The Heart & Trotter butcher shop, which opened in 2015 on El Cajon Boulevard, has changed hands and will now be part of the Trust Restaurant Group (TRG), the hospitality collective behind Trust, Fork Oak, Cardellino, Rare Society and Mr. Trustee. The whole animal butchery, founded by James Holtslag and Trey Nichols, is scheduled to close temporarily on Labor Day for a revamp and will be reopening in mid-September as The Wise Ox Butcher & Eatery.
The North Park space will continue to offer a variety of meats, from choice and prime beef to premium dry-aged beef and wagyu, as well as pork, poultry, seafood, and a selection of marinated ready-to-cook meats and fresh sausages. TRG executive chef and owner Brad Wise, a longtime friend of Holtslag and Nichols, says he’ll build on the business already established by The Heart & Trotter by adding a market component with select grocery and deli items, craft beer, and wine curated by the group’s wine director Ben Zuba. The Wise Ox will also serve a menu of custom sandwiches, cheeses, and charcuterie,
Running the meat and charcuterie program is the TRG team’s newest member, Ryan Sharpe. Known as the “Meat Guy,” Sharpe worked with Craig Deihl and Bob Cook of Charleston’s Cypress Restaurant and Artisan Meat Share, both acclaimed for their whole animal charcuterie. Sharpe and Wise will also be working on a weekend barbecue menu that will launch at The Wise Ox later this fall.