San Diego has some solid bakeries now, from Bread & Cie to Con Pane and Sadie Rose. But ask any local for their first memory of lust-worthy, high-quality bread?
The answer is almost always Dudley’s Bakery—where for the last 50 years, every San Diegan with an operable sense of smell has stopped for some potato bread on their way to “see snow” in Julian.
Now San Diegans won’t have to drive so far for their fix. Evan Brunye, son of Dudley’s owners Barry and Laurie Brunye, is opening Dudley’s Deli in Kearny Mesa (9119 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.) in the former Chick-A-Deli. Brunye opened the first offshoot of the bakery last year in Santee. This location, which he hopes to open within three weeks, will be the first that isn’t a hell of a drive for us city folk.
Menu standouts include the Strawberry Turkey (that famed potato sheepherder bread with a layer of fresh strawberries and strawberry preserves), the TBA (turkey, bacon and avo on their Western Wheat Bread), and California Roast Beef on jalapeño-cheddar loaf. You can also build your own starting with your favorite Dudley’s bread, then meats and some inventive condiments (cilantro-garlic mayo, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, crab apple jelly, pico de gallo, peanut butter, etc.). Open from 6AM to 4PM, Dudley’s Deli will bake its own pastries. The bread will be delivered from the mother ship every other day.
“We tried to bake the bread onsite in Santee, and it’s just so much bread,” explains Brunye. “The ovens in Santa Ysabel you can fit 20 people in. We don’t have that kind of space.”
Evan, a mechanical engineer by trade, raised the money for the delis the hard way. Walking at night in Mission Beach in 2011, he was attacked from behind and ultimately stabbed in the leg four times. The police didn’t arrest the attacker, because Brunye had defended himself pretty well and given the attacker a black eye. “So I had to sue the guy, and won enough to start my own business,” explains Brunye, who made a full recovery after a year of rehabilitation. “If it wasn’t for that, I’d probably still be an engineer.”