City Manager Douglas Williford has announced talks are nearing completion between the property owner, the City of El Cajon and URBN Restaurant Inc. to take over the recently closed El Cajon Brewing Company location on Magnolia Avenue near Main Street in the heart of Downtown El Cajon. After speaking to numerous interested parties to take over this prime location, the property owner is close to concluding lease negotiations with URBN Restaurant Inc. At the same time, the City has been discussing with the new tenant assuming the outstanding loan that the El Cajon Redevelopment Agency had issued to improve the building in 2010. Once the lease is concluded with the property owner, Williford said that a new loan agreement will be presented to the City Council, perhaps in August.
Since the El Cajon Brewing Company closed its doors April 1st, the property owner and the City of El Cajon have been jointly working to find a quality new restaurant and micro-brewery for the site. URBN’s experience in restaurant management and running successful businesses makes this partnership ideal for the El Cajon site.
El Cajon Councilmembers are excited about possibly finding new tenants for the brewery. Mayor Pro Tem Bill Wells says, “It’s no surprise San Diego’s best restaurateurs want to come here. Whoever takes over the lease will do very well in our new revitalized downtown.”
Councilmember Gary Kendrick, added, “I’m delighted that one of the top professionals in the industry is coming to El Cajon. Based on his track record, I expect this new brewery to be a great success!”
City Manager Williford further stated, “The City is focused on creating an entirely new and exciting atmosphere in our downtown, building on some of our earlier successes. Along with the recent opening of Nicolosi’s Italian Restaurant, the City Council approving the renovation and re-opening of the East County Performing Arts Center next year, the weekly Classic Car Shows, Dinner and a Concert Series and the recent introduction of the El Cajon Farmer’s Market into our downtown, as well as numerous large scale public entertainment events such as the Centennial Celebration and HauntFest, our downtown is becoming increasingly recognized as a burgeoning quality eating and entertainment venue. The coming of URBN restaurant and micro-brewery into our downtown will significantly add to that. ”
URBN’s current holdings include URBN Coal-Fired Pizza in North Park and Vista as well as BASIC in downtown’s East Village. While these venues serve craft beer, the food side will be handled by Alex Carballo. Carballo has served as the executive chef and general manager for Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido.