Key & Cleaver Taking Over Over Former Brooklyn Bar Building In San Diego's City Heights

April 17, 2023

Opening this week in the former Brooklyn Bar building in San Diego's City Heights is Key & Cleaver, an incoming burger bar and grill from hospitality industry insiders. 

In early 2021, Brooklyn Bar & Grill closed in City Heights following the death of its owner Bill Lutzius, who once long operated San Diego's whiskey wonderland Aero Club in Middletown. The 2,300 square-foot, bi-level building has since been taken over by Jennipher Hager and Christopher Dainty, two lifelong hospitality workers and partners. Most recently, Jennipher was the Assistant General Manager of Stone Bistro & Gardens in Escondido and Christopher was the General Manager of Wonderland in Ocean Beach until a month ago.

Key and Cleaver is a bar-forward restaurant with a menu centered around several burgers made with beef sourced from Perennial Pastures Ranch and raised in the mountains of San Diego using regenerative ranching - cows that get to live outside and graze naturally. From the bar, expect 16 draft handles featuring locally made beers, ciders, seltzers, and kombucha, as well as vodka and gin made right here in San Diego. As far as design, the restaurant offers a casual, garden motif with an upstairs outdoor patio and event space, and a mural on the side of the building by local legends Ground Floor Murals, who are known for their many Padres paintings sited around the city.

Key & Cleaver will grand open at 4727 University Avenue in San Diego's City Heights neighborhood on Friday, April 21. For more information, visit