Updated: Ballast Point said that while its search for a new, bigger central brewery is still ongoing, it has not settled on a location as of yet.
Ken Irvine, owner of Bleu Boheme, has taken over the former L.A. Rack location on 6th and F Streets in Downtown. He’ll be opening Encore, which is reported to be a throwback Champagne bar and full restaurant… In case you haven’t noticed, Urge Gastropub has quietly become the empire-builders in the gastro-void that is inland North County San Diego. They’ve currently got Urge, Barrel Room and Brothers Provisions—all within stumbling distance of one another. And now they’re striking again with a new spot in Vista, first reported by West Coaster. Called Urge: Craft Alley, it will be a restaurant, brewery, bottle shop and bowling alley—set to open next spring… Fogo de Chao—the Brazilian steakhouse going into the former Borders in the Gaslamp (corner of 6th and G Streets), opened last night. Fans of local Brazilian steakhouse Rei do Gado—located two blocks away on Fourth Ave.—are a little nervous about their effect on their spot… And the iconic Hillcrest spot at 3958 5th Ave.—once occupied by Kemo Sabe and then briefly by national chain Freebirds—has found a new tenant in Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria. It’s the second San Diego location for the left coast chain, which first hit La Jolla… Hillcrest gets another replacement with RB Sushi reportedly taking over where Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar left off (3955 Fifth Ave.)… The owners of killer little restaurant Lion’s Share are opening their second joint in North Park—the former spot of El Take It Easy. Eater reports it’ll be called Coin-Op Game Room, the joint will have old-school video games galore for the joystick retro-ist in us all. Owner Has Mahmood is a craft cocktail loyalist, and that’ll continue. Lion’s Share chef Scott Mickelson will oversee the menu, but our sources say it’ll be more of a bar with no table service….
THE BIG TEASE: Next week’s stories include an cult hit O.B. spot opening a new location; a north county restaurant and its killer Latin chef doubling down a little further south; a beachy success story moving closer to the hipsters; and one of the most famous restaurant designers associated with San Diego’s dining scene is signed on for yet another big project Downtown.