Ready to know more about San Diego?


Shrinking Pains

Rachel King and Amanda Baumgarten gone from the Malarkey empire

By Troy Johnson

Growing hurts. Just ask Enlightened Hospitality Group. They just opened two more locations of their flagship Searsucker in Scottsdale and Austin. Austin is killing it, Scottsdale is holding its own. But here locally the outfit is going through an awkward trimming phase toward their ultimate goal—laser-focusing on Searsucker and Herringbone with all atention on chef Brian Malarkey.

As we reported yesterday, the group parted ways with their second-biggest “name” chef, Amanda Baumgarten—a fellow Top Chef star with Malarkey and top gal at Herringbone in La Jolla. And now star pastry chef Rachel King—who in April was nominated for Food & Wine‘s Pastry Chef of the Year—has left the group to join the hyper-talented Jason Knibb at Nine-Ten.

Two weeks ago, EHG sold La Mesa restaurant Gingham to the Cohn Restaurant Group, who plans to put in a concept similar to Bo Beau or 100 Wines. Last week was the final one for Burlap in Del Mar, which will be converted to a Searsucker.

The 1000-pound gorilla of SD’s dining scene expanded way too fast, pure and simple. And now they’re trimming down to the essential, profitable parts. Some naysayers are predicting irreversible doom for the group, but that seems a tad excessive given the incredible traffic at Austin and San Diego Searsuckers.

Shrinking Pains

Share this post

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA