New Business Roundup: Wheat and Water opens in Bird Rock

As the sign hanging above its restaurant at 5737 La Jolla Blvd. suggests, Wheat and Water is finally open. After three years of planning and construction, the pizzeria run by La Jolla native Ted Cochrane and business partner Doug Ritz, began welcoming customers in early November. 

“My vision for the place was always to be a community hub … and we have a menu of pizza and shared plates that reflects the concept of sharing. We wanted a place where people could order a couple things and share everything,” Cochrane said. 

“People ask us why it took so long to open, and that’s because we had an unproven location and we are two young guys with high standards … I had people tell me to just repaint the building and say it’s something new. But people in La Jolla are smart, they aren’t going to be impressed by a place that repainted a building and moved some tables around. We are so proud of what we built because it’s gorgeous. It’s just what we wanted.” 

Pizza, both classic and creative (think Margherita all the way to Pork and Potato with kale and leeks) shares menu space with fan-favorite shared plates such as the charcuterie boards. “The idea is to encourage people try to certain combinations of meats, cheeses, vegetables and sauces, put their phones away and have a discussion,” Cochrane said. 

Ritz added, “There are a lot of young families here and pizza is one of those easy dinner items a family can get any night of the week. But our culinary team blew me away with what they put together.” (Insider tip, if you order the Cioppino mussels or meatball plate, save some of the bread that comes with it to the very end for dipping.)

Cochrane said Wheat and Water has a wine, beer and cocktail selection that could “rival any restaurant in La Jolla.” 

Having grown up near WindanSea, Cochrane said he’s witnessed restaurants come and go, and knows what will thrive in Bird Rock. So while he wanted to create something new, he also wanted to incorporate elements of former establishments, such as the low-bar to pay homage to the former Bully’s restaurant and tables made from the building’s former rafters. 

To keep the menu fresh, items will rotate out with the seasons. “We hope people will come, try everything on the menu and by the time they are done, we’ll have a new menu so they can start over,” Ritz said.

- (858) 291-8690. wheatandwater.com

More Eateries Coming to Town

Los Angeles-based Mendocino Farms Sandwich & Salad Shop will open its first San Diego location Dec. 8 at 8795 Via La Jolla Drive near UCSD. Owned by husband-and-wife team Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen, La Jolla was selected because of its health conscious young families and college students. 

“About 12 years ago, we started to see a gap in sandwich options; you had your Subways and Quiznos and then your gourmet grocery stores and cafes that sold sandwiches for $16. We thought we could make a gourmet sandwich using quality ingredients and sell it for $10,” Del Pero said. Boasting “approachably adventurous” sandwiches, the options include high-quality ingredients with unique takes on classics. 

For example, rather than a fried chicken sandwich, Mendocino Farms offers a sandwich featuring grilled chicken topped with fried polenta to give that crunch without the calories. “We also have Chef Judy’s Korean Chicken Meatball sandwich, that features a familiar chicken meatball with a Korean glaze with chili paste, a not-too-spicy kimchee mayo and a housemade slaw,” he said. 

When it comes to designing each location (there are four in Orange County and 10 in Los Angeles) UCSD graduate Chen said the aesthetic caters to the community. The La Jolla location will have play areas for children, but a beer and wine list of local purveyors for parents and students.

- mendocinofarms.com

New York’s famed Shake Shack is making its way to UTC in 2017 for its first San Diego location. The only other Southern California spots are three locations in the Los Angeles area. Offering burgers, chicken sandwiches and flat-top hot dogs (including the Shack-Cago dog with pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, celery salt and mustard), Shake Shack also slings frozen custards made from rich dense ice cream and “concretes” of frozen custard with mix-ins. San Diego dishes inspired by local ingredients will be featured. A date has not been announced for the Westfield UTC location at 4545 La Jolla Village Drive.

- shakeshack.com

Sustainable Home Decor

SeaMakers & Co., a lifestyle and gift store, opened its La Jolla location at 7660 Fay Ave. Suite J. According to press material, it carries fashion and home décor accessories, with most items made from reclaimed materials.

The brands include Sea Bags, a Maine-based designer and of handmade home and fashion accessories from recycled sails; Traps Eyewear, makers of premium sunglasses using repurposed oak from lobster traps; Seawicks, makers of candles from 100 percent soy wax; Lemon & Line, handcrafters of nautically inspired bracelets and accessories; Felix Doolittle, Elüm, and Smock, each makers of occasion cards that are printed on recycled paper, use letterpress and soy inks.

Husband-and-wife team and Marc and Mary Beltrante own SeaMakers and recently moved to the Jewel from Maine. “We’re thrilled to be in La Jolla, and to open our store here. We’ve been warmly welcomed and we’re excited to be a part of the business community,” said Marc. 

- (858) 412-4269. seamakersco.com 

No More Cracked Screens

San Diego Mac Repairs, specializing in the repair of Apple products, recently opened in La Jolla at 7734 Herschel Ave., Suite J. 

Run by Yanira Chavez and Victor Carrillo, San Diego Mac Repair fixes broken screens, water damage, cracked glass, batteries and so much more, and offers in-home training and support for that extra level of help.

Victor has been repairing computers since 2002. He started repairing iPhones when they debuted in 2008. Yanira explained, “Our first venture in San Diego started at Kobey’s Swap Meet when the idea struck us to put a booth there to fix iPhones and sell accessories. Our business has been successful and allowed us to expand to Seattle. Victor sold his businesses to work for Apple as a certified technician.”

She added, “Our plan is to stay current with the repair of all gadgets and offer a level of support that is unmatched. We may also offer student workshops for little ones to learn more about their gadgets.”

- sandiegomacrepairs.com

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