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Kettner Exchange Group Revamping El Camino in Little Italy

Now called Camino Riviera, it’s reopening in August

El Camino neon sign Facebook

Originally opened in 2009 in South Park, El Camino landed at the north end of Little Italy in 2010 where its India Street location became a destination for drinking and dining even before the entire neighborhood was established as a bonafide hotspot. With an immersive and playful decor, the space hosted countless dance parties and karaoke nights and served up endless margaritas and Taco Tuesday specials.

Its corner spot under the flight path is now under the purview of SDCM, the local hospitality group behind Kettner Exchange, The Grass Skirt, Waverly, and many others. Scheduled to reopen this August, the restaurant and bar has been renamed Camino Riviera, with SDCM owner Matt Spencer collaborating with El Camino founder Mauricio Couturier on a new design based around the vibe of the Riviera Maya region of Mexico, which stretches the Carribean Sea-side of the Yucatán Peninsula and encompasses everything from sun-soaked beach resorts to trendy Tulum and ancient Mayan ruins.

tuna tostada Courtesy photo

Paying tribute to the Carribean coastline, SDCM corporate executive chef Brian Redzikowski’s menu will include wood-grilled prawns and octopus and tacos filled with crab, chorizo, or barbacoa made with Sonoma lamb. Camino Riviera will continue to offer music and dancing, with cocktails from beverage directors Eric Johnson and Leigh Lecap whose drinks will explore ingredients found in some of the area’s classic dishes like cochinita pibil and regional moles. Their Mayan Underground incorporates tequila with achiote sherbet, creme de banane, lime, and banana leaf while the Bandito #1 combines rum, macadamia, blended vermouth and mole.

Cocktail from Camino Riviera Courtesy photo

Camino Riviera

2400 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101

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