Love where you live!
Gingham Closes La Mesa Location
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.