As restaurants, both old and new, struggle to keep from shuttering during this crisis, San Diegans might be comforted to know that a historic local restaurant will continue to operate under new ownership. Mission Beach steakhouse Saska’s, open since the 1950’s, is now part of OMG Hospitality, which runs five restaurants in San Diego including the Union Kitchen & Tap locations in Encinitas and the Gaslamp, and is affiliated with Mission Beach’s Sandbar Sports Grill and the Fish Shops in Pacific Beach and Encinitas.
OMG Hospitality founder Eric Leitstein was the winning bidder in an auction process that started earlier this year to sell off properties formerly owned by The Patio Group, which purchased Saska’s in 2015.
The 2,740-square-foot restaurant closed on April 25 after being temporarily run by the Cohn Restaurant Group since last September.
Leitstein has been dining at Saska’s since the 90’s, when he purchased his first property nearby — the legendary Canes Bar & Grill — and has remained connected to the area ever since. His corporate office is located blocks from the Mission Boulevard restaurant and three of OMG Hospitality’s eateries — Waterbar, PB Alehouse, and Backyard Kitchen & Tap — are just up the street in Pacific Beach. Leitstein, who named the hospitality group after his three children, intends to eventually pass the restaurant on to them, saying, ”We are excited to carry on the tradition of a family-owned steakhouse in Mission Beach.”
Leitstein will wait until the dine-in ban has been lifted to reopen, but in the meantime he plans to warm up the restaurant’s interior and update its cocktail program. He says he will not be making many changes to Saska’s existing menu, even retaining longtime chef Francisco Barrios, who has been with the restaurant for nearly 30 years.