Introducing Anatomy of a Restaurant, a new feature on Eater San Diego. This in-depth series will take you through the process of building a restaurant, from first conception to design implementation and construction; we'll follow the project all the way up to opening day. Are you launching a restaurant and want to give Eater and its readers an all-access pass? Let us know.[All photos by Candice Woo]
Our Anatomy of a Restaurant debut will be done in collaboration with Chef Matt Gordon, who just announced plans for his third restaurant, Sea & Smoke, in Del Mar. Eater and Chef Gordon will give you a behind the scenes, warts and all look at the journey to opening a restaurant. This series will cover a restaurant's evolution, from finding a space to writing a menu and staffing a restaurant, implementing design decisions and finally, opening its doors.
Matt Gordon's first restaurant, Urban Solace, has become intrinsically linked with its North Park neighborhood since it first opened in 2007. But North Park almost wasn't its home; Gordon seriously contemplated a spot in Liberty Station (across from Stone Brewing Co's new project) to house his original restaurant. After opening a second restaurant, Solace and The Moonlight Lounge in Encinitas in 2011, he considered Liberty Station again for his third venture, until trade winds brought him to Del Mar's Flower Hill Promenade.
The 4,500+ square foot space, vacated by Paradise Grille last summer, is currently in a bit of disarray, but as Gordon took Eater on a tour, it's apparent that his vision of what Sea & Smoke will look like is very clear.
On the entry level, he can see an airy dining room, think mid-century modern—meets—Parisian brasserie (Sea). The kitchen, with its prize of a wood and gas fired oven, will have a chef seats at a high counter. Below, there's a den-like cocktail lounge and bar (Smoke) and a couch-filled 2,300 square foot patio shaded by olive trees and decorated in twinkly lights. To take his vision into fruition, Gordon's enlisted a well-known design team, Bells & Whistles.
This Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m., Sea & Smoke's having a fire sale to shed everything that Paradise Grille left behind in their sudden departure. The sale's open to the industry and the public if you're in the market for granite countertops, a large fireplace, banquette seats, a wall-length wine library, miscellaneous dinnerware, Tommy Bahama-themed artwork and all kinds of chairs.
Construction on Sea & Smoke will likely begin in March and Gordon's shooting for a late May opening. Until then, stay tuned to Eater for Anatomy of a Restaurant coverage on important milestones and an insider's view on what it really takes to open a restaurant. The chef himself will be occasionally weighing in on his own blog to tell the story behind this story, in his own words.
· Incoming: Sea & Smoke [SDMag]
· Sea & Smoke Blog