The Coming ‘Whomp Burger & Brew’ to Ocean Beach

by on February 21, 2022 · 7 comments

in Ocean Beach

Brian Freye and Brenna Olsen of the soon-to-be-open-Whomp Burger & Brew. Photo by Sal Mineo.

Brenna Olsen of Whomp Burger & Brew in Her Own Words

Table Talk by Sal Mineo (@snackdiego)

Welcome back to Table Talk,fellow OBceans – where we get friendly with those in our community keeping the peace by slaking our appetites.  This is a hangry-free zone.

Cruising around on my bike a couple of weeks ago, I saw a neon banner hanging off of the old Sundara spot (R.I.P), that says “Whomp Burger & Brew” – I’m sure you must have seen it by now.  I know, I know; some of you are thinking ‘another burger?’ and some of you are thinking ‘another burger!’  I say, the more the merrier and judging by the lines outside some of our existing establishments, there’s no shortage of burger enthusiasts in our little hamlet (see what I did there).

Let’s get into some table talk with Brenna Olsen of the soon-to-be-open-in-early-March Whomp Burger & Brew, who with her business partner Brian Freye hopes to bring us another joint to kick back at after the beach.  Check out their Instagram (@whompburger) or their website for the upcoming opening dates, and let’s welcome them to OB.

Here’s Brenna, in her own words.

How’d you get to where you are today, about to open a burger joint in OB?  What did you do professionally before?

I started in the restaurant industry with my first job at Oscars in Carmel Mountain Ranch when I was 15. That is where I met our business partner who went to a neighboring high school. I worked there for a couple of years, followed by San Diego State, and was a server and bartender at a few different places around town.

I studied graphic design and advertising, and started doing graphics for some of the bars and restaurants I worked at. I eventually left the service industry and moved to San Francisco, where I worked for a major branding firm on clients like Fedex, Skyy, Coors, Citibank, Chevron and more. It was a great experience but I always knew I wanted to get back to San Diego.

When I moved back, I went out on my own and freelanced for a few years before I formed CRG (Cheap Restaurant Graphics) – tying my restaurant roots in with the branding that I love to do. My team and I have created graphics (logos branding, menus, ads, etc.) for a lot of local spots as well as bars and restaurants nationwide.

Tell us about starting up Whomp Burger & Brew – has it been smooth sailing, any challenges?

Hahahahaha. No. Like any new business there are always peaks and valleys. The hardest part is trying to figure out what you don’t already know. There is no master list to follow and we were doing this without investors so sticking to a budget was harder than I thought it would be.

I had worked in restaurants before but never run one. Luckily my partner Brian has more experience there. We are able to balance each other out since he is more of an operations guy and I am more of a marketing girl.

Every day I am learning something new and realizing more that I don’t know, but I enjoy learning and growing. Anyone who thinks opening a restaurant will be easy and without problems, think again! Luckily our business is made up of two families that have been friends for over 20 years and all four of us are bringing our unique skills to Whomp. All four of us (myself, my husband Sean and our partners Mandy and Brian) have each played an integral role in getting this going.

Why did you choose OB as the community for your business?

I lived in OB for a few years and my brother lives here now, a few of your readers might know him from bartending at Northside Tavern. I used to run or walk my dog by the space that is now Whomp Burger almost every day. We chose OB because it has a great community, a good amount of tourist traffic and really the walkability factor was key.

Since we closed the sale in January, we have been in the space painting, cleaning and planning and so many neighbors have stopped by to show their support. It has been really encouraging as first time restaurant owners and we are already really grateful to the community.

What kind of burgers can we expect at Whomp, and what else might we find on the menu? What’s your favorite burger?

If I told you, I would have to kill you. Haha. No really we are still finalizing our menu.

I can tell you that I was a vegetarian for 7 years which is hilarious that we are opening a burger spot, but our burger is absolutely delicious. My partner Brian is a big meat guy and knows his stuff; and we have a couple other options for those that aren’t big meat eaters either like a portobello burger – which is soooo good – and some alternative meat options as well.

A lot of neighbors have already requested meatless options, and we aim to satisfy all diets – but the Whomp Burger is going to be a crowd pleaser. Come for the burger, stay for the cold beer/seltzer/kombucha/wine and friendly service!

Can you share anything about yourself, outside of the business – anything else you enjoy doing or are passionate about?

Sure, I am a mom off two little kids (6 & 4) and I also own a children’s apparel line called Chilly Child. I have lived in San Diego almost my entire life and there is nowhere I would rather be. When I am not working or running around after children you can find me playing pickleball at the end of our street or cruising on our e-bike.

What are your top three favorite places or things to eat in San Diego?

That is cruel, I can’t choose just three! We are so lucky to live in such a great foodie town.

If I had to choose top three I would say Campfire for the broccoli (if you know, you know), Coasterra for the ambiance and coconut margaritas (that’s usually where I send out of towners), Cloak and Petal for the sushi and vibe, and Breakfast Republic for the brunch and Bloodys. Nine times out of ten, we end up at Bestawan for the ease and chill factor, and because our kids love it there. It’s is our local spot; we are simple people. (Note from Sal: that’s five places but we’ll allow it this time.)

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam February 23, 2022 at 1:56 pm

Interesting that a self proclaimed graphic/website designer has no information about where the restaurant is located or when it will be opening. There is also a link to a Facebook page that doesn’t lead anywhere.


Debbie February 23, 2022 at 2:26 pm

Search online via says Sundara’s location on Sunset Cliffs.


Geoff Page February 23, 2022 at 2:29 pm

The Sundara Indian restaurant closed up shop, it’s in the same center as the Olive Tree Market at the south end.


Sal February 23, 2022 at 3:13 pm

Hi everyone, I wrote in the article that its the old Sundara spot:

“I saw a neon banner hanging off of the old Sundara spot (R.I.P), that says “Whomp Burger & Brew” ”

but you have a point, I’ll make sure to include an address in future articles.


Mark Nullen February 25, 2022 at 8:14 pm

He looks high as a kite.


Bob Edwards February 27, 2022 at 10:42 am

What a pointless and gratuitous comment.


Geoff Page February 27, 2022 at 12:23 pm

If you really are the newscaster, that was an amazingly unprofessional comment to make.


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