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Sep 25, 2008 11:45 AM

Is Stingaree Nightclub and Universal Nightclub Going out of Business?

Is Stingaree Nightclub and Universal Nightclub Going out of Buisness? (San Diego)

Saw this Article:

Seems like they are in trouble.

Anyone have any information?

I never really did like the restaurant there. Overprice junk "nightclub food".

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  1. I think with the current economy we will see more restaurants/clubs having problems. We were yesterday at Cafe Chloe and normally it is full around that thime even during the week. Yesterday very few tables were occupied.
    I would be curious to know how many chowhounds in San Diego are visiting less restaurants compared to a year ago or if they go to lower priced ones now.

    9 Replies
    1. re: honkman

      I agree. This economy is real rough right now for restaurants.

      I think from now till april, there is going to be a lot of folded hands in san diego.

      1. re: stevewag23

        I think you'll see the decline in restaurant patronage continue well past April 2009. This is an exceptionally tough market for restaurants (and probably most retail operations). Restaurants are notoriously under capitalized, trying to survive this market with limited or no reserves will be a challenge. Some of my vendors are already warning me to expect food to start going higher after the election. I sincerely hope they're wrong.

      2. re: honkman

        For us, it's being more careful about where we go b/c we don't want to blow time and $$ on mediocre food.

        I'm anticipating more restaurant closures with this economy too. It's hitting everyone.

        1. re: honkman

          Hmm...did you have the steak frites and were you sitting by the window near the door? If so, I may have seen you there. We were a table of 3 right in the middle of the main room - you may have noticed us too, we went through two bottles of champagne, so we were probably a little loud. ;-)

          1. re: Alice Q

            Yes, that were my wife and me. I looked a few times in your direction because in the early days of your blog you had a picture of yourself in your profile and had the whole time the suspicion that you were sitting at that table.

            1. re: honkman

              the funniest thing is that when your meal was served I happened to look up and see your plate - and I immediately thought about you because we had that disagreement about whether the fries should be under the steak - as I recall they were not this time? Anyway - too funny. You should have said hello!

          2. re: honkman

            To address Honkman's question:

            I enjoy going out to eat- who doesn't- and plan on continuing my forays, but I am certainly much pickier than I have been in the past. A result of different cash priorities or just becoming more sensitive to what's on the plate? I think it's the latter: as an example of my thinking, whisknladle has bone marrow on their menu. Possibly the easiest and cheapest thing to prepare at home, so when I order a small serving for $12.62 or whatever, I am simply paying for service and atmosphere- nothing more. If that part of the equation is not balanced, there is really no reason to go through the motion.

            1. re: honkman

              I always thought Stingaree sucked anyway. It was all just over priced average stuff. I liked the historic name (Stingaree was the name of the gas lamp quarter in the late 19th century) but seriously who cares about bottle service? Why pay $150 for a $19.95 bottle of booze?

              1. re: oerdin

                Why pay $150 for a $19.95 bottle of booze?

                Because it's Southern California....if it's not expensive, it must not be any good.

            2. I think the article says that Universal is for sale and Stingaree is profitable and will continue to operate. I don't think Universal has done that well - it's just not the right fit for that neighborhood, and from what I hear, the food isn't good enough to provide a draw.

              I also think we'll have some serious fallout from this downturn. All those "vegas style' places are in big trouble with the decline of the real estate market, since they were populated mostly by people in the financial and real estate industries.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Alice Q


                I think you hit the nail on the head with "All those "vegas style' placesare in big trouble" .

                It seemed like all their patrons were real estate people and mortgage guys. (Which is one of the reason so many people didn't like those places to begin with, no diversity).

                I was in the gaslamp on Wed night and Osetra (remember that place that really made a "big splash" in san diego by having a wine tower like Charlie Palmer's Aureole in Mandalay bay?)

                Well, Osetra had two people in the whole restaurant.

                Needless to say, there was no "wine angel" working that night.

                1. re: stevewag23

                  Osetra is not long for this world I'm afraid. I think it's going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better - and in a hurry.

                  1. re: Alice Q

                    Osetra Update:

                    I jogged by at 7pm on tues night (no rain) and there was not one person in the restaurant.


              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. I believe Stingaree will remain open--at least for now....the owner also owns Ciro's Pizza downtown--a place I never really cared for--and I see it has already closed. They were tearing the place apart when I walked past it the other day. Of course, this was next door to Sidebar and The Witherby, both owned by the Stingaree owner and, you guessed it, already closed.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: El Chevere

                    And sadly, they are the people that bought and closed Top of the Cove. Granted, it had seen better times, but they have let it sit vacant for two years now.

                    1. re: foodiechick

                      Yeah, is there any word on the opening?

                      1. re: stevewag23

                        None. They project costs to upgrade building to code (and their standards) to be at least 6 million and that was 2 years ago. Plus serious permit issues to come with coastal commission and parking issues for anything that goes into that space. It is just sitting there rotting with no maintenance.

                    2. re: El Chevere

                      I understand they also own Bar West in PB.

                      1. re: Deanna456

                        ENDEV no longer exists, Bar West and Universal have been sold off to new owners. I think a few of the partners of ENDEV still own Stingeree, The Witherby, and Ciro's. They all seem to be doing pretty well. Ciro's is closed for renovations. Top of the Cove ? Who knows?
                        I am by no means an authority on this, just what I've heard

                        1. re: sabotage

                          Thanks for the update, you seem to have a little more current info.

                    3. The original comment has been removed