Southern California Hospitality veteran Jon Mangini of URBN Restaurants Inc. (BASIC Urban Kitchen + Bar, URBN Coal Fired Pizza, GANG Kitchen) officially opens doors to URBN Coal Fired Pizza in El Cajon, California, and URBN’s most exciting addition yet, the new in-house brewery operation, URBN St. Brewing Co.
Tapping two of San Diego’s highly respected beer industry veterans, URBN El Cajon’s operating dream team includes nationally celebrated Executive Chef/partner, Alex Carballo (former Exec Chef Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido, Stone Catering), and one of San Diego’s most promising brewers on the rise, head brewer/partner Callaway Ryan (Stone Brewing Co., San Diego; Surly Brewing Co., Minnesota; Real Ale Brewing, Live Oak Brewing Co., Texas).
Alongside two sister locations, URBN Coal Fired Pizza in Vista as well as a location in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, the new 4,000-square-foot dual-concept launch takes URBN’s collective eastward, bringing a renewed spirit to a bustling street corner at 110 N. Magnolia Ave. in the heart of downtown El Cajon.
Together, Mangini, Carballo, and Ryan are thrilled to bring their vision of great beer and food to life in El Cajon’s rapidly growing neighborhood and have been meet with an overwhelming amount of support from the city and local brewing industry.
Callaway Ryan, head brewer
Callaway Ryan’s gravitation towards brewing started at an early age through a fortuitous trip to Germany. While traveling, he was exposed to Europe’s historically rich breweries and craft beers like Trappist ales, Rauchbier, and Hefeweizen. As an avid homebrewer, Ryan quickly discovered a passion for fine beer that ultimately put him on an unwavering path towards a professional career.
Ryan has spent nearly a decade working alongside some of the nation’s top brewers including Minnesota’s Surly Brewing Co., Real Ale Brewing, and Live Oak Brewing Co. out of Texas, and San Diego’s internationally celebrated industry pioneer, Stone Brewing Co., where he spent the last year and a half working as a senior brewer at their Escondido facility.
As Ryan embarks on a new era of ownership alongside Jon and Alex, he’s most looking forward to creating recipes that are distinctly his own. “Being paid to brew your own beer is pretty much every brewer's dream,” says Ryan. “I love the communal aspect of beer, and I can’t wait to have a bar full of people coming together around something I produced."
A multifaceted brewer, Ryan had to transition from production under Stone Brewing Co.'s twin 120-barrel systems to a much smaller scale, 15-barrel, premier direct-fired brewhouse.
Having spent the bulk of his career working on smaller systems, Ryan admits that he has missed many aspects of manual brewing and is excited to grow the brewery from scratch. With a variety of six staple suds to debut as the brewery opens doors, Ryan's creations offer something for everyone. The core four include an IPA, brown, saison, and summer session along with a soon-to-be-released ESB [extra special bitter] and a hoppy wheat porter.
With distribution already underway, expect to see URBN St. Brewing Co.’s beers on tap throughout greater San Diego in the months to come.
Alex Carballo, Executive Chef
Alex Carballo joins URBN El Cajon as executive chef and partner. For the past five years, Chef Carballo served as executive chef and general manager of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido, in addition to Stone Catering.
A graduate of San Diego State University and the National Culinary & Baking School, Chef Carballo has helmed the kitchen at many prestigious San Diego restaurants, such as Crosby Country Club, Indigo Grill, Brigantine and The Fishery.
He is a practicing member of Slow Food San Diego, which links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and environment; serves as a board member for Chef Celebration, is an advisor for the California Department of Education’s “California Farm to School Task Force,” and donates his time to many charities in Southern California.
Chef Carballo’s culinary program has URBN’s award-winning menu staple, a traditional thin crust, coal-fired pie, reminiscent of the famous pizzerias found in New Haven, Connecticut.
urther down the line, Chef Carballo plans to introduce a handful of dishes exclusive to URBN’s El Cajon location alongside suggested beer pairings, creating a playful twist on pub favorites like signature wings, house made sausage, and more to give neighborhood patrons a variety of approachable options.
URBN El Cajon’s beverage program will have 40 beers on draft, highlighting the brewery’s lineup, in addition to an eclectic selection of regional craft brews and local favorites. Lastly, craft beer education and ongoing beer dinners in partnership with a wide variety of San Diego breweries will be a monthly standard at URBN El Cajon, with a schedule to be released in the near future.