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Linkery and Hubcap Closing. . .Goodbye Jay. . .*sniff**sniff*

Although this is already being discussed on the Closed Restaurants thread, the loss of the Linkery and Hubcap. . .and really, Jay Porter, deserves its own thread in my opinion. Whether you loved the Linkery or thought it was overrated, it played a significant and influential role in the North Park dining scene. Without Jay Porter, do we have 30th on 30th, or the Ritual Tavern? Does local produce ever become a thing? I'm not sure.

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  1. I wouldn't limit his influence on the North Park dining scene but his dedication to sourcing, quality of ingredients had a significant impact on many restaurants and chefs throughout SD. I am looking forward to visit his new concepts in SF (and hope that it will be something with Gavin Schmidt)

    1. I wouldn't say San Diego was not ready for what Jay was trying to do here, but the Bay Area should be a better fit for him if that's where he's headed. Jay and Gavin Schmidt each have disparate strengths that would well complement the other.

      1. We gave this place a couple shots and honestly it just never wowed me. The concept was great but the food always seemed to lack flavor. Having lived in the bay area for many many years, they will have to seriously step up their game in order to be able to compete. If they simply repeat what they did here, up there, they dont stand a chance.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kriot

          When they're down is the best time to kick 'em.

          1. re: Fake Name

            LOL, didnt mean to come off too harsh. I do wish them good luck as well. I think maybe an ETIE would work up there since the Mexican food situation is really really bad in the city.

        2. I am sincerely regretful I never made it to The Linkery, El Take It Easy or Hubcap.

          But I have read and enjoyed Jay Porter's thoughtful and informative contributions to Chowhound and I really wish him well in his new endeavors.

          1. Super sad. Had my wedding at El Take It Easy, everyone loved the food, drinks and amazing service. We had food from both El Take It Easy and The Linkery. Not to mention we are, also losing the best poutine in all of San Diego.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cyyyy

              We went back to Linkery on Sunday for one last lardo icecream sandwich (okay, and a bunch of other dishes). It was yummy while it lasted.

            2. Not really sure if I am excited about the new owners of the Linkery place -the owners of Bottlecraft. They are planning on a craft beer heavy place with homemade sausages and charcuterie. According to Troy Johnson's blog they want to "have a simpler menu than the Linkery" and "simplify the whole experience that the Linkery had" - as we wouldn't have already many beer focused places in SD with "simple" menus.

              18 Replies
              1. re: honkman

                All beer all the time...it's the new short rib

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      I'm not sure ubiquitous menu items are a good analogy; it is more like every restaurant having the same theme. Like burgers. Burgers-n-beer.

                      With Toronado a block or so away, and Tiger Tiger and Hamilton's not that far, do they really think that having an extensive craft beer selection is going to set them apart? This is an ill advised idea.

                      1. re: RB Hound

                        The whole "craft beer" affectation is tiresome, just like the bacon-topped cupcakes served with a 24-hour braised shortrib.

                        Nothing wrong with beer, nothing wrong with crafts. Nor bacon, cupcakes, and shortribs.

                        But the constant flag-waving and preoccupation is relentless.

                        1. re: Fake Name

                          They've made it too mainstream, and it will no longer be cool.

                          1. re: RB Hound

                            Guess I agree with McKrispy on this. San Diego is finally finding an identity for something foodwise (or drinkwise), and it happens to be craft beer. I'd like to hope that every restaurant that has some of our localbrau on tap doesn't have a cloned menu. Let's give the new owners a chance, and then decide.

                          2. re: Fake Name

                            Hey now, if waving a flag for bacon and/or beer is wrong, I don't wanna be right. ;-)

                            And, now, since I just had an Alforon chicken tawook, I will slip gently into a garlic coma....

                            1. re: Fake Name

                              Trends are tiresome, regardless of what they are. Thankfully the industrial light lager trend begun in the '50s seems to be dying.

                              1. re: Fake Name

                                Our local craft beer affectation isn't a trend, my friend. It's the real thing. Food fads come and go. This will not. And there's nothing wrong with waving a flag for something that your city is becoming known for.

                              2. re: RB Hound

                                I would have to disagree; 30th street is quite long and quite busy on the weekends. In the easily walkable stretch near University I don't think there are enough alternatives for craft beer centric pubs for our pedigree. I love Toronado but the menu isn't the best for weekend dinners unless you want grub and it is often packed.

                                We have Urbn pizza, Urban Solace, and Ritual...the latter two having small bar areas. Linkery is gone. I think there is room for a few more places, I would certainly like to have more dinner options with great beer on tap in that area.

                        2. re: honkman

                          I never thought of Linkery's menu as anything but simple.

                          1. re: honkman

                            I'm sure it will do well and while I don't wish the owners an ill will, I'm not sure that's a good thing for the dining scene. There are already enough sausage and beer places and it would have been nice to see someone try (and succeed) at something higher concept rather than dumbing it down.

                            1. re: DougOLis

                              Sausage and beer is a good, crowd-pleasing combo. I could see a place modeled on Rosamunde doing really well in SD.

                              1. re: Josh

                                'Sausage and beer is a good, crowd-pleasing combo' That's what Linkery is/was.

                                1. re: cstr

                                  Right, which is why it makes sense for Bottlecraft to continue in the same vein.

                                  1. re: cstr

                                    The Linkery had good beer, but it didn't push it. I'm guessing Bottlecraft wants to reverse the emphasis.

                            2. It was good to have a last visit at the Linkery at their last night yesterday - one last headcheese, choucroute plate, many familiar faces...It's sad to see this important restaurant for SD gone (mentioned in a poem during the night) but at the same time it was also good to see Jay very upbeat about the next steps in SF. Really looking forward to visit the new place.

                              1 Reply
                                1. re: foodiechick

                                  Thanks for that! Wow, only 30 seats? So only ~7 or 8 tables? That's about equivalent to the main seating area of Carnitas SS or am I thinking wrong?

                                  1. re: The Office Goat

                                    A Big rule to success is how much seating, this is small. Also, not sure his no tip philosophy will fly in SF and Oak.

                                  2. re: foodiechick

                                    Salsipuedes. . .Yes we can. Interesting name choice

                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                      Uh, no. I think it's more like "get out if you can" or "save your a##"*

                                      *Disclaimer: My kids speak Spanish, but I don't, and they aren't here for me to ask.

                                      1. re: The Office Goat

                                        Yep, that's it. A street name in Santa Barbara, close to it's raison d'etre, Quarantina St. There was plague there once upon a time...

                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                          "Salsipuedes" is a very popular camping, fishing and surfing spot north of Ensenada that is at the bottom of the very rugged seaside cliffs. The approach road is very steep and many vehicles have slipped and slid down it, especially when it is wet and muddy from morning fog, hence the name.

                                          The infamous blue fin tuna corrals are anchored nearby offshore.

                                          Perhaps the name of the restaurant is a reference to that very beautiful and bountiful area of Baja.

                                          1. re: Gypsy Jan

                                            Given Mr. Porter's affinity for Baja, I think this is a logical deduction.

                                            1. re: Gypsy Jan

                                              used to be a nice pond and everything...think that is all gone now. I miss going there!