San Diego’s The Patio Group restaurant company expanded its footprint into North County last week with the opening of the Patio on 101 in Encinitas on June 20.
The Patio on 101 takes over the 7,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Open House Food + Drink restaurant, which closed in the spring after a year in business.
In an interview with the Union-Tribune in May, Open House owner Wade Hageman said he and his wife, Kristi, took a risk on the unusual four-in-one concept and it didn’t connect with the community in the way he hoped.
The indoor/outdoor space has two kitchens, two indoor dining rooms, two bars and a central outdoor covered patio that’s dog- and kid-friendly. It has combined seating for 240.
The Patio Group spent about $200,000 re-branding the property in the style of its other patio-centric restaurants, the Patio on Lamont in Pacific Beach and the Patio on Goldfinch in Mission Hills.
The former Open House had four different dining concepts under one roof including an Asian eatery, a breakfast/brunch spot, a beachy cocktail bar and a weekends-only tequila and raw bar.
Patio on 101 has just one menu serving American comfort food with specialty dishes such as daily seafood specials, ahi poke tacos and happy hour bao bun specials.
One of the venue’s two bars has been named Himmelberg’s in honor of Joey Himmelberg, the late friend of The Patio Group’s CEO, Gina Champion-Cain. In his honor, Mission Brewery has created a custom citrus India Pale Ale beer, Himmelbrew, available only on tap at Himmelberg’s.
“Naming the bar after my late friend Joey makes this location even more special and I want to welcome everyone in to experience that feeling as we are more than a restaurant, we are a community,” Champion-Cain said.
As at other company locations, the Patio on 101 serves a rotating variety of local beers on tap. The restaurant is open for weekday lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
The dinner menu at Patio on 101 is similar to its sister restaurants with entree salads, flatbreads and large plates that include steelhead trout, shrimp and grits, half chicken, New York steak and burgers.
The restaurant’s happy hour will feature bao steam bun sandwiches created by Bao Beach, an Asian street food restaurant in Mission Beach owned by the Patio Group.
The restaurant is located at 345 S Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas. For information, call (760) 209-1274 or visit www.thepatioon101.com.
-- Pam Kragen is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune