After more than a decade in North Park, Urban Solace is switching gears. Citing the neighborhood’s changing demographics and the general industry shift towards a more casual, social style of dining, executive chef/owner Matt Gordon is embarking on a “clean slate” refresh of his seminal San Diego restaurant, a longtime member of the Eater 38.
The first phase kicks off this morning with the start of a new breakfast menu that will be offered from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Gordon says he was spurred to expand the eatery’s daytime hours to address the lack of full-service breakfast spots in the area and serve the growing community of residents without traditional, nine-to-five jobs. The all-new morning menu includes toasts, pancakes, and savory egg dishes as well as salads and healthy grain and granola bowl. A couple of perennial favorites, including shrimp and grits and the burger, will stay, and the eatery’s popular Sunday Bluegrass Brunch will remain fairly unchanged.
What will change dramatically is the dinner service. Gordon tells Eater that Urban Solace will close briefly after New Year’s Day brunch and reopen as soon as possible with an entirely new menu. Long-defined by signature dishes, including the meatloaf, braised beef cheeks, and mac and cheese, the restaurant will now offer a relaxed style of service and a more nimble and progressive approach to its plates, with a larger emphasis on the bar, craft cocktails, and wines by the glass.
Gordon, a 20-plus year vet of the industry who cooked extensively in the Bay Area before landing in San Diego where he opened Urban Solace on 30th Street in 2006 and Encinitas’ Solace and the Moonlight Lounge in 2011, says that he’s looking forward to developing dishes for North Park that are more in line with the plates that he’s created for special events and dinners throughout the years that didn’t fit within Urban Solace’s comfort food parameters but will now.