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I’m a native San Diegan. Growing up, my family didn’t really eat out much. But when we did, we frequently did so at restaurants in Old Town’s Bazaar del Mundo. The allure of fishbowl margaritas was huge for my parents…and grandparents, uncles and aunts. Clearly, an affection for alcohol courses through a family tree that produced a craft beer journalist, but even if they’d only served agua frio, we’d have kept going back. The food was delicious. Hell, I’d have showed up just for the chips and salsa, which are still like crack to an addict for me.

Though the Old Town placement of those restaurants—Casa de Pico, Casa de Bandini, and Casa Guadalajara—was clearly geared toward tourists, there’s no questioning these places are interwoven into the fabric of San Diego dining culture like colorful threads running through a Zapotec rug. That’s been proven by the popularity two of the restaurants have enjoyed since leaving Old Town (Casa Guadalajara is still located in Old Town). Casa de Pico relocated to La Mesa’s Grossmont Center while Casa de Bandini was installed at The Forum at Carlsbad. Both are often at capacity, just as they were in the land of meandering out-of-towners.

That continued, enthusiastic level of patronage is fueling the upcoming addition of another restaurant to Diane Powers’ Bazaar del Mundo Restaurant Group, as well as the burgeoning Del Mar Highlands Town Center. Powers has signed on to bring a restaurant in keeping with the traditional format of her existing eateries to the spot formerly occupied by Red Robin. It is expected to open in the spring of 2013, and will join a family of big name restaurants including Burlap, Davanti Enoteca, Rimel’s Rotisserie, The Counter, and Urban Plates.

Del Mar Highlands Town Center is located at the corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real. Powers’ new address will be 12865 El Camino Real.

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TheBigB May 21, 2012 @ 11:45 a.m.

When did that Red Robin close? It usually seemed to be pretty busy to me, but maybe there were other factors at play?

They definitely are stepping in that shopping center.


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