By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
A new Karl Strauss brewery restaurant in 4S Ranch is among the latest local food-related business developments.
The restaurant at 10448 Reserve Drive in 4S Commons Town Center is in the former Chili’s.
Since opening on July 31, Karl Strauss’ first restaurant to open in a decade has become popular among locals. There has been up to two-hour waits on most nights, said Melody Daversa, Karl Strauss’ public relations manager. For that reason, she is advising people to call 858-376-2739 for a reservation.
The company has made a more than $1.5 million investment in renovating the 6,463 square-foot space into a bar, dining area, kitchen and brewery plus a 1,780 square-foot patio so it can provide food and drink while also operating as a working brewery. The latter is supposed to be up and running by early September. On select days, customers will be able to take free tours. For details they can speak with the manager or their server, Daversa said.
The 4S Ranch locale is the San Diego-based chain’s seventh brewery restaurant. Daversa said 4S Ranch was selected for many reasons, including customers’ requests to have a Karl Strauss in this area. Its other brewery restaurants are in downtown San Diego, La Jolla, Sorrento Mesa, Carlsbad, Costa Mesa and Universal Citywalk.
Daversa said the 4S Ranch restaurant is the first built with the company’s “refreshed brand” that includes features such as reclaimed wood and a fire pit.
In addition to having 12 beers on tap — one dedicated to a variety brewed on site — there will be special offerings such as Thursday cask nights with food and beverage discounts.
Karl Strauss is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays to Wednesdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, with the bar open until 11 p.m.; and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with the bar open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Daversa said the restaurant is open to all ages and a kids’ menu is available. For details, go to www.karlstrauss.com.
Just in time for the recent hot weather, a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop has also opened in the 4S Commons at 10550 Craftsman Way Suite 182. It is in the former Maggie Moo’s, which also specialized in ice cream treats. For details, go to www.brsandiego.com.
Over in Rancho Bernardo, fans of El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive, have a few more months to dine at the almost 50-year-old restaurant, one of RB’s first businesses. It opened in 1963, the same year the first Rancho Bernardans moved into the then-new community.
John Gates, RB Inn’s general manager, said the restaurant’s closure for renovations will likely occur late this year or early next year. It was previously announced El Bizcocho would close by late this summer.
More than $2 million in renovations are planned, creating various spaces within the restaurant known for its French-inspired classic cuisine. It will not be expanded, but continue to seat more than 130 diners at a time.
“It will have a more casual ambiance,” Gates said, mentioning an outdoor “porch” area, large bar component with lounge-style seating and a demonstration kitchen that will feature cooking classes among offerings. He said all is still in the planning phase. When it reopens after the anticipated four-month renovation project, the restaurant will also have a yet-to-be-determined new name.
“We’re revamping the whole menu,” Gates said, adding that despite the more casual atmosphere the restaurant will still be the place to go for a nice meal.
“Customer dining behavior has changed,” he said. “Out is the long, formal meal. (Customers want) a more social affair because they do not have as much time (for dining).”
While located in the resort and popular among RB Inn guests, Gates said 60 to 70 percent of El Bizcocho’s diners are actually locals. For hours and reservations, call 858-675-8550.