In 2014 co-founders Ron Suel and RaVae Smith launched StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee in North Park. Buoyed by its success, the owners have opened a 4,200-square-foot eatery in La Jolla, which expands on the original in a big way. The "luxe" version of the concept includes the shop’s signature doughnuts — available in a dozen different varieties daily — plus a full coffee bar fueled by Stumptown Coffee Roasters, with StreetCar’s adjacent Milk Bar represented here by bottled flavored milk and 20 milkshake options.
It’s also StreetCar’s foray into full-service dining, with 200 seats and an enlarged menu from chef Dante Ross that spans lunch, dinner and brunch. They’re still frying up Mary's Free Range Air Chilled Chickens (there’s now a gluten-free version available), but the food offerings now extend to appetizers, salads, soups and traditional Southern entrees, including shrimp and grits, stuffed pork chops, jambalaya and chicken pot pie. In the open kitchen, two existing Woodstone pizza ovens have been employed to roast chickens and bake up everything from biscuits to flatbreads and pies.
The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. A full liquor license is on the horizon, but StreetCar currently stocks wine, 20 beers on tap, and three taps of Stumptown cold brew.
Suel tells Eater that they have plans to expand the North Park flagship in 2018, and may open other iterations of the concept, including a mini counter-service version, in more neighborhoods.