Long Story Short Restaurant Replacing Little Thief Wine Bar In San Diego's North Park

August 7, 2023

Replacing the short-lived Little Thief Wine Bar & Kitchen in San Diego's North Park is Long Story Short, the first permanent restaurant from a local husband-and-wife chef team.

After approximately a year in business, Little Thief Wine Bar shuttered on University Avenue in North Park earlier this summer. The natural wine bar was the product of Brian Jensen, who is the founder of San Diego's Bottlecraft beer bar and bottle shop locations, Vino Carta Wine stores, and is in the process of launching an Old World-style pub and eatery called Bock Bar in the former Hamilton's Tavern space in South Park. Jensen is rebranding the Little Thief space to become Long Story Short, a concept which has operated from within Vino Carta's Solana Beach location for almost two years. 

Long Story Short will be the first standalone brick-and-mortar restaurant from husband-and-wife team and San Diego natives, Chefs Elliott and Kelly Townsend. The dinner-exclusive restaurant will unveil in mid-August with a menu of California cuisine prepared with seasonal and local ingredients. Chefs Elliott and Kelly, who previously cooked at Juniper & Ivy and Cowboy Star, respectively, both grew up in San Diego county and met at the Art Institute of California San Diego, where they both earned bachelor's degrees in culinary management. 

"This is not just a restaurant," commented Elliott Townsend. "It's a collection of things Kelly and I have compiled to tell a story – a story of time, places, and people from our more than 10 years together. We are from this city, and we love it dearly. The meals we are going to create are an evolution of our relationship, our journey, and what’s still to come. The music is what we listen to, the wine is what we drink, and the food is what we believe you should be eating at this precise moment. Long story short, this is us, and North Park is our home."

At Long Story Short, expect dishes like dry-aged local bluefin tuna with tamarind dashi and cucumber salad; corn agnolotti with brown butter sauce and huitlacoche; and white sea bass crudo topped with cochinita salsa and fresh figs. From the bar, the restaurant will focus on natural wines from small producers around the world, as well as have handful of taps pouring craft beer and hard beverages from independent craft breweries. 

Long Story Short is scheduled to open on Wednesday, August 16, at 3017 University Avenue in San Diego's North Park. For more information, follow Long Story Short on Instagram.