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The End of The Linkery

Craft-beer hangout and pioneering restaurant The Linkery is closing.

 

Get your last installment of house-cured hams, freshly ground andouille sausages and a casual menu that liberally uses the word "local" before the North Park spot rolls down its retractable garage doors for good: The Linkery's last dinner is July 15.

By the end of the month expect the finale of The Linkery's sister spot, Hubcap, too.

 

Jay Porter, the majority owner of Linkery Inc. and typically candid about his two 30th Street restaurants, would not elaborate on what prompted the dual endings.

 

On The Linkery's blog, Porter said, "Simply put, it’s time for us to move on, and let new operators bring their unique gifts to the community."

 

Reactions on Twitter have been mixed.

 

One could argue the legacy of The Linkery is mixed, too.

 

Part of rebirth of North Park, The Linkery colonized the southern end of 30th Street in 2005, introducing a craft beer menu to a sit-down dining experience, and adopting another practice we now take for granted--a menu linking independent farms with the rainbow chard and summer squash in your gnocchi, who raise the acorn-fed pork and grass-fed steak on your plate.

 

By 2007 Gourmet Magazine named The Linkery one of the 100 Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in America.

 

In 2008 it moved north, to 3794 30th St., and soon garnered as much press about its frustrating no-tipping policy as its farm-to-table ethos. (Conventional wisdom says tipping is an incentive for waiters to give good service. Anecdotes abound about bad service at The Linkery--this writer can recall two mouth-dropping incidents there.)

 

Porter, the owner, instituted the same no-tipping policy at his next venue, a gastropub called El Take It Easy. That venue at 3926 30th St., was overhauled into the burger joint Hubcap this past May, hardly enough time for it to establish itself as a fully realized spot. Which brings up an issue with these enterprises: Identity. The Linkery underwent an odd makeover in 2011 -- stripping down its look and its menu, making it feel more like a work-in-progress than a consistent eatery.

 

The Linkery did serve as an incubator for restaurant talent--some of the leads behind MIHO Gastrotruck and Ritual Tavern marinated in the farm-driven philosophies there.

 

On July 14 and 15 chef Max Bonacci will cook the Linkery's last suppers. Burgers will sizzle at Hubcap through the end of July. The Linkery brand might live on in a cookbook, Porter said on his blog.

 

No word yet on who will take over both venues.

 

Read the full story and more from Keli Dailey on utsandiego.com

 
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