We’re glad you’re here
Local ingredients served up for you.
Only serving 21+
Our first solo venture from Chef Ronnie Schwandt (formerly of Blue Bridge Hospitality + Trust Restaurant Group) and event powerhouse Jillian Ziska of To Be Designed.
With a desire to showcase his commitment to seasonal, local and sustainable ingredients and utilize some of his favorite techniques including house-made mustards, pickling and fermentation, South Park resident Chef Ronnie Schwandt is thrilled to be at the helm of Verbena Kitchen. The native San Diegan, who attended The San Diego Culinary Institute, began his training at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar and spent several years cooking in Coronado where he started as a sous chef at Leroy’s Kitchen and Lounge. His decade of hard work with Blue Bridge Hospitality Group eventually led him to earn the title of Executive Chef of both Maretalia Restaurant and Leroy’s. Most recently, Schwandt worked with the Trust Restaurant Group. Schwandt draws inspiration from family and of course, his mentors, Tim Kolanko (Urban Restaurant Group’s Executive Chef) and Gregory Chavez (Wine Vault + Bistro.). Chef hopes Verbena will encourage more chef-focused projects to open in the North Park.
The beer + wine menu was developed by Verbena’s General Manager, Dallas Juanes. Juanes aims to bring an approachable, fun, and untouched bar program to Verbena Kitchen. As a San Diego native, Juanes started his early career working under Executive Chef Matt Gordon at his beloved Sea and Smoke in Del Mar. As a young bar craftsman, he worked with Evolution Hospitality (Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen, Verde Kitchen and Bar, Mary Janes) to open new concepts in their portfolio stretching from San Diego to Palm Spring and Los Angeles. Following his industry mentors, he worked at Blue Bridge Hospitality in Coronado, reopening Maretalia Ristorante, Leroys, and managing the beach tiki concept, Boardwalk Beach Club as Beverage Manager. He looks forward to bringing out-the-box recipes to the cocktail program, while working closely with Chef to ensure menu cohesion.