Longfellow Real Estate Partners has formed a partnership with celebrity chef Richard Blais to open restaurants in Longfellow’s life science campuses.
The first, California English, will be in Longfellow’s Biovista life science development at the corner of Mira Mesa Boulevard and Scranton Road, tentatively set to open in early 2023.
“We wanted to amenitize this new life science campus with kind of an activation center, kind of a social hub,” said Matthew Ellis, a principal with PGAL architects based in Houston.
PGAL is designing California English.
“We want to create more than just a restaurant for people to go get food. It’s really intended to be a meeting place, a place where business could be conducted as much as a place to get a bite to eat,” Ellis said. “We wanted it to be very approachable”
A Fun Take
With some of the design work still in progress, the look of California English is a meant to be a whimsical mix of English formality and California casual.
Blais described California English as “a fun take on the classic and casual bistros of Europe presented through the lens of Southern California’s produce and people.”
Blais co-hosts Fox network’s Next Level Chef with Gordon Ramsey and Nyesha Arrington.
In one of the whimsical connections between Britain and Southern California, Ellis said that plans call for a mural in the restaurant that will depict an old English castle with palm trees around it in the background and flying bowler hats in the foreground.
In another touch of whimsy, Ellis said the plan is to decorate a hallway between the restaurant and a conference center that doubles as a private dining room with a series of animal portraits by San Diego artist Matt Forderer that might include an English bulldog wearing sun glasses. The portraits would have very ornate frames like those used on museum portraits.
“We’re finding little ways to kind of interject these sort of moments,” Ellis said.
The restaurant opens out to a patio that in turn leads into an event lawn and conference center/dining room.
In a way, the entire area could be considered part of the restaurant, Ellis said, because all the doors and windows of the restaurant open to the outdoors, the bar has seating inside and out and the patio merges into the event law. An outdoor fireplace also connects the restaurant to the lawn area.
“It creates a venue that has a lot of flexibility,” Ellis said.
The theme of the restaurant has gone through several iterations, finally settling on English/Californian.
Longfellow Real Estate Partners
CEO: Adam Sichol
Headquarters: Boston, MA
Business: Life science and biotech commercial developer
Social impact: Longfellow partners with the community and its partners/tenants to help maximize the community in which the firm invests with school supplies and blood drives to donation collections and volunteer opportunities.
Notable: Longfellow Real Estate Partners is the largest privately held investor and developer of life science buildings in the world with an international portfolio that spans over 15 million square feet, with a 4+ million square foot portfolio in the San Diego region.