Zenbu closing La Jolla, opening Downtown? And more more more more.
The restaurant business ain’t easy. The first notable closing is Chaplos in Downtown—the eatery opened at 10th & B Street last year with former El Vitral chef Norma Martinez. Owner Edwin Seymour says he’ll be keeping the space open for special events, but will be closed for lunch and dinner from this point on. That location was just too tough to overcome. The second is one of the higher profile sushi restaurants in the city. After 14 years, Zenbu La Jolla will serve their final meal tomorrow night. Owners Matt and Jacqueline Rimel have been looking to sell that space for a while, and they still have their Zenbu Cardiff location, as well as multiple outposts of Rimel’s Rotisserie. The closing of La Jolla seems like a well-timed cutting of bait for the rumor we’ve been hearing—that they’ll open a big, spanking new Zenbu at Petco Park sometime soon…. Convoy just cracked open Common Theory Public House (4805 Convoy), focused on Korean fried chicken and 30 craft beers… AJ’s Fish Merchant has opened in East County (7407 Jackson Dr.) with chef Stephen Bennett (ex-Martini’s Above Fourth) is helming a menu of chowder, and fresh market seafood plates (halibut, swordfish, catfish, snapper, etc.), plus a few specialty items (scallops Provencal, Ballast Point fish & chips, etc.)… The Fish Shop—which has had a good run in Pacific Beach—is opening their second location in Encinitas at the former spot of St. Germain’s Café. The signs are currently up and it’s looking like a June open… Terryl Gavre is having a busy year. The restaurateur/chef who co-owns Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant and solely runs Downtown breakfast joint Café 222 opened Acme Southern Kitchen earlier this year and now she’s hatching Bake Sale. It’ll be a bakery and commissary at 815 F Street, selling morning buns, cinnamon rolls, scones, croissants, pies, biscuits, you name it…. Organic pie concept Na Pizza is hatching a few new locations over the next few months—including one at Commons Center in 4S Ranch and another next to Panera in Hillcrest (1270 Cleveland Ave.).… Golden Hill will be getting a new joint, Sonny’s Southern California BBQ at the corner of 25th and C Streets sometime in the next month orr two with master barbecue chef Joe Lewis Jones’ Mississippi-style cue… Over in Barrio Logan, a family beef jerky enterprise Srozzi SoCal Italian is going to be taking over the former Blueprint Café space (1805 Newton Ave.), opening sometime in June with a meat-centric menu… Also in Downtown, Doner Mediterranean Grill will take over the former home of The Grape at 823 5th Ave….