also be a full bar with cocktails, beer and wine, as well as frequent live music on the expansive outdoor patio.

Gaslamp Trolley Cantina & Grill is expected to open by year's end at 170 Sixth Avenue in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. For more information, visit