San Diego's Decades-Old Studio Diner Under New Ownership

January 20, 2023

After nearly two decades under the same ownership, San Diego's iconic Studio Diner has been sold to an experienced local restaurateur.

Studio Diner was built in the middle of San Diego's Kearny Mesa business district in the summer of 2003. The building was originally used as a film set next door to the 20 acre Stu Segall Productions facility, which was used primarily for filming television series and movies like Veronica Mars, Bring It On, and I Married a Monster. The 1940s-style diner was eventually modified to become a classic restaurant in order to serve food to late night film crews and San Diego's public. Studio Diner was featured on Guy Fieri's hit Food Network program "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" in 2007 and 2019. Studio Diner remained mostly closed starting in March 2020 through the COVID-19 pandemic but reopened to the public with limited hours in February 2022.

Studio Diner has been purchased by local restaurateurs and longtime business partners Salvatore Ercolano and Gilbert Frank. Last year, the pair purchased The Butcher Shop steakhouse in Kearny Mesa. Ercolano also owns Flora Bar & Kitchen within The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch in Carmel Valley and West End Bar & Kitchen in Del Mar, and he previously operated Bella Luna and Paper Moon restaurants in San Diego's Gaslamp, Villa Capri in Carmel Valley, Torrey Club Café in La Jolla, Come-On-In Cafes in several communities in San Diego, and Seasalt Seafood Bistro in Del Mar.

There are apparently no plans to change Studio Diner at this time. The restaurant is currently open from 6am to 9pm daily. 

Studio Diner is located at 4701 Ruffin Road in San Diego's Kearny Mesa community. For more information, visit