Gingham Closes La Mesa Location

LA MESA -- Gingham, the stylish eatery that arrived in La Mesa to much fanfare just over a year ago, has closed.

A sign on the door of the restaurant today read "closed for repairs'' but an inquiry to the restaurant's publicists resulted in a statement acknowledging the end to what the owners had hoped to be a successful adaptation of Chef Brian Malarkey's approach to an East County location.

In a statement, James Brennan, CEO of Enlightened Hospitality Group, Gingham's owner, said the company is closing the restaurant to focus on its other fabric-named restaurants.

"Due to the unprecedented success of Searsucker and Herringbone, Enlightened Hospitality Group (EHGRP) has decided to close Gingham in an effort to remain focused on the national rollout of the companies two premier brands (Searsucker and Herringbone.) We will open a third Searsucker in Austin, next month, followed by a second Herringbone in Los Angeles scheduled to open at the end of 2013.''

The restaurant owners did not say specifically what would become of this key space in the heart of La Mesa Village, but did say through a spokesperson that the restaurant is being sold and "is in escrow.'' Richard Felix, who manages the property for the land owner, declined to comment on the property's future. "I can only say what it says on their door,'' he said.

Gingham was a major upgrade of the property, which had previously been upgraded as Gio's, which took the place of Village Garden, a modest diner-like operation that was at that location for years.

The restaurant's struggles were hinted at a few months ago when Brennan was quoted in a local magazine as saying he was attempting to sell the restaurant to the successful Cohn Restaurant group. That sale didn't happen and Gingham adjusted its menu.

However there was a consensus among many restaurant goers that as fine as Malarkey's cuisine may be, the La Mesa restaurant missed the local market, offering foods that were too rich and probably a bit too expensive to be eaten regularly. Malarkey did attract a lot of attention and many foodies from outside East County, but never seemed to build a strong, local clientele. There were recent attempts to add Sunday brunch and entertainment, but clearly the group's interests shifted to its other, more successful efforts.



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Tags: Gingham, La Mesa Today, La Mesa Village, La Mesa newspaper, La Mesa restaurants


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Comment by Marie McLaughlin on May 16, 2013 at 11:42am

Amazing how quickly their clientele diminished.  The menu just wasn't in keeping with today's health/diet conscious customers.  Their attempt at a breakfast buffet was disappointing too. 

Comment by Barry Jantz on May 15, 2013 at 7:29pm

No more Gingham Style for La Mesa!?

Comment by Jan Farley on May 15, 2013 at 6:15pm

I called them today to schedule an event in September and heard that they were no longer going to be operating it.  But they did said they would pass the info on to the new people, whoever that will be.  I think they missed the mark on the type of food - they must have thought La Mesan's were country bumpkins.  That is the main reason I did not frequent it - I miss the Gio concept of an upscale wine bar.  Perhaps that is what will be there next.

Comment by Barbara Casillas on May 15, 2013 at 6:08pm

Well I can't say that I'll miss Gingham... I was one of those people that felt they offered "foods that were too rich and probably a bit too expensive to be eaten regularly."  Plus, I was heartbroken to see Gio's go, which didn't help Gingham in my eyes... I never did find out what ever happened w/Gio's... they should just come back b/c there are a lot of us that miss them terribly.


I just hope we get a good replacement in the neighborhood.

Comment by chris shea on May 15, 2013 at 3:04pm

I loved Gingham.  Deja Vu... Seems like I was only recently saying how much I would miss the street tacos at Gio's.  Now I'll miss the La Mesan burger with the pulled pork on the side...

I will also miss the employees there and will keep my fingers crossed that some of them get to stay. In the meantime I'll be the one walking past and saying "Open Open Open..."

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