By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes
Hurray for the whiskey-saturated Aero Club! Contrary to rumors that the 71-year-old dive bar in Middletown would be razed, its legacy will live on thanks to a property takeover by Chad Cline and his cousin Jason Nichols, both of whom operate other urban hot spots such as The Waterfront Bar & Grill, Werewolf and Banzai.
“We’ve been going to the Aero Club for a long time and thought the landlord was going to sell to developers,” said Cline. “It has a lot of history and we decided it would be a shame to let that go.”
The acquisition takes effect Oct. 1, and Cline promises to build upon the bar’s enormous whiskey inventory. The shelves currently hold more than 1,200 different labels amassed by former owner Bill Lutzius, who went on to open Chinatown Bar and Grill in City Heights.
Cline added that most of the staff will be retained.
“The employees know whiskey well. We have no intention of going in there and starting with a clean slate.” 3365 India St., 619-297-7211, aeroclubbar.com.
San Diego’s first omakase-only sushi bar recently opened in the Convoy district to the tune of timed, detailed meals served in an intimate setting. Launched by acclaimed sushi chef John Hong (aka Chef Kappa), Hidden Fish encourages guests to defer to the chef for choosing their dishes, hence the term “omakase,” which translates from Japanese to, “I’ll leave it up to you.”
The intimate restaurant has only 13 seats and conducts orchestrated meals that run for either 30 or 90 minutes. 4764 Convoy St., 858-210-5056, hiddenfishsushi.com.
Restaurateur and former “Top Chef” contestant Frankie Terzoli tells us he’s taking over the Park Boulevard address that formerly housed Pardon My French. The venture, Fishmonger’s 2.0, is due to open in early October. It’s a carryover from his original Middletown concept that operated as Fishmonger’s Market & Seafood Bar within the recently shuttered 57 Degrees.
The seafood-centric restaurant, he says, will feature the same menu as before, but with some Baja-inspired dishes added into the mix along with a weekend brunch menu. Also, look for Terzoli competing on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” in the coming weeks. 3797 Park Blvd.
Money spent dining at BO-beau Kitchen + Garden in La Mesa during the month of October will go to a good cause. The restaurant, operated by Cohn Restaurant Group, will donate 20 percent of sales generated from its seasonal prix-fixe menu to the Boys to Men Mentoring Network. The nonprofit organization is run by a community of dedicated men who provide guidance and support to fatherless teenage boys on their journey to manhood. The three-course menu includes a choice of dishes such as French onion soup, boeuf bourguignon, roasted fresh fish, pumpkin bread pudding and more. The cost is $40 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), or $55 with wine pairings. 8384 La Mesa Blvd., 619-337-3445, cohnrestaurants.com.
In addition, the popular Brazilian snack known as pao de queijo is slowly making its way into San Diego households with the expanded distribution of “Brazi Bites.” Starting Oct. 1, the cheesy tapioca bread balls can be found in the frozen sections of San Diego Costco locations, including the store in Mission Valley. Once exclusive to Brazilian eateries, the gluten-free orbs are made with tapioca flour and grated cheeses. When baked, they sport the airiness of fresh dinner rolls. The Oregon-based manufacturer has already secured the product in Whole Foods in Hillcrest, and most Ralphs and Sprouts outlets in Uptown and beyond. brazibites.com.
Calabrian-born brothers Dario and Pietro Gallo of Little Italy’s Civico 1845 restaurant are planning to launch a second culinary venture on the ground floor of the Mister A’s building in Bankers Hill. The yet-to-be-named project is due to open early next year with cuisine beckoning to the brothers’ southern-coastal Italian birthplace. 2550 Fifth Ave., civico1845.com.
On the retail front: Just as Subway phases out its $5 foot-long subs, Rubio’s Coastal Grill has stepped up to the plate with a five-spot deal that buys you an original fish taco and any Mexican or craft beer in the house. The offer is available every Tuesday at all locations for an indefinite period of time. rubios.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com