Is it time for Sam the Cooking Guy to change his moniker to Sam the Restaurant Guy? Celebrity chef and author Sam Zien, whose first venture into restaurateurship was the Not Not Tacos stall in the Little Italy Food Hall with local hospitality group Grain & Grit Collective, recently announced a new eatery, bar, and bottle shop called Graze by Sam the Cooking Guy that will be opening in the same piazza.
Now, the well-known television personality will be extending his brand to develop a full-service restaurant and bar in Seaport Village; the project is another partnership with Grain & Grit, which also runs Carnitas’ Snack Shack on the Embarcadero.
The Port of San Diego Commissioners recently approved a long-term lease that will see Zien and his team taking over the two-story boardwalk space that has housed Buster’s Beach House & Longboard Bar for the past 30 years. The site, which has views of the San Diego Bay and Coronado Bridge, is part of the complex’s Lighthouse District; the yet-unnamed, Zien-branded replacement will also offer entertainment and special events in the adjacent courtyard and surrounding walkway, from cooking demos to live music.
Grain & Grit’s Mike DiNorscia told the U-T that the group is looking forward to being part of Seaport Village’s revitalization. Other new tenants include Mike Hess Brewing, City Tacos, Mr. Moto Pizza, and Spill the Beans.
When reached for comment regarding the Seaport Village project, Zien shared, “I’m way stoked that finally all the things I’ve dreamt about putting on a proper restaurant menu I’m now able to. That being said, I’m also scared shitless that it’s going to be a proper restaurant.”