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Gianni Buonomo Vintners Leaving Ocean Beach

Owner Keith Rolle shares details about the new location near Sports Arena
Bottle of Gianni Buonomo Vintners wine in Ocean Beach
Courtesy of California Winery Advisor

The Ocean Beach exodus is here—or so believes Keith Rolle. Nine years ago, when he was first looking for locations to open his urban winery Gianni Buonomo Vintners, OB wasn’t initially on his radar. But when he saw the spot on Newport Avenue, he decided to go for it.

Since then, the suite has served as a tasting room, date night destination, and community gathering space. But come July 31, Rolle is packing up and moving just a few blocks away from Pechanga Arena.

Owner of San Diego winery and wine bar Keith Rolle inside Gianni Buonomo Vintners which is leaving Ocean Beach and moving to Midway District

Rolle says he wasn’t planning on moving, but he had no choice when his landlord hit him with a 20 percent rent increase. But, “I think it was a long time coming,” he adds. People only want mom-and-pop shops in the area, but he says the rising costs of real estate and rent are unrealistic for independent operators. “Those days are gone.”

Finding a new location ended up being easier than he expected. “It was meant to happen,” Rolle laughs. “We were hosting an event for the Point Loma Optimist Club… and I told them what was going on with the rent.” Coincidentally, the president of the club happens to be a commercial realtor. Rolle says within a week, they’d found the location in the Midway District and signed on the dotted line a few weeks later.

Interior of Ocean Beach winery and wine bar Gianni Buonomo Vintners
Courtesy of Gianni Buonomo Vintners

Rolle is working with the San Diego Storefront Improvement Program to brighten up the new place and will work with nearby Hancock Kitchens to provide a food element for guests. “We’ll have menus there, and people can just call it in,” he explains. “It’s literally just across the street.” He also plans to incorporate more events and live music and continue growing the winery’s wine club, which is currently just shy of 500 members. Plus—unlike the increasingly crowded Newport strip—there’s plenty of parking. 

The new Gianni Buonomo Vintners will throw a grand opening celebration on September 21, but Rolle says he hopes for a “last hurrah” in OB on Saturday, July 6. It’s bittersweet, but an opportunity to start fresh—or so he believes. 

“It was not a real difficult decision [to move], but it was difficult saying goodbye to all these people,” he says. “But we’re only moving three miles away… [and] I’m entirely grateful to the community for supporting us.”

Various cocktail drinks from Smugglers Cove having a pop-up tiki bar event at False Idol in San Diego on June 26, 2024
Courtesy of Smuggler’s Cove SF

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

Iconic San Francisco Tiki Bar Popping Up This June

Calling all rum lovers—famed tiki bar Smugger’s Cove is coming to SoCal. Meet the team and get your tiki fix on Wednesday, June 26, at False Idol from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. (Can’t make it to Little Italy on a weeknight? The Smuggler’s Cove team also stops at bars in Santa Barbara, West Hollywood, and Anaheim, but why leave San Diego?) Reservations are available one month in advance and aren’t required but are encouraged. 

New Mini Market Coming to Oceanside

Green Cheek Beer Company is new to Oceanside, but the Orange County-based brewery is at home in the former Bagby Beer space. Starting this Friday, May 24, from 5 p.m.—8:30 p.m., Green Cheek is hosting a monthly “mini market” with local vendors selling handmade goods, including Rooted & True, West Velvet Shop, Ruby Rose Ranch, and more. Grab a beer and a treat for yourself or someone special. 

Food and drinks from San Diego taco shop Frida's Taqueria which is opening a new spot in Ramona
Courtesy of Frida’s Taqueria

Beth’s Bites

Good news alert—Frida’s Taqueria already has locations in Escondido, Oceanside, and most recently Vista, but don’t stop counting quite yet. The popular taco shop is also opening a new spot in Ramona. Say it with me now: more tacos everywhere.

For today’s mind-boggling headline, Bali Hai announced they have poured three million Mai Tais since opening in 1954. That’s 3,000,000 over 70 years, or around 42,858 per year. That’s more than 117 per day. And they’re already counting up to four million! I’m positively tipsy just thinking about it. 

I previously reported restaurateur Leonardo Landini was opening a new eatery at 1520 Garnet Avenue (correct) called Chaparral (incorrect). It’s actually going to be called Slowly, and that’s all we know about that. It seems that news of the new location is coming… slowly.

Have breaking news, exciting scoops, or great stories about new San Diego restaurants or the city’s food scene? Send your pitches to [email protected].

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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