When Urban Solace opened in North Park 11 years ago, the neighborhood was nothing like the bustling area it is today. Chef/owner Matt Gordon, who also operates Solace & the Moonlight Lounge in Solana Beach, has seen a lot of changes over the years and now he’s evolving right along with the scene.
But, while he has re-imagined Urban Solace to include daily breakfast service and smaller shared plates for dinner, he continues to wonder where the industry is headed next.
Gordon recently sat down with PACIFIC and podcast host Edwin Real of Facebook group Eating and Drinking in San Diego to talk about North Park, his new menu and other restaurant trends. In this episode of Dish It Up, expect to hear about:
- Bringing elevated food to North Park at a time when it didn’t exist there
- Chef-driven restaurants
- Being engaged with both diners and staff
- Making the decision to link restaurants only loosely in name
- Changes seen in North Park since moving in
- Throwback to 30th Street Restaurant Row
- Core audience moving out of North Park
- Dealing with wage increases
- How popular dining delivery services affect restaurant profit margins
- Future of the industry is really murky
- Group mentality & social media influences
- Care more about quality and experience than just checking in
- The three types of experiences: Positive, neutral, negative
- Positive experiences are really hard to create
Dish It Up is a collaboration between PACIFIC and Facebook group Eating and Drinking In San Diego.
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3823 30th St., North Park, 619.295.6464, barsolace.com
Solace & the Moonlight Lounge
25 E. E St., Encinitas, 760.753.2433, eatatsolace.com