During an exclusive hard-hat tour in October of the then soon-to-be-opened $10 million Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse at the InterContinental San Diego hotel in downtown, general manager Michael Manoocheri stated: “There are steakhouses in every corner in this area, but, we hope to stand out by the ambience we’ve created.”
For some time now, the buzzing area, near the San Diego Convention Center, Petco Park, the Gaslamp Quarter and the harbor, has been a hub for trendy restaurants, but especially steakhouses, running the gamut between chain extensions like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse to locally-grown ones like Morton’s The Steakhouse and Lou & Mickey’s. A search for steakhouses in ZIP code 92101 in San Diego will yield over a dozen results of high-end chophouses that include Fleming’s Prime, STK San Diego, Greystone Prime Steakhouse & Seafood and Born & Raised. Now, with Del Frisco’s, which was set to officially open its doors Nov.3, it raises the questions: Is the zone oversaturated with eateries that specialize in steaks and chops?
‘Room for Everyone’
“I think there is room for everyone,” said Sara Arjmand, general manager of Greystone. “For San Diego being a small town, it’s actually a pretty big town in many ways. If you want a location near the water that is scenic, that may be reason enough to set up here. We get a lot of the convention crowd, as well. And, with San Diego being a destination place, when people think of a great night out or a date night, they usually think steakhouse.”
Miro Copic, marketing professor at San Diego State University, says the convention center is definitely a major push for steakhouses to set up shop in the neighborhood.
“The more conventions there are there, the more opportunity there is for the restaurants surrounding it,” he said, adding although convention attendees are a major driver of revenue for locations in the vicinity, the steakhouses have to build a following among San Diegans as well so that they can make the short list as opposed to one-and-done. “It will also depend on the menu items, the quality of the food, the pricing and, of course, the ambience.”
According to the San Diego Tourism Authority’s Visitor Industry Performance 2018 report, the number of conventions held in San Diego by August was 51. About 457,000 people attended those conventions and spent $479.3 million in the county as a result.