In lamentable restaurant news, chef/owner Wade Hageman has shuttered his Hillcrest eatery. Hageman opened Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen, his third San Diego restaurant, last June with a menu focused on handmade pastas and sophisticated, seasonal food. Earlier this summer, Hageman and his wife Kristi rebranded the University Avenue restaurant, changing the name to Social Experiment bar + kitchen and downshifting the menu to a more moderately-priced, shareable format with a bigger cocktail component.
When reached for comment, Hageman expressed his thanks to his supporters, telling Eater that Hillcrest is a great neighborhood and that "we gave it our best shot".
Location Matters' Paul Ahern is handling the sale of the 2,100-square-foot space, which has changed hands several times in recent years. Hageman made significant improvements to the property, making it a turnkey opportunity for another restaurateur; interested parties should contact Ahern.