David Oates of PR Security Service in San Diego relayed to us that none of the restaurants owned by The Patio Group will close in light of fraud charges lodged against its parent company, ANI Development, and the investment company’s founder, Gina Champion-Cain.
The well-known restaurateur/investment guru has been accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of defrauding numerous retail investors out of a sum totaling $300 million over the past several years. She operates a series of local restaurants that include The Patio on Goldfinch, The Patio on Lamont, Fireside by the Patio, Saska’s, and Himmelberg’s.
In an email we received from Oates on Champion-Cain’s behalf, he stated in part: “While we can’t discuss details of the ongoing litigation matter, we will continue to cooperate with authorities throughout this process,” noting also that he expects a “receiver” will be appointed to the civil suit.
In a subsequent email, he pointed out: “We do not anticipate any disruption to operations,” referring to The Patio Group’s portfolio of restaurants. thepatiogroup.com.
Tahona in Old Town is jumping into action for Mezcal Week (Sept. 8-15). It is also about to launch a speakeasy on Sept. 17 in a former storage room within the establishment. The tucked-away cocktail bar will be called Oculto 477. Guests in the know can expect an “incredibly elevated” cocktail program of which the details are yet to be revealed, according to its promoters.
In the meantime, Tahona’s kitchen and mezcal bar will introduce a new “taco omakase” series on Sept. 10, which will continue every subsequent Tuesday under the direction of executive chef Adrian Villareal.
In addition, look for the launch of the establishment’s “mezcal society” on Sept. 11, when guests will taste several mezcals from 8 to 11 p.m., including a new brand called La Reina Raicilla.
Throughout the rest of Mezcal Week, there will be “spooky” mezcal cocktails (Sept. 13), complimentary samples (Sept. 14), and a mezcal-themed brunch (Sept. 15). 2414 San Diego Ave., 619-255-2090, tahonabar.com.
Luis Diaz is inching closer to opening the largest Los Panchos Taco Shop in his long-established chain, which has seven other locations sprinkled throughout San Diego County.
This latest venture takes the place of Brazen BBQ at the prime corner of Washington Street and Fifth Avenue, just yards away from where he operated in Hillcrest for almost 20 years.
Diaz allowed us a peak inside the 3,334 structure, which revealed hand-painted palm fronds, bamboo ceilings and space dividers, a full bar that opens to the outdoor deck, and a significantly upgraded kitchen featuring a vertical spit for cooking al pastor.
The menu will feature many of the company’s signature items, but they’ll be served on hot plates rather than in baskets. There will also be the additions of assorted ceviches, fajitas, and steak and seafood entrees.
Diaz’s brother, Carlos, will oversee the bar program, which will offer flavored margaritas, fine tequilas and mezcals, wine, and craft beer. Look for a late-September opening. 441 Washington St.
The Trust Restaurant Group is reinventing a couple of Uptown eating and drinking establishments. It recently announced it will transform the former Brooklyn Girl in Mission Hills (4033 Goldfinch St.) into an Italian restaurant encompassing a full bar, a retail wine section, a bakery, and a walk-up window for purchasing ice cream. Slated to be named Cardellino, most of the operation is due to open by late January.
Over in Hillcrest/University Heights, the company’s Hundred Proof (4130 Park Blvd.) will switch from an unpretentious cocktail bar that served casual grub to a neighborhood-style steakhouse spotlighting classic cuts and throwback dishes such as oysters Rockefeller. It’s been named 4130 West and will feature a dry-aging room. Chef and co-owner Brad Wise plans to also offer old-school Italian favorites such as spaghetti with meatballs and pizzas. The project is expected to materialize sometime in November.
A spirited kickoff took place Aug. 31 for the arrival of SiAmo Napoli in the heart of North Park. The restaurant replaces Il Postino and ushers in a full bar and classic Neapolitan dishes that include seafood risotto, beef cannelloni, parpardelle pasta with lamb ragu, and pizzas baked in a high-heat oven imported from Naples.
SiAmo Napoli, which translates to “we are Naples,” is owned by a trio of siblings from Naples, Italy. They include Flavio Piromallo, who has been general manager of Civico 1845 in Little Italy for several years and previously worked for Buon Appetito in Hillcrest.
The restaurant’s chic design features light colors, interior brick, a giant photograph of Sophia Loren, and an imposing mural of Naples in the rear dining area. 3859 30th St., 619-310-6981, siamonapolisd.com.
Biscuits and gravy as well as pies cooked in cast-iron skillets will take center stage at Sunny Boy Biscuit Co. in Hillcrest, which is due to open by early November in the space last occupied by The Smok’d Hog.
Owner Gabriel Ferguson grew up in a Washington state farming community with food and recipes that closely resembled those from the South.
“I’ve always wanted to do comfort food and pie in a restaurant concept,” he said while revealing to us some of his upcoming menu items.
There will be various themed biscuits and gravy, such as California-style with carne asada, a chicken cutlet version, and another based on Sunday-style roast using a rotating selection of meats. Biscuit sandwiches will also be available, along with scratch-made cast-iron pies such as pumpkin, pecan and lemon to be sold whole and by the slice.
Ferguson will maintain his catering/private chef business that he has run for nearly 10 years under the name Dine In. 3749 Park Blvd, 619-850-8939, sunnyboybiscuitco.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.