INCOMING: Bottega Americano
Chef from JRDN, maitre d' from Mister A's partner with other biggies in East Village
By Troy Johnson
Now that chef David Warner has given his notice at JRDN, we can break our silence on the Bottega Americano project in East Village. Set to open this spring, it's going to be big—an 8,000 square-foot restaurant on the bottom floor of Thomas Jefferson Law School (1195 Island Ave., between 11th and 12th Streets). Warner, an underrated talent over at Tower 23's signature restaurant, will be joining forces with a pretty formidable team for Bottega.
Designer Thomas Schoos: Schoos first became famous with projects like Tao (Vegas) and Koi (L.A.). But he's become a focal point of San Diego over the last few years due to his work with Enlightened Hospitality Group (Searsucker, Herringbone), and the recently opened Puesto at The Headquarters.
Restaurateur/caterer Giuseppe Ciuffa: Cuiffa's been a fixture of San Diego's culinary scene for years. After earning his rep at La Jolla's La Taverna and Come On In!, he launched Giuseppe Restaurants and Fine Catering. Under that umbrella he's overseen The Museum Café at La Jolla's Museum of Contemporary Art, Sculpture Art Cafe at San Diego Museum of Art and Caroline's Seaside Cafe at the Scripps Oceanography Institute.
Maitre'd Greg Van de Velde: Van de Velde has been the maitre d'hotel at Mister A's for the last few years. He knows how to run the front of the house, and has a JFK Jr.-ish presence that makes women loiter in his general vicinity.
Entrepreneur Chad Ruyle: Ruyle was the founder of You Walk Away, a company that became part of the national debate during the recession by helping people foreclose on their homes. He also started PEERS Network (Philanthropy, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Relationships, Social), organizing successful San Diego entrepreneurs to give back to the city.
Bottom line: It's another cannonball into SD's restaurant scene, big splash pending. And it adds to the part of East Village already enjoying some attention thanks to the new Downtown library. More news as we get it.