EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Jack Everett was the owner of Señor Grubby’s. Everett is a principal investor, not an owner.
OCEANSIDE — A restaurant that will also serve as a testing kitchen for local chefs and bartenders is set to open downtown by late summer.
The Lab Collaborative (TLC) will operate as a full-service restaurant on the ground floor of the Pierside North apartment complex, located just blocks away from the beach on the corner of North Cleveland Street and Mission Avenue. Once completed the restaurant will feature a kitchen surrounded by glass and both indoor and outdoor seating.
Behind the restaurant is Jack Everett, principal investor at Señor Grubby’s and who has worked in corporate restaurants for more than 15 years.
The Lab Collaborative will feature its own upscale, American bistro menu prepared by executive chef Ramiro Guerra, who previously worked for Belching Beaver. Additionally, the restaurant will feature menus prepared by local guest chefs.
“On one side you have our static menu and on the other side you have our experimental collaborative menu,” Everett said.
Everett explained that this provides an opportunity for local up-and-coming chefs and bartenders to test out their work. The restaurant will switch out the experimental menus on a quarterly basis.
“We’ll invite someone else to come in and share our space and work with us side-by-side,” Everett said. “It could be a young, up-and-coming sous chef who would get the chance to present their work.”
The restaurant will be the first flagship restaurant of the brand that Everett and his partners plan to grow. The brand could include full-service restaurants, counter-service restaurants and even a food truck, which Everett said the restaurant group recently just purchased.
“With The Lab, you have the ability to present different cuisines under the same branding,” Everett said. “You could do full service and a food truck without cannibalizing each other’s space in a local area.”
The restaurant’s partners are also interested in opening other projects in the city, like a fast-casual restaurant or even a distillery.
Above all the other coastal cities, Oceanside was the top contender for the restaurant’s new home. Not only does Everett already own another restaurant in town, but he also lives here with his family.
On top of that, Oceanside is a growing tourist town with lots of foot traffic and a thriving food scene.
The Lab Collaborative is also just a block away from The Seabird Resort and Mission Pacific Hotel, the two recently opened hotels that make up Oceanside’s new beachfront resort.
“That’s definitely going to increase the foot traffic in Oceanside,” Everett said.
Adaptability and flexibility matter when it comes to the restaurant industry, according to Everett. According to the restaurant owner, staying flexible and adapting to changes in how restaurants were able to stay open throughout the pandemic, having to almost constantly switch back and forth from dine-in to takeout only.
The Lab Collaborative’s concept revolves around staying flexible. Even its static, American bistro menu offers flexibility because it doesn’t have a defined food style — instead, it’s like a “melting pot” of different food styles, Everett explained.
“A restaurant always has to find ways to maintain relevancy,” Everett said. “The Lab Collaborative is always bringing people together to create something new and different.”
When it comes to operating a restaurant, Everett wants to create a culture where his employees want to come to work, be successful in their duties and shine for their guests.