SAN DIEGO -- The mystery surrounding what would happen to the former Brian's American Eatery space at 1451 Washington St. has been solved, with the soft opening of "Great Maple" taking place Wednesday evening.
In an interview with U-T San Diego, owner Johnny Rivera said the restaurant will be "like a Bergdorf Goodman lunch, a Parisian Champagne sunset ... not a dump Denny's." Rivera - who is also co-owner of well-known Hillcrest restaurants Hash House A Go Go and The Tractor Room - is calling the restaurant a "European dinette."
Great Maple is situated a 1964 building that first housed a road-side diner called Topsy's. After more than three decades, Topsy's became Brian's American Eatery, a staple in the LGBT community. Brian's abruptly closed on June 30, 2012 after a dispute between the co-owners, both named Brian.
The property sat vacant for many months with the only indication that another tenant might take over the property being a notice on the marquee that read "Closed for Remodel."
In recent weeks, the building has been transformed with upscale fixtures and touches, with a sign that reads "Great Maple" replacing the former "Brian's" marquee.
U-T San Diego says what comes from Great Maple's kitchen rides the wave of in-season ingredients, baked in-house goods and free-range proteins that status restaurants flaunt. “Libations, seasonal plates, pie” is the restaurant’s tagline.
The menu will include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails ... with a cocktail cart that will work the dining room.
Great Maple has another location in Newport Beach, Calif. in Orange County.
Menus and additional information are available on the restaurant's website HERE.