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Long Story Short Chef Takes Over The Fishery’s Kitchen

Executive Chef Elliott Townsend (Cowboy Star) joins the team at the Pacific Beach eatery today, plus more in food news
The Fishery, San Diego, CA
Courtesy of The Fishery

There aren’t many San Diego institutions run by born-and-bred San Diegans, much less fifth-generation natives. But The Fishery is one of them, and as of this week has added another native to the team—Executive Chef Elliott Townsend, formerly of Cowboy Star and, most recently, Long Story Short.

The Fishery owners Annmarie Brown-Lorenz and Nick Lorenz first met Townsend during Long Story Short’s tenure at Vino Carta in Solana Beach before he (briefly) took the concept to North Park. Despite plenty of buzz, he closed down at the end of 2023. 

“We were really sad to see Long Story Short North Park close, but I mean, it worked out for us,” she laughs. The Fishery has had a rotating cast of chefs over the past few years, starting with Executive Chef Mike Reidy, who moved to Callie in spring 2023. Chef Jon Bautista (formerly of Kingfisher) assumed the reins until early this year, leaving a vacancy that Townsend hoped to fill, approaching Brown-Lorenz and Lorenz just a week ago.

It felt like fate, Brown-Lorenz says. “What he does with his connections with local farms and local fishermen—it’s everything we stand for, so it just seemed like the perfect match.” 

Today is Townsend’s first official day in the kitchen, one that has a well-established reputation already. Brown-Lorenz’s parents Maryanne and Judd Brown opened The Fishery in Pacific Beach in 2007, where they made a name for themselves by offering some of the freshest, most seasonal, well-prepared seafood in the region. Today, Brown-Lorenz says practically the entire leadership team comes from the area, something she says sets them apart. 

“Our GM [Nick Gergen], our bar manager [Eddie Avila III], our CdC [chef de cuisine Noah Newhart], and now Elliott, we’re all natives, which is pretty amazing,” she says. “We all really have a vested interest in local, because we love San Diego.”

Brown-Lorenz says The Fishery’s commitment to supporting local farmers and fishermen and using seasonal ingredients will remain as it has for 27 years, but she’s excited to see what Townsend brings to the kitchen. 

“What Elliot does that we love is he really just plays the local terroir. His vegetable dishes are amazing, his seafood dishes are amazing, and he brings kind of a playfulness and a lightness,” she says. “We can still have Mr. Brown’s fish tacos—and I’m not gonna speak for what he’s going to create—but I know that he will authentically do service to whatever is coming from Chino Farms, or Schaner Farms, or JR Organics. He really believes in that and that is very important to us.”

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

Stone Hires First Woman Head Brewer in the Company’s History

For the first time ever, a woman is at the head of Stone’s brewing operations. Last week, Stone named Sarah Kaneshiki the new head brewer of Sapporo-Stone Brewing in Escondido, where she now runs the day-to-day operations with Senior Director of Brewing Operations Nicole Williams. Kaneshiki joined Stone as an assistant brewer in 2019 and worked her way up through supervisory and specialist positions before making history in the brewhouse. 

In fitting fashion, Stone will host its annual International Women’s Day beer dinner on March 8 from 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. at their Liberty Station location to celebrate women working in the beer industry. The menu includes an amuse bouche and welcome beverage (Stone’s Manami, a cherry and peony tea Blonde Ale), followed by two mains and a dessert course. Each comes with a preselected beverage pairing that, for the first time, expands beyond Stone beers and includes a wine from Mia Maria Vineyards in Escondido. Tickets to this 21+ event are $75, but supporting women in the beverage alcohol community is priceless. 

Beth’s Bites

After making the rounds at farmers markets from Oceanside to Ocean Beach, Bombom Bakehouse is opening in Barrio Logan. I firmly believe the more doughnuts that exist, the better off the world will be.  

It sounds like a couple new spots are coming to the Aztec Food Hub in College Area, including Mama’s Bowls (concept TBD) and Val’s Vegan Kitchen. I still don’t know how they squeeze all those concepts into that building—it’s like the Mary Poppins magic bag of kitchens over there.

Goodbye Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream, hello Poki Poki. Looks like the poke chain is squeezing in between a 7-11 and Board & Brew in Carlsbad, making that line of suites two-thirds of interest to me.

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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