Searsucker, a fixture in Carmel Valley for the last six years and one of the original fabric-themed restaurants started by chef Brian Malarkey, will close its doors at the end of October.
The closure was made public in a formal layoff noticed filed by the restaurant owner, Las Vegas-based Hakkasan Group. The notice stated that the restaurant will close next month, and all 43 employees, including part-time workers, will be laid off.
Located in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center on El Camino Real — currently undergoing some major changes of its own — Searsucker began life as Burlap in 2011. Two years later, Burlap was shut down and reinvented as Searsucker, modeled after the original Searsucker that opened in 2010 in the Gaslamp Quarter and is still operating. The rebranding of Burlap came as the then ownership was struggling with a restaurant expansion that some saw as too rapid.
The Hakkasan Group did not explain the reason for shuttering Searsucker. An emailed statement sent Thursday, Sept. 5, on behalf of the restaurant said that, “After careful deliberation, we have taken the difficult decision to close Searsucker Del Mar located at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center on October 30, 2019. The restaurant will operate as normal until then. We’d like to thank our loyal customers for their continued support over the last six years. Our other local Searsucker in the Gaslamp District continues to thrive and serve the greater San Diego community.”
Management of the Del Mar Highlands center said Thursday, Sept. 5, it had not yet received confirmation of the impending restaurant closure and therefore could not say why Searsucker is leaving.
“We appreciated having them since 2013, they’ve been a great restaurant of ours,” said Tim Sullivan, general manager of the center.
Searsucker’s departure comes amid a major $120 million addition to Del Mar Highlands, which includes as its culinary centerpiece Sky Deck, a Barcelona-inspired restaurant collective. It is slated to open early next year and will feature a central cocktail bar surrounded by eight to 10 distinct dining destinations.
Meanwhile, the competition for diners has heated up significantly with the opening across the street of One Paseo, a $600 million project that includes high-profile tenant, International Smoke, a collaboration of San Francisco Michelin-starred chef and prolific restaurateur Michael Mina and food TV personality Ayesha Curry.
— Lori Weisberg is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune