View from Orange Avenue median
1309 Orange Avenue, Coronado
Terrace with a view
In a blizzard of new openings in Coronado, the latest, Stake Chophouse is — finally — all but ready to start serving steaks.
But be warned: this might turn out to be the island’s single most expensive eatery, with steak plates rumored to cost as much as $80 each. David Spatafore, the boss of Blue Bridge Hospitality, apparently traveled with executive chef Tim Kolanko to steakhouses around the country to help them decide on their approach.
Result: expect steaks that are likely 21-day dry-aged prime cuts of grass-fed Wagyu-style beef. Experts say meat doesn’t get better than that.
But the atmosphere won’t be white tablecloth with fawning waiters, rather more of a business atmosphere inside (in the 50-seat dining room) and out (on each of two terraces).
The upstairs location was the site of the now defunct La Terrazza, an upscale Italian restaurant. Blue Bridge has had designers and crews working on renovations for more than a year, with City permit requirements said to have delayed what was once to be a spring opening.
Publicity mock-up of "flaming wall" terrace
Sources speculate a “wall of fire,” a long row of flames planned to flicker on the balcony between diners and views of the ocean, could have been one factor slowing the approval process.
Don’t expect a big selection of huge steaks. Spatafore is said to want to emphasize quality over quantity.
The company already has Leroy’s Kitchen, Village Pizzeria, Li’l Piggy’s Bar-B-Q, Coronado Coffee Company, and Spatafore’s opening gambit, MooTime Creamery, all doing good business in Coronado.
“This high-end steakhouse seems like a gamble,” says a local source who asked not to be named, “such a specialized sector at the top of the restaurant food chain. This will compete with the Hotel Del’s 1500 Ocean, and upmarket chains like Ruth’s Chris, Morton’s and Fleming’s. But go-it-alone, top-of-the-line steak-and-cocktail houses have been doing really well recently. Where the industry has averaged a 3 percent growth in business annually, expensive steakhouses like Stake have seen business and profits up by 8 percent.”
Meantime the grills are being worked in, trial meals are being cooked for staff. Opening should be early November. Restaurant will be open evenings only.