Buona Forchetta Restaurant Group's Carbón BBQ Temporarily Closes In San Diego's South Park

August 9, 2023 

It took more than four years in development for San Diego's Buona Forchetta restaurant group to open Texas-style BBQ house and beer bar Carbón in South Park, but the restaurant is already temporarily closed, the head chef is gone, and the concept is being reinvented after only nine months in business.

News broke in fall 2018 that Buona Forchetta restaurant founder Matteo Cattaneo was opening a Texas-style barbecue house in San Diego's South Park. Following a four year build out and concept development, Carbón BBQ finally opened last November with a kitchen helmed by Executive Chef Hanis Cavin, who previously founded the Carnitas Snack Shack brand and opened Pioneer BBQ before leaving San Diego for Spokane, WA for a brief period. 

Carbón's menu of smoked meat platters, burgers and sandwiches quickly stirred controversy with the owner of nearby Grand Ole BBQ, which is located less than a mile away, accusing Carbón of ripping off his menu. Chef Hanis ended up leaving the company this past June and the restaurant closed this week, announcing it would only be temporary. 

Word is Carbón ownership is reinventing the restaurant to become a rustic-style grill concept, maintaining some barbecue options but we adding a fresh look and full service. We reached out to Matteo Cattaneo for more information, but he only stated that the space would undergo a remodel and reopen in less than a month. 

Cattaneo opened his award-winning Buona Forchetta in San Diego's South Park neighborhood in 2011 and has been packing the house ever since. In March 2017, the company opened an offshoot dubbed Officine Buona Forchetta in Liberty Station, which coincided with the announcement of an incoming, 1,100 square foot Encinitas Buona Forchetta that debuted in October 2018. The team also operates Enoteca Buona Forchetta, an Italian bodega and bistro that sits two doors down from the company's flagship South Park restaurant.

In early 2020, Buona Forchetta ownership opened Matteo, a non-profit breakfast-centric restaurant in South Park, as well as Garage Buona Forchetta in Coronado and Roman pizzeria Gelati & Peccati in North Park. In 2021, Cattaneo also opened a Buona Forchetta branch in the 3,000 square-foot space that last housed a location of the now-defunct PrepKitchen chain within Block C at the North City mixed use residential and retail development in San Marcos. The company also operates a casual, NYC-style pizzeria concept Forchettabouddit within El Camino Promenade in Encinitas, an event venue and restaurant dubbed Meraki in South Park, and a modern diner offshoot of North Park's Gelati & Peccati concept dubbed GP Diner in the 2,138 square-foot building that long housed a location of Angelo's Burgers in San Diego's Encinitas community. 

Carbón BBQ is located at 2314 30th Street in San Diego's South Park. For more information, visit buonaforchettasd.com.