Premium butcher shop hopes to carve a niche in North County


The Butchery, one of Orange County’s premiere and exotic meat markets, will officially open its first San Diego county store on Saturday in Del Mar’s One Paseo development.

Founded in 2014 by business partners Robert Hagopian and Brian Smith, The Butchery is a full-service butcher shop specializing in fine-dining-restaurant-quality meats, seafood and deli and grocery items.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the store will offer free samples of select meats, cheeses and other items. Bottle Logic Brewing will do a beer tap takeover and there will be onsite grilling.

The centerpiece of the store is a 26-foot-long meat counter serving high-end Choice and Prime red meats from Pacific Northwest, pork products from Montana, local seafood from San Diego’s Catalina Offshore, pasture-raised San Diego poultry and Pontrelli’s gourmet sausages from the L.A. area. Bison is available daily, but more exotic meats like rabbit, frog legs, elk, venison, veal liver, ground lamb and back bacon are available via special order.

The Butchery’s house specialties include its marinated Angus steak tips, priced at $16.99 a pound; five varieties of house-ground burger patties, including Prime filet mignon burgers at $13.99 a pound; Nueske’s thick-cut bacon products starting at $8.99 a pound; Salmon Creek Farms heirloom pork chops starting at $9.99 a pound. There are also 21-day dry-aged T-bone, prime rib and tomahawk steaks, priced from $27.99 to $49.99 a pound, and dry-aged pork tomahawk chops for $28.99 a pound.

Hagopian and Smith came to the meat business from backgrounds in commercial real estate and building. Ten years ago, they opened a franchise outlet of a national butcher shop chain but they felt the quality of the meats they were able to procure weren’t the “chef quality” that Orange County diners were accustomed to eating at their favorite restaurants. So in 2014, they re-branded their original Costa Mesa shop as The Butchery and have since opened two more Butchery locations in Brea and Newport Coast.

Hagopian said they chose Del Mar as their first expansion market outside Orange County because they were attracted to the unique mixed-use design of One Paseo, a walkable development that, when finished, will combine housing, offices, shops and restaurants in 23 landscaped acres.

“We liked the tenant mix and the vision of One Paseo as a whole,” Hagopian said. “This is unique not only here in San Diego, but in Southern California, period.”

Each location of The Butchery is unique, with a product mix that reflects the needs of the community and the competition from surrounding tenants. The 5,000-square-foot Del Mar store has no nearby fish market or high-end grocery store, so this location offers fresh seafood and a gourmet grocery selection, including dried pastas, spices, olive oils, wines, local craft beers and kombucha.

While all four stores offer a large deli case and cold sandwiches, the Del Mar location is the first to offer hot food items priced from $7 to $13, including a fresh-ground burger and fries, Taylor Pork Roll sandwich, grilled Steak Tips and fries plate, grilled Pontrelli’s sausage and a grilled Big City red hot dog. Hagopian said the hot items will allow customers to taste-test their signature meats and marinades before buying large cuts.

The local store had its soft opening on May 6 and Hagopian said he’s been thrilled at customer response.

“It’s been overwhelmingly positive and sometimes overwhelmingly busy with customers,” he said.

The Butchery

Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Where: One Paseo, 3720 Caminito Court, Suite 200, Del Mar
Phone: (858) 345-1524