Lil B’s Urban Eatery at 2611 El Cajon Boulevard in North Park has closed down. All the windows are covered. Their listed phone number doesn’t answer.
More than a week ago when I ate there, a posted sign read "cash-only" because they were “changing credit card processing companies.” Also, the restaurant’s tall, colorful sign was no longer rotating.
Before Lil B's started up, the restaurant’s predecessor was Brians' American Eatery (now the locale of Great Maple) at 1451 Washington Street in Hillcrest. It was called Brians' because its two owners were Brian Stout and Brian Savage.
Partner Brian Stout (he was “little Brian”) opened Lil B's in October 2012, after major renovation of a failed, longtime eatery called Johnny's R Family Restaurant. It was originally owned by Johnny Raizian and remained open for about 30 years under the same name.
Tootie Thomas, president of the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association, wasn’t sure why the restaurant failed, but “heard it was having problems.” Thomas thinks the building will probably remain a restaurant, but opined that a better concept would be “mixed-use” (a restaurant with residential units above). Thomas had not yet talked with the property owners.
Edwin Lohr, board president of the North Park Community Association, told the Reader: “All I can say is people I know liked the food, atmosphere, and people of Lil B's. I know to many, it will be missed.”
“The best thing about Lil B's was the tasty food,” said Palm Springs resident Steve Brown, a regular customer for years at Lil B's, and at the defunct Brians' cafe. “It wasn't gourmet, but you never left hungry. I guess tastes have changed more towards lighter, healthier fare.”