In February, we reported that California’s El Cajon Brewing Co. was facing bankruptcy. In April, we heard the brewhouse and restaurant closed its doors. We opined: “We hope the folks behind El Cajon Brewing find new footing soon. In the meantime, there’s an excellent opportunity in El Cajon, Calif., for an up-and-coming brewery to reopen those doors.” Sounds like some one thought the same thing. The executive chef of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Alex Carballo, and a partner are looking to reopen those aforementioned doors. According to San Diego Eater.com:
Carballo has announced that he will be leaving his position with Stone at the end of the month to partner with Jon Mangini (URBN North Park and Vista, BASIC, Gang Kitchen) to open a new URBN brewpub in East County, taking over the location vacated by the El Cajon Brewing Company in April. Eater caught up with the chef to hear about his latest project, which is slated for a late fall or early winter opening.
“As a chef,” [said Carballo], “you always dream about the opportunity to have your own place but it takes a lot of money and a certain kind of person to really get that going. My friend Jeff from Terra introduced me to his broker and I asked him to look into the El Cajon Brewing Company property. East County needs a little love; I live there and I was so excited to see them first open because it was something new.”
URBN brewpubs are coal-fire pizza restaurants in the San Diego area that have a great craft beer selection. This new URBN in El Cajon will also be the company’s first craft brewery, serving it’s own beer.
“One of the biggest factors in having me join the team was my connections to breweries and training myself with some of the best in the world,” [said Carballo]. “The craft beer community is really tight and I’ve gotten some great advice on brewers and which direction to take. We’re in the marriage proposal stage right now; we definitely have some great local candidates and we’re hoping to decide on who’s the best fit by August.”
Since East County is my home, and brewers are looking for more space, if you don’t want to be “downtown” there are some friendly, thristy and appreciative beer lovers out this way too. Guessing $$$sq. ft. measurably less than downtown as well.