By Frank Sabatini Jr.
The kitchen is up and running at North Park Beer Co., which recently formed a partnership with Mastiff Sausage Company to oversee food operations.
Mastiff’s beer-friendly menu includes oxtail French onion soup, Scotch eggs, sausage tacos and lamb stew made with the beer company’s signature stout. 3038 University Ave., 619-255-2946.
Shawn’s on Congress, a wine and beer bar that opened less than a year ago in Old Town, closed on Sept. 24. Owner Shawn Magurno cited “lack of business” as the reason, adding that he will now focus on opening an urban winery in the coming years, perhaps in East County. He currently produces wine at his San Carlos residence, including a strawberry Riesling that is available at The Alamo Mexican Café in Old Town, 2543 Congress St., 619-296-1112, alamomexicancafe.com.
Gustaf Rooth of Planet Rooth Design Haus in Bankers Hill is rolling out his inventive “iQ barrel smoker” for a series of dinners that begins with “Japan vs. Denmark,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20. It will be followed a month later, at the same time, by “Jamaica vs. Hawaii” on Nov. 17. The cost for either event is $40, or $70 per couple. They will be held at Rooth’s gallery. 3334 Fifth Ave., 619-297-9663, gustafrooth.com.
In celebration of its 12th anniversary, Eclipse Chocolate in South Park will hold two separate workshops that allow guests to create customized chocolate bars with a choice of 20-plus gourmet ingredients such as strawberry malted milk crunch and coconut dulce de leche. The workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 22-23 at Eclipse. The cost is $10. 2145 Fern St., 619-578-2984, eclipsechocolate.com.
After a 10-plus-year run, Wine Steals in Hillcrest ceased operations on Sept. 20 due to rent and leasing issues that resulted in an eviction. The 4,000-square-foot space functioned as a wine-beer bar, retail outlet and event venue, and it eventually spawned three other locations of the same concept. The Liberty Station and East Village outlets shuttered over the past several years, although Wine Steals in Cardiff-by-the-Sea remains in business.
Wine Steals owner Ken Mills says he might look for an alternative location within Uptown for reopening “on smaller scale.” 1243 University Ave., winestealseventvenuesd.com.
Saffron in Mission Hills is slated for a remodel as owner Su-Mei Yu enters into partnership with Karina’s Group, which operates several Mexican seafood restaurants throughout San Diego County. After work is completed early next year, the restaurant’s small adjoining space that is famous for its rotisserie chickens will become Karina’s Ceviche & More. The chickens, also available in the sit-down restaurant, will remain in the offering after the remodel, along with the same full menu of noodles, stir-fries and other Thai entrees. 3731-B India St., 619-574-7737, saffronsandiego.com.
In a lead-up to Halloween, Austin-based Amplified Snack Brands is introducing a chip to its line of Paqui Tortilla Chips — a chip so hot, it’s sold only singly in a small coffin-shaped box. Available online, the limited edition “Carolina Reaper” is flavored with the namesake pepper (considered the hottest in the world) plus scorching ghost peppers and chipotle seasoning. It retails for $4.99 per chip and will stick around until supplies last. Paqui’s established chip flavors, which include roasted habanero, jalapeno, and nacho cheese, are carried locally at Ralph’s and Whole Foods. paqui.com.
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.