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Team Behind Barra Cruda Launching Alchemy in Barrio Logan

Plus, TNT pizza expanding to Chula Vista, new sushi coming to La Jolla, and more food and drink news
New Barrio Logan Mexican restaurant and bar called Alchemy opening soon in San Diego from the founders of Barra Cruda
Courtesy of Barra Cruda San Diego

People in the know have kept their eyes on Logan Heights and Barrio Logan for years, watching the area buzz with creativity, originality, and a vibrant DIY ethos. Between galleries, coffee shops, parks, breweries, restaurants, food stalls, lowrider cruisers, plant stores, and plenty of other independent retailers, it seems like something cool and exciting pops up every week. Frankly, it’s thrilling. 

Another new addition arrives this August: Alchemy, an all-day eatery focused on elevated street food, created by the team behind nearby Barra Cruda.

Don’t confuse this Alchemy with the restaurant Alchemy in South Park, which closed in 2015, or the Alchemy Restaurant Group, Juice Alchemy, Edible Alchemy, or Skyn Alchemy. This Alchemy will be located on the ground floor at Daffodil, a mixed-use space at 1932 Kearney Avenue that will also include 16 apartments and a six-room hotel called Hotel Narcissus.

Food dishes from Barrio Logan Mexican restaurant Barra Cruda which is opening a new concept called Alchemy
Courtesy of Barra Cruda San Diego

Eddy Cortes and Juan Saad-Quintana first launched Barra Cruda with Freddy Hernandez as a pop-up series at places like Mujeres Brew House and Bread & Salt, but Alchemy will be their first brick-and-mortar. “We wanted to get to the next level, now that we have a full-on kitchen, and truly go deep into our culinary roots,” Cortes explains. “We cater more to fresh catch, to farm-to-table, and we want to be a little more upscale in that sense.”

Alchemy will focus on seafood (with support from other seasonal and local ingredients), serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. “I think our brunch is gonna probably be the most popular thing,” Cortes says. He and his team hope to add a liquor license alongside their beer and wine license to bring in a creative cocktail program. Until then, Cortes says they still plan to lean into their “choose thy poison” motto as much as they can, designing punch bowls and other crafty libations

Exterior of New Mexican Restaurant and bar coming to Barrio Logan, San Diego called Alchemy
Courtesy of Airbnb

The building is currently under construction, but once it’s complete, Cortes reports, Alchemy will have an intimate indoor dining room with around 16 seats and a gothic, industrial vibe. The outdoor patio will be much larger, able to fit around 40 people, but he says they’re flexible with the final details. “Alchemy is always going to be changing,” he adds. “We like to stay a little mysterious.”

Curious patrons who are 21 or older can preview Alchemy’s offerings on Saturday, June 15, at Bread & Salt during Winyl Club’s Winyl Formal. Alchemy and Barra Cruda will serve food and drinks alongside Esquina Wine Shop, Postino WineCafé, and more. Tickets are available here

Petso pizza from San Diego pizzeria TNT Pizza opening a new Chula Vista location in 2024
Courtesy of TNT Pizza

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

TNT Pizza To Open Second Location Sometime This Summer

Reporting in the 21st century means communication is as likely to happen over social media as over the phone or in person. So when I heard TNT Pizza was opening a second location in Chula Vista later this year, I didn’t think twice about dropping in their Instagram DMs to find out when doors would open. 

“The timeline for opening is still completely up in the air. It could be the end of June but might stretch into July or even August,” read the reply. (I’m still not sure whether or not it came directly from Kevin Gist and Joseph Ghafouri-Wehrly, TNT’s co-owners who both use the account. But I’m a child of the ’90s, and chatting with strangers on the Internet is kind of old hat for me, so I rolled with it.)

“The address here is 221 3rd Avenue,” my mysterious correspondent continued. “Square footage is about 2,400, so twice the size of our East Village location. Seating will be right around 52, with 36 of those being booth/table seating and the remaining being bar-style seating.” They went on to say they plan to keep the same menu, adding a few new appetizers and salads. And, they added, “we might actually finally get some wine in 🙃.” As long as they keep my favorite pickle pizza, I’m there. 

Food from San Diego Mexican restaurant Harry's Taco Club which is opening a new Del Mar location in 2024
Courtesy of Postmates

Beth’s Bites

Harry’s Taco Club opened its fourth location today at 1446 Camino Del Mar in (you guessed it) Del Mar. That’s a pretty solid location in a pretty bougie strip, so I’ll bet their 2-for-1 margarita special from 2 to 5 p.m. will come with fun people-watching.

Black Plague Brewing is throwing a seventh anniversary party from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, at their Oceanside location (2550 Jason Court), featuring guest beers from Burgeon, Harland, South O, Craft Coast, Fall, and a bunch more. Full Metal Burgers will sling the eats. 

Takaramono, a new sushi restaurant from Eugene Kim and Peter Kim, will soft-open in the former Cafe Mojoe location at 7513 La Jolla Boulevard on May 30, with a grand opening slated for the end of June. Although Takaramono will be the first restaurant endeavor for both Kims as owners, they previously worked at Yummy Sushi Coronado and say the new brick-and-mortar will have space for around 20 guests in the dining room and eight at the bar. Sign me up to try the sashimi sampler. 

By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

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