By Frank Sabatini Jr.
Lestat’s Hillcrest had its soft opening on Aug. 9, marking the coffee house’s third location since establishing its original spot in 1997 on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. The Hillcrest outlet occupies a double-storefront space left behind by Lava Sushi.
Manager Joseph Wellman said Lestat’s Hillcrest will begin operating 24 hours “in the next four or five weeks” and that it will eventually take advantage of the property’s full kitchen for expanding the food menu. At present, the offerings are the same as those at the company’s Park Boulevard location in University Heights — salads, paninis, house-made soups and sandwiches. 1045 University Ave., 619-564-6616, lestats.com.
Nearly a dozen local restaurants will take part in the Third Annual Ceviche Showdown from 2 – 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 28, at 57 Degrees in Middletown. The event allows guests to sample the creative and traditional recipes from each competitor before casting their vote for the people’s choice award. A panel of judges will also rate the entries for the “best of San Diego” award.
Participating restaurants include Old Town Tequila Factory, Café Gratitude, Hope 46, Dobson’s, Puesto and more. Tickets can be purchased through the website. The cost is $24 in advance (by Aug. 27) and $35 at the door. 1735 Hancock St., 619-234-5757, fiftysevendegrees.com.
Without explanation, Lil B’s Urban Eatery in North Park abruptly closed this month. The restaurant was launched in 2012 by Brian Stout, who had previously co-owned the former Brian’s American Eatery on Washington Street. That too had suddenly closed before Great Maple moved in. A posting on Facebook under the name “Lil B’s Restaurant,” dated Aug. 14, simply states: “I’m sure I speak for everyone that worked at Lil B’s that we appreciate the loyalty of all of our customers. We will miss u all.” 2611 El Cajon Blvd.
Two of life’s guilty pleasures, bacon and booze, will take center stage at the fourth annual San Diego Bacon Festival, from 1 – 5:30 p.m., Sept. 3, at Liberty Station’s Preble Field. In past events, participating chefs and restaurants have incorporated the pork strips into everything from sandwiches and seafood items to lettuce wraps and desserts.
Nearly 20 food vendors are taking part this year, including S&M Sausage and Meat, Sabuku Sushi, The Cork & Craft and The Smok’d Hog. They’ll be joined by dozens of local and national breweries doling out samples of their latest and greatest releases. Several distilleries will be on hand as well.
Guests must be 21 years or older. General admission is $60, which includes unlimited samples of food and drink. 2600 Cushing Road, sdbaconfest.com.
One of Shelter Island’s oldest seafood restaurants, Red Sails Inn, has been purchased by The Brigantine Family of Restaurants and will permanently close Aug. 31. The new ownership will remodel the space for a contemporary seafood concept called The Katch, which is due to open early next year.
Red Sails Inn was originally established in the late 1920s at the foot of G Street in Downtown San Diego before moving in 1957 to its current location. 2614 Shelter Island Drive, 619-223-3030, theredsails.com.
Famous for its vegan cinnamon rolls, Cinnaholic made its San Diego debut Aug. 12 in Westfield Mission Valley mall via a kiosk in front of Macy’s. The rolls, which are available with flavored icings and various toppings of choice, are free of dairy and eggs. The company launched several years ago in Berkeley, and has since branched into Las Vegas, Atlanta and Southlake, Texas. Plans are in the works for two other local outlets in the Gaslamp Quarter and Pacific Beach. 1640 Camino Del Rio North, 619-546-9991, cinnaholic.com.
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.