Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

URBN and co. taking over El Cajon Brewing Co.

East County brewpub reopening under coal-fired pizza giant and Stone chef.

Earlier this year, after roughly a year of mismanagement and passable but lackluster-by-San-Diego-standards beer, El Cajon Brewing Company closed its doors, leaving behind a rather appealing skeleton. With a good-sized dining room, serviceable kitchen, and a shiny brewhouse—all of which are nearly good as new—I figured it was highly unlikely entrepreneurs looking to get some skin in the craft beer game would let East County vultures pick at those lovely bones for long. And I was right. Today, a deal was inked for URBN Restaurant Inc. to take over El Cajon Brewing Company (110 N. Magnolia Avenue, El Cajon).

URBN’s current holdings include URBN Coal-Fired Pizza in North Park and Vista as well as BASIC in downtown’s East Village. All of these venues serve craft beer, but in going into this venture, they tabbed a notable name in the San Diego suds industry to take care of the food aspect of the business, Alex Carballo. Carballo has served as the executive chef and, at times, general manager for Stone Brewing Co.’s farm-to-table restaurant, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido. In taking on this project, and part ownership in it, he will leave his current post near the end of July.

The City of El Cajon heavily funded El Cajon Brewing Company’s establishment and were eager to see new owners take over the space. With experience in restaurant management and running successful businesses focused on adult beverages as well as food with wide ranging appeal, this would seem a good fit. A lot will depend on who the group selects to be their head brewer. The group has met with several prospective candidates, none of which can be disclosed at press time.

For now, what is known is the basic direction the group would like to go where brewing is concerned. Having observed the industry and local palates from a key vantage point during his time at Stone, Carballo knows that a brewery must have a high quality India pale ale to hang with the plethora of San Diego breweries that offer high quality hoppy ales. However, he doesn’t see the need to try and compete on that level with multiple IPAs, stating having one great house IPA is sufficient and, more importantly, will allow his brewer to focus on making a wide variety of styles to appeal to El Cajon Brewing Company’s full clientele.

On the food side, the eatery figures to feature the New Haven-style coal-fire pizza that URBN made a name behind. In addition to blistered, black-cornered pies, expect basic, family-friendly food like sandwiches, wings, and a burger. Like the IPA, Carballo is more concerned with developing one incredible burger instead of a dozen themed variations on the American classic. Finding a good marriage between his food and his brewer’s beer is also of great importance to the chef.

Most of all, Carballo, a La Mesa resident, is looking forward to bringing the type of dining experience that doesn’t exist in East County (save for suddenly brewery-saturated Santee) to his stomping grounds, stating he hopes to “bring a lot of good things to a lot of good people.”

*For more breaking craft beer news, follow San Diego Beer News on Twitter (@SDBeerNews) or keep up on Facebook*.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Kanye West for president

Will San Diego voters be lining up at the polls?

Earlier this year, after roughly a year of mismanagement and passable but lackluster-by-San-Diego-standards beer, El Cajon Brewing Company closed its doors, leaving behind a rather appealing skeleton. With a good-sized dining room, serviceable kitchen, and a shiny brewhouse—all of which are nearly good as new—I figured it was highly unlikely entrepreneurs looking to get some skin in the craft beer game would let East County vultures pick at those lovely bones for long. And I was right. Today, a deal was inked for URBN Restaurant Inc. to take over El Cajon Brewing Company (110 N. Magnolia Avenue, El Cajon).

URBN’s current holdings include URBN Coal-Fired Pizza in North Park and Vista as well as BASIC in downtown’s East Village. All of these venues serve craft beer, but in going into this venture, they tabbed a notable name in the San Diego suds industry to take care of the food aspect of the business, Alex Carballo. Carballo has served as the executive chef and, at times, general manager for Stone Brewing Co.’s farm-to-table restaurant, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido. In taking on this project, and part ownership in it, he will leave his current post near the end of July.

The City of El Cajon heavily funded El Cajon Brewing Company’s establishment and were eager to see new owners take over the space. With experience in restaurant management and running successful businesses focused on adult beverages as well as food with wide ranging appeal, this would seem a good fit. A lot will depend on who the group selects to be their head brewer. The group has met with several prospective candidates, none of which can be disclosed at press time.

For now, what is known is the basic direction the group would like to go where brewing is concerned. Having observed the industry and local palates from a key vantage point during his time at Stone, Carballo knows that a brewery must have a high quality India pale ale to hang with the plethora of San Diego breweries that offer high quality hoppy ales. However, he doesn’t see the need to try and compete on that level with multiple IPAs, stating having one great house IPA is sufficient and, more importantly, will allow his brewer to focus on making a wide variety of styles to appeal to El Cajon Brewing Company’s full clientele.

On the food side, the eatery figures to feature the New Haven-style coal-fire pizza that URBN made a name behind. In addition to blistered, black-cornered pies, expect basic, family-friendly food like sandwiches, wings, and a burger. Like the IPA, Carballo is more concerned with developing one incredible burger instead of a dozen themed variations on the American classic. Finding a good marriage between his food and his brewer’s beer is also of great importance to the chef.

Most of all, Carballo, a La Mesa resident, is looking forward to bringing the type of dining experience that doesn’t exist in East County (save for suddenly brewery-saturated Santee) to his stomping grounds, stating he hopes to “bring a lot of good things to a lot of good people.”

*For more breaking craft beer news, follow San Diego Beer News on Twitter (@SDBeerNews) or keep up on Facebook*.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Disneyland Haunted Mansion technique

Tom Brosseau, Cults, Eddie Vedder, Matte Black, Vokab Kompany
Next Article

Cigarette smokers across the border take a hit

Duty-free stores help
Comments
3

How many thousands of $$ will El Cajon give these guys?

July 9, 2013

El Cajon was out of $600,000 and the restaurant equipment was worth less than half of that. I would be interested to know the specific terms of the agreement to see how badly the city got hosed.

July 9, 2013

El Cajon has already invested money in this facility. The stupid thing would be to let it sit idle and rust away. East County needs to improve dining options and pay attention to the fact that the local craft beer scene is blowing up. I hope they can find a top brewer to make this operation successful. I was hoping someone like Pizza Port would try to make an impact in the East County at this location. Best wishes to the new owners.

July 9, 2013

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close