Food and Drink Blotter: February 2017

Posted: February 3rd, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Food & Drink Blotter | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Food and Drink Blotter

Treehouse Hospitality has closed its enormous, two-level sports bar, 1919, which opened a year ago with a concept resonating to the infamous Chicago White Sox scandal of 1919.

In a statement issued last month, the ownership cited “ever-increasing operating costs” as the main reason for shuttering. But its subterranean speakeasy one door away, Prohibition, remains open. 560 Fifth Ave.

A new hotspot for breakfast and lunch arrives in East Village. (Alternative Strategies)

A fourth San Diego County location of Breakfast Republic opened in East Village on Feb. 3 with a menu of signature items that includes turkey meatball hash, a Portuguese sausage egg scramble, a Vietnamese chicken wing breakfast bowl, pancake flights and more.

It replaces Zanzibar Café, and offers indoor/outdoor seating and a full bar.

Breakfast Republic’s original digs in North Park has spawned outposts in Liberty Station and Encinitas over the past year.

It will open a fifth location in April on the second floor of the former OB Warehouse in Ocean Beach. 707 G St., 619-501-8280,

Will Gustwiller of Eclipse Chocolate (Courtesy Eclipse Chocolate)

Look for local chocolatier Will Gustwiller in an episode of “Guy’s Grocery Games” airing Feb. 12 on the Food Network as he vies for up to $20,000 in a cook-off of sweet and savory dishes using chocolate.

Gustwiller, who owns Eclipse Chocolate in South Park, competed with three other contestants in the segment, which was filmed late last year in Santa Rosa. The outcome remains a secret until the episode airs.

For its replay on Feb. 18, Gustwiller will present at Eclipse a multi-course tasting of the dishes he made on the show, at 5 and 8 p.m. The cost is $40 per person. 2145 Fern St., 619-578-2984,

Nashville hot chicken and other Southern delights coming to the Gaslamp Quarter (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Lauded for its gourmet donuts and fried chicken, Streetcar Merchants plans to open a third San Diego location in the Gaslamp Quarter by early summer.

Co-owner Ron Suel told Downtown News the menu will feature “soulful” wraps and burritos, some containing collard greens and red beans, and that he might also introduce seafood options that could include fried catfish.

In addition, the space (previously a short-lived Chinese bistro) will offer a full bar featuring New Orleans-inspired cocktails.

Streetcar’s original location is in North Park, and it recently ventured into La Jolla with a larger dining room and enhanced menu.

“It’s been part of our strategic goal to go into the Gaslamp. This will be our urban version, with counter service during the day and wait service in the evening,” he said, adding that the kitchen will stay open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 751 Fourth Ave.,

Casual-gourmet fare at the new Herb & Eatery (Katalyst PR)

Herb & Eatery, the casual-service annex to Brian Malarkey’s Herb & Wood in Little Italy, recently opened with a colorful selection of salads, appetizers, sandwiches and entrees.

It also sells grab-and-go foods, pizza-making kits, produce and specialty grocery items in addition to freshly baked pastries and breads. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily. 2210 Kettner Blvd., 619-794-2790.


Kyle Viera is the new executive chef at The Oceanaire Seafood Room (Courtesy of The Oceanaire Seafood Room)

Native New Yorker Kyle Viera has taken the position of executive chef at The Oceanaire Seafood Room in the Gaslamp Quarter.

After working back East for some years at a fish market and then joining Oceanaire in 2013, he will oversee daily preparations of more than 25 species of fish and seafood. 400 J St., 619-858-2277,

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

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