By Frank Sabatini Jr.
After a six-year run, The Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge in Mission Hills will close June 20 in preparation for a bar-focused establishment yet to be named. Owner Trish Watlington, who also owns the adjoining Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar, said “Wellington’s beef-heavy menu no longer fits our commitment to local sourcing.” Her decision to re-brand was fueled also by the lack of a “true cocktail bar in Mission Hills.”
The business is slated to reopen in July, with mixologist Brandt Stenberg overseeing the bar program, and executive chef Miguel Valdez introducing a menu of small plates. 741 W. Washington St., 619-295-6000, thewellingtonsd.com.
Labor Day will mark the end of a 14-year run for Shades Oceanfront Bistro in Ocean Beach, which has provided a dog-friendly environment with ocean views for customers under the co-ownership of Jeff Levitt and his wife, Michelle. The couple summed up in a newsletter to customers that it was time to rest and move on.
After Sept. 5, the restaurant will be renamed the OB Surf Lodge by a trio of new owners who hold various stakes in other local restaurants and bars such as Wonderland Ocean Pub a floor above, plus Bayside Landing, Resident Brewing Company, and The Local. The menu will remain focused on breakfast dishes with much of the same staff in place, and canines will still be welcome. 5083 Santa Monica Ave., 619-222-0501, shadesob.com.
More than 40 restaurants are taking part in the 22nd annual Taste of Gaslamp, which runs from 1 – 4 p.m. June 26. The self-guided walking tour will also feature receptions and open houses at various art galleries and museums located throughout the historic neighborhood. Establishments that will dole out food and drink samples include Café 21, Nobu Restaurant, The Field, 1919, Café Sevilla, Quad Ale House, Blue Point Coastal Cuisine, and more.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 on the day of the event. In addition, VIP passes are available for $75, which include access to exclusive receptions and special wine and beer tastings.
Guest check-in will be located at Pocket Park, 410 Island Ave. For more information, call the Gaslamp Quarter Association at 619-233-5227 or visit gaslamp.org/events.