Kitchen 4140 Closes, Gelson's Markets Coming to San Diego
This week, we’re catching up on news you may have missed over the long holiday weekend.
Kitchen 4140 closed after five years in business
Kitchen 4140 leaves Bay Park
Kitchen 4140 quietly closed its doors last week. The restaurant was known for its seasonal menu and the organic garden that it brought to an industrial section of Morena Boulevard. It served its last meal on November 22.
“Kitchen 4140 was a wonderful experience in terms of growth and learning to run my first restaurant, but financially it made sense to close at this time so that I could focus on opening a new concept in a more profitable location closer in to the city; this is also in line with the interests of our new investors,” chef and owner Kurt Metzger said in an email.
Metzger plans on launching a new farm-to-table concept next year, and is looking at Little Italy or Bankers Hill.
“Farm-to-table cuisine is widely defined, so there is room to offer my own personal style of cooking without treading on the toes of other existing businesses. I plan to bring a new concept to the neighborhood we ultimately end up in, instead of simply duplicating something that already exists.” Metzger said. “As a chef who is involved in San Diego’s culinary community this is important to me—to open the type of restaurant that betters and diversifies San Diego’s dining scene.”
Grocery store shuffles
South Bay residents will soon have a 99 Ranch Market in the neighborhood, Bristol Farms is setting up shop in Hillcrest, and Gelson’s is opening its first stores in San Diego thanks to Haggen selling all of its California stores.
Haggen took over 25 Albertson’s and Vons stores in San Diego earlier this year, but its rapid plans to expand outside of its home base in Washington state failed—the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy just months afterward. The vacated stores were put up for sale, and a federal bankruptcy court recently approved the buyers.
Smart & Final got 11 stores throughout the county, 99 Ranch Market will have a second Clairemont location in addition to expanding to Chula Vista, and Gelson’s, a high-end market frequented by celebrities in Los Angeles, is coming to Pacific Beach, Carlsbad and Del Mar.
Ironically, Albertson’s bought back stores in Torrey Highlands, Rancho Bernardo, La Mesa and El Cajon.
Are you excited that Gelson’s is coming to town? Tell us in the comments!
Word on the Street
The exterior of Queenstown Public House has been decorated to resemble a life-size gingerbread house, bringing some holiday cheer to the corner of Columbia and Cedar streets in Little Italy.
Owner Darren Roach said it was a joke within the company that the building which houses the New Zealand-themed restaurant—a historic Craftsman home—looks just like a gingerbread house. Queenstown is already known for its quirky interior design, but Roach’s wife and some volunteers wanted to do something with the exterior this year. They covered the property with festive decor and lights, and resourcefully crafted M&M’s out of colored plates to line the walls above the front entrance.
The restaurant is hosting a gingerbread house contest on Wednesday, December 9, for both kids and adults. Bring an unwrapped gift (to be donated to the Little Italy toy drive), and Queenstown will provide the gingerbread house-making kit.
Roach said the company is looking forward to expanding to North Park this coming spring. Last year, they purchased the former Eddie’s Philadelphia Steaks & Hoagies on 30th Street, and are working to develop the space into another Kiwi-themed eatery.
Is Tijuana our best bet for affordable housing?
It’s no secret that housing costs are high in San Diego. It can be difficult or expensive for developers to build here, which factors into rents and mortgages that are among the nation’s highest. Some local developers are heading to Tijuana, which they say should be considered an affordable housing option for San Diegans.
Vacation rentals surge in Oceanside
Vacation rentals have always been common in the seaside communities of Pacific Beach and La Jolla, but they’ve quickly increased in Oceanside recently, thanks to platforms such as AirBnb that make it easy for homeowners to rent out space to travelers. Residents are divided on whether this is good for the community.