In the space of just four months, two 4-in-1 restaurant/bar concepts have recently opened on Coast Highway in North County.
While both restaurant/bar projects are capitalizing on the nationwide food hall trend, their owners say these unique hospitality spots were actually inspired not by a fad but by the unusually large properties themselves.
Park 101 was built on a vast empty lot formerly occupied by a pottery yard. Open House took over a shuttered restaurant space that was originally designed as an artists colony.
In both cases, the owners say they envisioned offering the variety of dining and drinking options found in trendy dining courts like San Diego’s Liberty Station. But instead of having multiple vendors competing for customers, all of the venues at Park 101 and Open House are managed in-house.
Encinitas restaurateur Wade Hageman owns Open House with his wife, Kristi. He got the idea for a multiple concept after touring the former El Callejon Taqueria space last spring. The rambling property had two kitchens, two bars and multiple indoor and patio dining areas, so it seemed ideally suited to multiple concepts.
Open House has four sit-down venues: a breakfast cafe, an Asian eatery, a beachy cocktail bar and restaurant and a tequila/raw bar that’s open only on weekend nights.
“We want to offer something for all tastes,” Hageman said. “Not everyone wants Asian food every night of the week and not everyone wants a burger. There’s a lot of freedom here. People can bar hop and grab an appetizer on one side, and then have a different experience 10 steps away.”
Park 101 is operated by partners Peter Cich and Doug Sondomowicz, who initially planned to lease just one food venue in the mostly outdoor project, but then convinced the land owners to let them do it all.
Modeled after Manhattan’s Gotham West Market, Park 101 allows diners and drinkers to order what they want from the various counter-service venues and then choose their seating among the open-air lounges, picnic tables and bar stools.
There’s a 32-tap beer bar, an Urban Plates-style barbecue-centric cafeteria, a grab-and-go market selling bowls, wraps, doughnuts, cookies and coffee, and an upstairs patio lounge selling charcuterie boards and snacks.
“I wanted to take advantage of the park theme and bring the village community together,” Cich said. “The younger demographic is really attracted to the concept. It’s a little more hip and they like the idea of choosing their own communal dining space.”
Hageman and Cich both said the biggest challenge has been teaching first-time customers how to navigate the various venues and create distinctions between the different brands. Good signage and the use of concierges and greeters has helped.
“We know it’s different and it takes time to get used to,” Cich said. “We’re still grinding and drilling down ways to make it more user-friendly.”
Here’s the rundown on the 4-in-1 concepts:
Owners: Peter Cich and Doug Sondomowicz
Where: 3040 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad
Size: 8,000 square feet on two levels
- Deli & Dough — Grab-and-go market
- Park 101 Smoked Meats — Counter-service pit barbecue and small plates
- Garden Pub — Outdoor bar with 32 beers on tap
- Tamarack Deck — Upstairs dining lounge charcuterie boards, snacks and drinks
Phone: (760) 434-2217
Open House Food + Drink
Owners: Wade and Kristi Hageman
Where: 345 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
Size: 7,000 square feet
- The Crafty Egg — Breakfast, brunch and lunch only
- Asian Kitchen — Poke, wok dishes, ramen, plated entrees
- Driftwood Tavern — Beachy cocktail bar, burgers and flatbreads
- Saltwater — Pop-up weekends-only tequila and raw bar
Phone: (760) 452-2555
email@example.com. Twitter: @pamkragen