Here Are San Diego’s Fastest Growing EateriesAugust 2011
San Diego Union Tribune | Written By Lori Weisberg
Premium burgers fashioned from grass-fed beef and Mediterranean-style kabobs. Mesquite-grilled, fresh-caught seafood and upscale, house-made cuisine on a budget.
They are the star culinary attractions fueling rapid expansion plans for a number of homegrown restaurants that have zeroed in on winning concepts being cloned throughout San Diego County — and likely beyond.
Be it hubris or just good old-fashioned drive and ambition, a growing number of San Diego entrepreneurs have decided that one restaurant is simply not enough. Buoyed by robust sales and eager investors, these restaurateurs are rapidly growing their companies at a time when the economic tea leaves would suggest applying the brakes instead of moving full throttle ahead.
Santaluz resident Sean Pourteymour, who made his money in commercial real estate and development, is prepared to grow his now modestly sized Luna Grill “kabobery” chain by 60 more outlets over the next six years, a rapid-fire pace by most industry standards.
As successful as many of these restaurants have become, commercial loans are still hard to come by, which is why equity partners and investors are more commonly providing the financial backing needed for expansion. Equally important, though, is a senior leadership team that has the expertise to sustain the excitement and appeal that made that first restaurant so profitable.