San Diego Restaurant Week pushes back to spring

Diners drink a toast at Gravity Heights, a past participant in San Diego Restaurant Week.
Diners drink a toast at Gravity Heights, a past participant in San Diego Restaurant Week.
(Courtesy of Gravity Heights)

With San Diego’s restaurant industry shut down to all but takeout and — as of Monday, a return to outdoor dining — San Diego Restaurant Week has moved from its usual January slot to the week of April 11-18.

Produced by the San Diego chapter of the California Restaurant Association (CRA), the biannual event was developed to boost member restaurants’ revenues during two usually slow times of year — early fall and midwinter.

In place of the fall event in 2020, the CRA presented a new event called Dine Diego, where restaurants could post specials and promotions on the Restaurant Week website. For the event in April, the CRA hopes to return to a more traditional format, with up to 180 restaurants offering prix-fixe, three-course menus priced from $20 to $60 per person.

For details, visit

Juniper and Ivy executive chef Anthony Wells films a tutorial for "cooking at home" customers.
(Courtesy photo)

Juniper & Ivy launches ‘cooking at home’ meal kits

Juniper & Ivy restaurant in Little Italy has launched a new meal takeout program called “Cooking at Home with Wells.”

Customers can purchase and pick up a meal kit with all the dish components for a restaurant-quality meal. Then, they can prepare the dishes at home by following either written instructions prepared by Juniper & Ivy executive chef Anthony Wells, or by watching a filmed tutorial of Wells making the dishes in the restaurant’s kitchen.

The two meal kits now available for sale are: Gonestraw Farms whole chicken with Parmesan and cabbage bread pudding, warm Brussels sprouts and mustard greens, date puree and chicken gravy; and Jorge steak dinner with green salad and candied garlic dressing, mushroom and potato casserole and steak sauce. Meals serve two to four people and are priced starting at $100. They can be ordered at

Campaign launched to save ‘50s-style diner Suzy Q’s

Suzanne Iseminger, the owner of Suzy Q’s diner in Escondido, has launched a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of saving her 6-year-old business from closure.

Iseminger said the campaign — which aims to raise $30,000 to cover back rent and other past-due bills — is her last-ditch attempt to keep open the doors of the 1950s-style diner at 258 E. Second Ave.

The business was doing well before the pandemic arrived last spring. It is now open for outdoor dining and takeout only from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

“I have been hanging on by a thread to try to stay open and have exhausted most of my savings,” Iseminger wrote on the GoFundMe page. “We were getting halfway there, but this latest shutdown is very devastating to my diner. All my hard work, sacrifices and dreams will be gone if I can’t get enough funds to keep me open.”

As of Monday, the campaign had raised nearly $2,800. For details, visit and search for “Help save Suzy Q’s.”

AleSmith Brewing Company's Speedway Stout espresso and Madagascar Vanilla beer.
AleSmith Brewing Company has introduced canned four-packs of Speedway Stout espresso and Madagascar Vanilla beer.
(Courtesy photo)

Two breweries offering new take-home brews

With their tasting rooms closed, two San Diego breweries are offering new take-home products this month to boost curbside takeout service.

AleSmith Brewing Company at 9990 AleSmith Court off Miramar Road has introduced four-packs of 16-ounce cans of Speedway Stout beer. The first variety, Speedway Stout Espresso and Madagascar Vanilla, is now available for pickup. A new Speedway Stout flavor will be introduced every quarter this year. Visit

The Original 40 Brewing Company at 3117 University Ave. in North Park is offering three new beers for takeout in growler (64 ounce), crowler (32 ounce) and canned sizes.

The new releases are Cloud Noises, a double dry-hopped hazy India pale ale; Grin & Berry It, a raspberry, cocoa and vanilla-enhanced stout, created in collaboration with Nomad Donuts; and Schlock Purist, a new German-style pilsner. Visit

Pam Kragen writes about restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at