By Frank Sabatini Jr.
The constellation of Coronado restaurants owned by San Diego-based Blue Bridge Hospitality now have an additional set of eyes upon them with the arrival of chef and former restaurateur Matt Gordon, who was brought on board as vice president of operations. Among the restaurant he’ll help oversee are Stake Chophouse, West Pac Noodle Bar, El Roy’s, and Leroy’s Kitchen and Lounge.
Gordon recently closed his Urban Solace in North Park and Solace and the Moonlight Lounge in Encinitas, saying the restaurants had run their courses.
His arrival to Blue Bridge coincides with the recent departure of the Blue Bridge’s corporate consulting chef, Tim Kolanko, who took a lead position with San Diego’s Urban Restaurant Group. bluebridgehospitality.com and urbankitchengroup.com.
Revel Revel is a third-floor event space that opened April 4 for private dinners, wedding receptions, business meetings and other events. Food is prepared onsite by Eco Caters, which also owns Lot 8 in Mission Valley.
The venture absorbs 1,700 square feet formerly occupied by Quad AleHouse. It accommodates 245 guests standing, and up to 150 seated. The remodeled interior shows off exposed brick, wooden floors and beams, a living moss wall and mobile bars.
The building, which was a Navy laundry facility several decades ago, houses the Gaslamp Tavern on its ground floor. The second level is non-commercial. 868 Fifth Ave., 858-246-6129,
Crafty matcha beverages prepared with two grades of “ceremonial” matcha — one of them grown in Kyoto, Japan — rule the menu at Holy Matcha in the East Village. This is the cafe’s second San Diego location since debuting in North Park a couple years ago. Popular also for its menu of small bites, which include waffle bouquets and avocado toast, the new space greets with a sleek, minimalist design clad in terrazzo and featuring splashes of pink. 201 Park Blvd., Suite 105,
Look for casual munchies like sloppy Joe sliders, popcorn chicken and meatball subs at the new Himmelberg’s, an East Village fun spot that offers a nostalgic rock n’ roll vibe with your food. Opened by The Patio Group, the lively restaurant is named fondly after Joey Himmelberg, a late friend of the restaurant group’s CEO, Gina Champion-Cain.
Himmelberg passed suddenly in 2016 from a heart attack. He was a devoted fan of music from the ’70s and ’80s. The venture “represents Joey’s zest for life and love for rock n’ roll music,” said Champion-Cain.
Cocktails with theme names are also available, as well as desserts such as chocolate cake and ice cream floats. 369 10th Ave., 619-541-8301,
San Diego’s newest distillery is up and running in the East Village within a chic, industrial atmosphere marked by three distinct spaces.
Storyhouse Spirits features a bar that opens to a street patio, a mezzanine and a distillery/production area. It was launched by Matt Kidd and Steve Kuftinec, who are serving up varieties of vodka and gin. Bourbon and single-malt whiskey are in the pipeline for future releases. In addition, wine and beer are available, and a copper wood-fired oven is put to use for cooking items such as flatbreads and beef-lamb gyros. 1220 J St., 619-241-2780, storyhousespirits.com
After a short run, the Napa Valley-inspired Route 29 in the Gaslamp Quarter recently re-branded to The Butcher’s Cut Steakhouse—and “for no particular reason,” according to sales manager Ocean Mohanadi.
A few modifications were made to the tastefully designed space, including the installations of a meat locker for dry-aged steaks and a wine cellar that carries a revised inventory. The menu features a “who’s who” list of meats, as described on the website. Choices include everything from grain-fed Black Angus cuts and state-farmed eye filet to pork chops, Australian lamb, and buffalo fillets. Pescatarians will find options such as tuna tartare, octopus carpaccio, lobster ravioli, and sea bass in blood orange reduction. The dinner-only restaurant opens at 4 p.m. daily. 644 Fifth Ave., 619-235-8144, thebutcherscutsteakhouse.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.