INCOMING: Some Place Named Something

Chef Rich Sweeney, designer Michael Soriano slated for former Jimmy Love's space Downtown


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Chef Rich Sweeney

Jimmy Love's in the Gaslamp needed an overhaul, and it's getting it. Owners Jimmy and Kathy DiMatteo opened the spot in the Old City Hall building 1995. Staying relevant in the big-dollar, next-new-thing Gaslamp is a tough gig for five years, let alone two decades. Bill Gates once reportedly did the Macarena on the bar; the Bush family held a private party in its confines. But the time for corrective surgery was nigh, and they’ve pulled in some talented partners to do it. Those partners include:

Chef Richard Sweeney: The former Top Chef contestant has his own successful Hillcrest joint, R Gang Eatery, but has started expanding his work to other venues. Always the most likeable guy in the room and a good chef, Sweeney’s food has really jumped up a few notches in the last few years. He won last year’s “Chef of the Fest” at San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival.

Designer Michael Soriano: Soriano’s one of the most whimsical and creative designers in San Diego. He and his Onairos Design put shag carpet and plant walls in The Pearl Hotel, grass walls and secret doors at Vin Di Syrah, sheep on the ceiling at Queenstown Public House…. the list goes on. Given the resources, he’ll make it an attraction.

Partner David M Schiffman: Schiffman is one of the most active operators in Downtown, with Whiskey Girl, Double Deuce and Tipsy Crow.

GM Mark Huber: GM and partner of Bootlegger.

Scott Sanders: Partner in Whiskey Girl, Bootlegger.

The team is looking at a spring, 2014 opening date. No word on name or direction of Sweeney’s menu yet.

(NOTE: My apologies to the GM and partners for their short bios. The reality is that designers and chefs are 300% more fun to read and think about than the hard-working, indespensable, business cornerstones of the world).

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Restaurant reviews, food trends, top cocktails, wine, beer and generally the best eats and drinks in San Diego, by Food Editor and general good guy Troy Johnson.

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