OB Warehouse to Close in Mid-February – Rumors Abound about Future of Building

by on January 19, 2017 · 13 comments

in Culture, History, Life Events, Ocean Beach

Photo from sandiegoville.com

The OB Warehouse on Newport Ave in OB, part of the Cohn family’s Eatery Empire, is scheduled to close up business in mid-February. This report comes from an online restaurant/ beer tabloid, sandieogville.com .

The OB Warehouse just opened in August of 2014 with a lot of fanfare and was much-heralded for its construction motif with award-winning restrooms. It was the 3rd Cohn Restaurant Group restaurant to open in the Peninsula (Corvette Diner in Liberty Station and Bo-Beau’s on Voltaire Street in northwest OB being the others).

Having replaced the ill-fated Portugalia restaurant, the OB Warehouse building went through an innovative and serious renovation. The food and beer were good, but to the casual observer, the place never seemed to fill up with patrons. Just recently, the restaurant suffered a bit of bad publicity as the Cohn establishments were being targeted by San Diego’s new City Attorney due to the use of  unannounced “surcharges” added to customers’ bills ostensibly for the increase in San Diego’s minimum wage, which are illegal.

According to sandiegoville.com, rumors abound about the future of the 2-story building:

Rumor has it that the Cohn’s will renovate its prime building and use the first floor to house a second incarnation of the company’s Coin Haus Beer & Games concept with the second floor expected to go to Johan Engman for another Breakfast Republic outpost, possibly launched in collaboration with the Cohn Group.

Upon closing the doors to OB Warehouse this Valentine’s Day, the building will soon after receive a redesign by longtime Cohn Restaurant Group designer Philippe Beltran (100 Wines, Indigo Grill, BO-beau) who will transform the first floor to become Coin Haus – an adult arcade bar that centers around self-serve beer and video games, which currently has its original location in La Mesa. Rumor has it that David Cohn delivered the news in-person to the OB Warehouse staff and that many employees will be moved to one of the company’s other nearly-twenty San Diego restaurants.

The prime second story space at 4839 Newport Avenue is currently rumored to become the 6th branch of Rise & Shine Restaurant Group’s Breakfast Republic restaurant, which first opened in North Park in June 2015 and quickly grew to locations in Liberty Station & Encinitas, with eateries in Carmel Valley and the East Village currently in development. There is also rumors that Breakfast Republic owner Johan Engman may be teaming up with the Cohn Group for a modified version of the concept. We reached out to Rise & Shine’s public relations for comment but were told that details were not finalized and would not be released until next week.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

fstued January 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm

That’s to bad last time I ate there I liked it. But a friend recently aid her meal there was almost inedible. I guess they are not showing the required profit, that is business

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Judi Curry judi January 19, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Personally I would rather see them concentrate on good food and forget all the beer.

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OB Dude January 19, 2017 at 4:24 pm

I am surprised restaurant owners do not focus on what local people/families would support. The new places are so much of the same… concrete floors, hard chairs, noise filled, mediocre food (if any), that only attracts a certain crowd. Not many tasting rooms appeal to families or to an “older crowd” who would enjoy dining and relaxing.

The locals are what will support good restaurants all year long and encourage other types of retail establishments to stay or remain.

Our local eye doctor should bring back the strand, that would be a good place to start enhancing Newport and attract residents to dine locally. Just a few thoughts IMO

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Chris January 19, 2017 at 6:02 pm

“Not many tasting rooms appeal to families or to an “older crowd” who would enjoy dining and relaxing.”

That’s a bit of a stretch. Maybe tasting aren’t really something you take the kids to, but lost of parents go to them. As to “older”, lots of people I know in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s enjoy local craft beer and like to hit up a tasting room.

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OB Dude January 20, 2017 at 3:51 am

Yes, they go…but on” occasion”.. my point is continued support of local establishments. Most people will return to their favorite restaurant but are they really returning to the tasting room to hit it up?

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Chris January 20, 2017 at 10:01 am

Depends on the tasting room and where it’s located I suppose, but yes they do. At least the one’s I go to frequently.

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Chris January 20, 2017 at 10:05 am

But yes I agree most people will return to their favorite restaurant, but they also return to their favorite drinking establishment too. Be that a neighborhood dive, a wine bar (which seem to be sadly disappearing), high end cocktail bar, sports bar, tasting room, etc.

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Sean January 19, 2017 at 8:26 pm

I like the coin haus idea, but I doubt the OB crowd will go for over priced breakfast without an ocean view upstairs.

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Dave January 19, 2017 at 8:59 pm

Gave them two tries – good food, the worst service I’ve ever had at a CRG property. Regardless, the “we want to make a point that we don’t want to pay our employees surcharge” caused me to swear off all of their other locations.

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Chris January 20, 2017 at 11:03 am

I’ve never actually been to OB Warehouse so I can’t really give an honest opinion of it’s departure. Based on most other Cohn group restaurants I’ve been to, none were anything outstanding. The one I like the most is Coasterra on Harbor Island (next to sister restaurants C Level/Island Prime). More than anything else I like the amazing view and rather elegant patio set up. The food isn’t bad but nothing special and it’s overpriced for the quality. I think the CG restaurants that do well it’s more because of their ambiance than it is their quality.

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Vincent January 20, 2017 at 2:20 pm

I love their Happy Hour which is also on Sundays and will have to get there a few more times before they close. I will miss this place.

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charlie January 23, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Overjoyed. Horrid staff and crowd. Hated it the four times I was forced to go.

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Susie January 27, 2017 at 12:57 am

18 Years ago we went to the Prado. We had sandwiches and one appetizer & Yuk.
We actually asked to speak w the manager who just so happened to be Mr. Cohen.
All I remember is we paid for our food, we only ate a few bites, we complained and nothing was done . A lot of double talk. We never ever went back there .
18 yrs ago and I can still picture the entire lunch.
Side note : Brigantine has the sur charge now too.
We rode the elevator at Shelter Island and there was no sign and we rode w an owner too. We paid the sir charge to just avoid drama and it wasn’t that much but, I doubt we will return. I can’t believe the Morton’s need the $$ as to charge neighbors a few dollars to help w their business. I could be wrong, but Mo, I don’t think so. Just another disappointment. Cooking and meal prep is now our ongoing and refreshed hobby again!

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