San Diego chefs, restaurateurs collaborate on new concept

As Mario Batali’s Eataly concept grows outside New York, a group of chefs and restaurateurs in San Diego next month will debut their own take on the restaurant-meets-market format that they hope to grow from the West Coast.

Bottega Americano will open in August in downtown San Diego’s East Village.

Inspired by the great food halls and specialty food marketplaces of Europe, the 8,000-square-foot concept is being developed by Giuseppe Ciuffa, founder and chief executive of San Diego catering firm Giuseppe Fine Restaurants & Fine Catering, and David Warner, a former chef of the chic ocean view restaurant JRDN. Greg Van de Velde, a former manager of the fine-dining restaurant Bertrand at Mister A’s in San Diego, is also a partner and will serve as Bottega Americano’s general manager.

Chad Ruyle, owner of the San Diego restaurant Dobson and an investor in the Karl Strauss Brewing Co., serves as the lead investor for Bottega Americano.

The idea for the concept is similar to Eataly, with its collection of retail outlets and dining spots, said Ruyle. However, Bottega Americano leans more toward being a full-service restaurant with various food stations and a grab-and-go retail component.

Bottega Americano will have a collection of  “culinary bars,” or food stations. A cheese bar will offer charcuterie and exotic cheeses, for example, and a crudo bar will feature fresh oysters and seafood.

A wood-fired grill will produce roasted chicken and pizzas, the pasta lab will serve housemade pastas, and an array of desserts and pastries will be available from the bakery.

Guests can choose to sit at any of the culinary bars to watch food being prepared and interact with the chefs, or in the communal dining room.

The primary difference, said Ruyle, is that guests can order off a master menu, rather than roaming from station to station to build their meal.

A couple might sit at the crudo bar and order oysters and champagne, but still order a pasta dish or pizza from one of the other stations without leaving their seat, said Ruyle.

Servers will work the room, and the concept will have a full bar. However, Bottega Americano is also expected to do a vibrant takeout business.

The open-market feel of the concept is designed to appeal to consumers looking for choice, said Ruyle.

“People are much more ADD in this culture, and they want variety,” he said. “People are also very visual. They want to be able to see all the choices they have, even though they might only order some oysters and a glass of wine.”

The open kitchen aspect will also appeal to consumers’ growing interest in what’s going on behind the scenes, he said.

“If you look at the most popular shows on TV, they’re restaurant and cooking shows,” said Ruyle. “People want to see the inner workings and the personalities in the kitchen.”

The design, by Thomas Schoos of Schoos Design, will evoke Italy in the glamorous 1950s, and prices will vary broadly. Guests can get a few simple grab-and-go items or pasta and sauce to cook at home. Entrees will range from the teens to the mid-$20 range.

Ruyle said the partners have developed the concept with growth in mind, but first the goal is to prove it in San Diego, where it will serve an up-and-coming downtown neighborhood that has a growing residential and apartment community, along with new business development.

The location also offers some unique perks, Ruyle noted.

Bottega Americano will be located in the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, so it will serve as the dining hall for students, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a catering hub.

With those additional sources of income, the risks of opening the restaurant are significantly hedged, noted Ruyle, who said the partners expect the concept to generate about $7.5 million in annual revenue.

San Diego-based Culinary Justice Inc. will operate Bottega Americano.

 

Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Recruiters Find You Great Careers

    In working with Patrice & Associates, in particular with Sarah Straniero, I was extremely happy with how quickly Sarah was able to place me with my current employer. Sarah is a true professional and I would recommend using Patrice & Associates if you're looking for a career change.   Best in health, Mark Mueller Recruiters Find You Great Careers
  • Recruitment coaches help you think outside of your comfort zone.

    I was contacted by Joe about the job opportunity and at first I was against it. I was searching for something that was outside of my comfort zone and outside of the food industry. While talking with Joe he was so enthusiastic about the company that I said sure let’s give it a try. Joe was with me every single step of the way. From initial contact to me actually being hired he was there. He called/ texted me the day of my interview and encouraged me along the way. I was surprised and happy for his involvement to help me. I could always count on him for great advise and tips during the process. He shared my excitement each time I was contacted by the new company and followed my journey. He was always professional and was easily contacted when I had butterflies about me making the changes. I recommend Joe to any job seekers out there. He went above and beyond! Marqell Campbell General Manager SPJ Recruitment coaches help you think outside of your comfort zone.
  • Recruitment Coaches are Your Coach for Life!

    All I can say about Mike is he has always been supportive and a great mentor to me over the past 8 years.  First as my Director of Operations with Mimi’s Café he always challenged me to be a better manager and encouraged my growth by having me take on leading weekly kitchen manager calls for his market and trusting me to go into troubled locations and helping to turn them around.  Most recently when my time with Mimi’s was over Mike was able to help me secure the next step in my journey in less than 3 weeks.

    Sincerely,

    Bob Nawa

    Recruitment Coaches are Your Coach for Life!
  • Job Coaches Help Reach YOUR Target!

    Emily was amazing from start to finish. From reaching out in the beginning and making clear my options to scheduling the interviews and making sure that I was equipped with all the information and confidence I needed to impress the interviewer. She was in constant contact and was true to her word when she said she was here for me throughout the process. Thank you all for your help. Brian Smith Job Coaches Help Reach YOUR Target!
  • Hospitality Recruiters Make the Best Match for You in Your Next Job.

    I was extremely impressed with Sharon's attention to detail and to make me feel comfortable.  She was in my corner the whole time.  I think it is really great that she actually eats at the restaurants that I will be managing so that is encouraging because that means they have a great working relationship!  I felt that she knew exactly how to prepare me for the interview and the resume that was created was very impressive! Michael Talerico

    Hospitality Recruiters Make the Best Match for You in Your Next Job.