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As the close of 2011 nears, my attention is already turned to 2012. There are tons of new restaurants, businesses, and developments ready to break in the New Year. Many are still under wraps with the people behind them not ready to talk until all of the details surrounding their ventures have been finalized. Others would like to shout everything from the rooftops but don’t have enough info to give. Each day this week, I’ll provide you all that I can on five exciting happenings in the local hospitality industry to whet your appetites for the year to come.

Mere months after the debut of UnderBelly, Consortium Holdings’ modern take on a traditional Asian noodle house in Little Italy, another high-profile group of entrepreneurs is using their noodle. Enter Gaijin Noodle House + Sake Bar, a self-explanatorily titled venue set to open in the space at 627 Fourth Avenue in downtown that formerly housed the Cheese Shop. It’s a project of The West Group, (Bar West, the Griffin), which has selected longtime downtown chef Antonio Frisica to head the kitchen. Friscia currently splits time as the overseer of catering operations at Stingaree and one-third of Campine Catering (with Brian Malarkey and Andrew Spurgin). The cocktail program, like so many in San Diego these days (including Searsucker, Quality Social, and Mission Hills’ upcoming Brooklyn Girl) will be the product of Snake Oil Cocktail Co.

(stock photo)

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