The one where I leave the tech industry for good and buy an adult book store

The address number

The address number

It’s not what it seems, but it’s also literally what it seems. As I mentioned in my blog post from May, there are some changes coming ahead. We will make it back to San Diego at the end of this month, easing back into our old home there.

Today, we purchased a commercial property in Historic Downtown Escondido. It used to be an adult book store and we will be turning it into a restaurant. Yes, you heard that right, a restaurant.

But Derek, you might ask, Why a restaurant? I haven’t seen any cooking pictures in your blog posts or anywhere else in your social media feeds. Are you a chef?

No, I am not a chef, nor have I had any formal restaurant experience. I consider myself a businessman, an expert in user experience, and will be part of a team of great people that includes people with restaurant experience. I will be primarily running the restaurant ‘machine’ and working eagerly to get people in there and enjoying the food. I will be major part of the creative portion of the concept and design.

What type of restaurant will it be?

While the concept is still evolving, and we don’t have a name yet, our current concept prototype involves three Bs: Breakfast, Burgers, and Beer. It will be a fast casual restaurant (FCR), with as fresh and local ingredients as we can make it without charging too much. I want it to be a great place to hang out, with good music, great food, and smiling service. An overall good value for couples, families, and whoever is hungry for some quality food.

Why Escondido?

Downtown Escondido is a charming street with historic buildings. Crusin’ Grand, a popular event where thousands come from across the county to see and have their classic cars seen, is held on Fridays from April thru September. There are also festivals and parades that run through the town. The building we’re purchasing, under the retail facade, has old brick and wood accents that we think will be a great dining environment. We’ll be able to have some outside seating (dog-friendly) and provide a great eating space.

As of now, the City of Escondido and its Fire Department have been a great source of information and truly supportive of turning this old adult book store into something the community can get behind. They are familiar with the property and, without them, I wouldn’t have been able to perform as much due diligence on the property as I did. They truly care about the character of Downtown Escondido and it shows.

Crowds for Cruisin' Grand

Crowds for Cruisin’ Grand

When will it open?

Well, we just closed on the property today, and we still have a lot of work to do, so stay tuned for an updated timeline and a link to a new blog that will be focused on the restaurant, since I don’t want to pummel my hiking community with posts about starting and running a restaurant.

But, seriously, Derek, why a restaurant?

This has been an idea that we’ve been kicking around for a while. I’ve gotten a bit tired of the tech industry, with its fair share of stakeholders. I love being in charge of the user experience and would like to continue to do so, but in a different way, for a different kind of product. The websites and interfaces that I’ve been involved with over the years have been greatly improved by my work and I am proud of that. With my own restaurant, I get to be passionate about my customers and provide them with the best experience I can offer. I understand customer expectations, and therefore can apply what I know and give customers a great eating experience out the gate.

What else?

What I truly would like, once the restaurant is complete, is for all of you in the San Diego area to consider coming by after a hot and dusty day in the San Diego backcountry and have some tasty burgers, some local craft beer, and milkshakes. And tell me all about your hikes.

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  1. says

    This will be on my list of places to visit when you get it up and running…no doubt. I totally think you should decorate and design the bathrooms as a nod to it’s former life…that would just be funny as hell. This is a big step, and a huge undertaking. I think we all question (and sometimes long for) a career change at our age. I wish you the best of luck, buddy. Can’t wait to see what you do with the place.

  2. says

    Very exciting news! I wish you the best of luck and you can count on me to drop by on the way back from San Diego hikes as much as possible. Looking forward to it.

  3. Sat Garcia says

    Exciting news!

    If you have some vegan fare there, I’ll give it a try once it opens.

  4. says

    We are aiming to have some truly interesting vegan dishes, rather than afterthoughts. We are going to be reaching out to vegans and vegetarians to make sure we nail it.

  5. says

    Congratulations Derek, that sounds like a terrific location to start a restaurant! Looking forward to enjoying a burger (with a black bean patty;-) and a good craft beer! Keep us all updated, I don’t mind reading about your progress on the blog. In a way, it’s just a different peak you’re climbing now, right? ;-)

  6. says

    Derek, it’s wonderful to learn of your plans. I know you’ll rock this enterprise! I’ve got reasons to visit Escondido – and I plan to be hungry when I do.

  7. Connie Soldate says

    Hi Derek, sounds like a big career change! Dave and I recently stayed at the Madonna Inn. We loved their Copper Cafe. Maybe you could get inspired from some of their ideas. It has a lot of character! We also just ate at Pizza My Heart. They had pictures of surfers and stuff all over their walls. Perhaps you could incoperate your hiking and some biking into your theme or decore. You could also provide bike racks, so families can bike to breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Healthy living theme, eat- drink- and be active! Also, please consider some delicious lactose free dishes. Ever since I became lactose intolerant, it is hard to find food when we go out. A lot of the time olive oil and Saffola oil can substitute for butter, and juicy meat in a dish doesn’t need cheese. Dairy free dishes can also be healthier! I lost 10 pounds when I quit eating dairy! People should be able to eat healthy when they go out! I also put avocado on my sandwiches instead of mayonnaise. Healthy foods can be delicious. People might decide to go more often if the food is healthy, delicious, and reasonably priced with a good atmosphere.Frozen Berries and juice can be blended into smoothies with 0 sugar! Fruit can be offered on the dessert menu as well as the regular menu and lots of fresh vegetables and salads can be offered! If you do some of these healthier eating ideas along with your breakfast, burgers, and beer you will truly have something so unique it is bound to appeal to everyone! I am so proud of you guys for taking this very challenging opportunity in your life!

  8. says

    Sounds like this will become a popular post-hike pit stop. Good luck with your new business and don’t forget to offer a Pacific NW beer or two in your lineup!

  9. Annette says

    how exciting! we have a corner building on grand and broadway(coast sewing & vaccuum and samson barbell) and are getting new tenants in as we update the building. can’t wait to eat at your new place and to send everyone we know in your direction! welcome, welcome to downtown escondido!

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