Mama Por Dios, a fancy Mexican restaurant with locations in Beverly Hills and Rancho Cucamonga, is expanding to San Diego. The restaurant is taking over a prominent, 7,893-square-foot spot at the corner of 4th and Island in the Gaslamp that’s been vacant since Bice shuttered in the summer of 2017.
The restaurant and bar — which is also opening an outpost in Scottsdale, Arizona, later this year — maintains a dress code and dining guidelines that include a ban on athletic gear and jerseys and “no negative attitudes, behaviors or offensive language.” It remains to be seen how the dress code will over with the perpetually casual San Diego crowd.
Owner Misael Guerrero, who immigrated to the U.S. in 2007, began his career selling sushi and seafood out of his garage in San Bernardino County before founding Culichitown, a more casual restaurant serving sushi and Sinaloan-style seafood that now has 20 locations across Southern California, including one in Vista. Guerrero also operates La Condesa, an upscale Latin American restaurant in Santa Monica.
His menu for Mama Por Dios ranges from seafood tostadas and tiraditos to prime and wagyu steaks and dishes like Puerto Nuevo lobster and shrimp-stuffed enchiladas with peanut-chipotle sauce.
The restaurant also rents personalized wine and liquor lockers for $1,500, which come pre-stocked with expensive bottles.
Retail Insite’s Allison Campbell, along with Matt Moser and Chris Hodgman represented the landlord, HP Investors, tells Eater that the site sat vacant for quite some time despite being in a high-traffic area; however, the realtors encouraged the landlord to open the space up for more indoor and outdoor seating. Another selling point — 200 subterranean parking spaces for tenants and customers — which is a plus for downtown businesses.