Discover Why Carlsbad’s New Food Hall is A Must Try
Written By: Jessica Young
Photographed By: Kambria Fischer Park 101 Carlsbad
The trio behind San Diego’s newest hot spot, Pete Cich, Doug Sondomowicz and Rob McShea, identified a need within the Carlsbad community for a gathering space where friends, families and furry pals could come together and enjoy great food and good company. The design of Park 101 allows for guests to enjoy comfortable outdoor space, with firepits and seating, as well as indoor booth and bar accommodations. With everything from tasty drinks to delicious dishes, Park 101 is sure to be your new favorite spot to hang out.
Park 101 is home to four different food and drink concepts, but they are all housed under one roof, or lack thereof. Each unique venue has specialty items and focuses on different kinds of food or drink. The space has been designed so that guests can grab what they want and go anywhere. Guests can visit any of the options and enjoy as they see fit.
Deli & Dough
Must Order: Acai Bowl
This eatery features a grab and go window curbside to make walk-up orders easy for passersby. They offer everything from coffee to indulgent ice cream sandwiches, but the real hero is their acai bowl. With flax and chia seeds, bee pollen, berries and seasonal fruits all served in a cantaloupe bowl, this dish makes for the perfect, healthy pick-me-up.
“We take pride in providing the highest quality products from fresh local produce to our organic coffee roasters. The great thing about Deli & Dough is that it’s quick, convenient and you can get healthy options on to go,” said General Manager Jennifer Pohlkamp.
Park Smoked Meats
Must Order: Brisket and Tri-Tip
This feature of Park 101 presents a cafeteria-style service line with carving stations, six different smoked proteins, as well as salad and side stations. According to Executive Chef and Pit Master, Ryan Tuskan, the ultimate tray would include brisket, tri-tip, sausage and turkey with a side of their Broccolini Pomegranate dish, some mac and cheese and extra pickles, always.
“I’ve learned to really celebrate California-forward cuisine. We use what we have available to us to produce really awesome dishes,” Tuskan said.
Must Order: Tamarak Sunsetter
Thirsty visitors to Park 101 can find what they need at Garden Public. It offers 32 craft brews on tap, as well as wine, Lillet spritzers, sangrias and snacks. During your visit, make sure you try The Frosé—watermelon, sparkling wine and watermelon agua fresca, but offerings vary seasonally.
“Southern California is big on fruit—and it’s so accessible here. I always want to use and experiment with whatever I can,” Park 101 Partner and Beverage Director, Rob McShea said.
Must Order: The Charcuterie Board
Overlooking the rest of Park 101, as well as the heart of Carlsbad Village and the Pacific Ocean, Tamarack Deck serves up an incredible charcuterie board. Choose from a variety of smoked meats and cheeses, and pair them with pickled vegetables, fresh fruits and house-made dips.
“If you come to Park, you get a little bit of everything. We’ve got great food, drinks, and we provide an atmosphere for you to create your own perfect experience,” Pohlkamp said.
Q&A with Co-Owners Pete Cich and Doug Sondomowicz
Q: What do you look for when you develop a new restaurant concept?
Pete Cich: We look at the location first and foremost. For Park 101, we really envisioned the courtyard space and rooftop ideas.
Doug Sondomowicz: We look at the community and we ask, ‘What’s missing?’ We knew this was a good location because it’s a high traffic intersection, close to the ocean.
Q: You have worked together on several successful businesses. What has that been like?
DS: The Shore Club really started the whole thing.
PC: Shore Club was the first thing we did together, which drove us to launch additional venues and concepts.
DS: From there, we learned about building a brand and embedding ourselves in the community.
PC: We figured out how to cultivate a culture and dive into the community.
Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in opening Park 101?
PC: It started in 2014—we had land use issues, licensing challenges and we were appealed by some of the neighbors. It took a full year of dealing with those trials and tribulations before we even really were able to really get started.
DS: Rain was a major issue on this project. That really set us back, just dealing with the weather. On top of that, we had to move a major gas line, which meant digging up the streets, which was super expensive and took a lot of time.
Q: How do you plan to make Park 101 an asset to the Carlsbad Village community?
DS: We are going to be their go-to family friendly establishment, with a unique food concept and fun atmosphere.
PC: We’re creating one big space for the community. It’s actually almost like its own little city here. We’re providing multiple concepts in one space.
DS: Our team does a lot of work within our communities. We do beach clean ups, we work with charities and we try and support the areas that support us.
Q: How did you develop the overall concept for Park 101?
PC: A lot of it was driven by the licensing. We can’t do table service, so we decided we’d go cafeteria style. We don’t have a full liquor license, so we knew we’d have to be creative with our drinks. We just built things up from there.
DS: We worked together with chefs from all of our locations. We threw ideas out there, and if people liked it, we went with it. We did tastings and if we liked something, we put it on the menu. We really wanted to create a food concept where people had options—they could get something super healthy or they could splurge if they wanted to. We really left it up to the diner.
PC: We had to make sure we had the healthy stuff because Doug is always trying to watch his girlish figure.
Q: What do you like about working in this industry?
DS: This is all I know. It’s what I’ve always done, what I grew up around and what I learned how to do.
PC: This is the perfect fit for me. Coming from a football, sports background, this gave me that family feeling, that community vibe. All of the people involved, working together to create something awesome.
DS: It’s the constant challenge of building something and seeing it come to life.
PC: There are so many similarities to working with a team—especially on the management level. We’re constantly coaching, team building, working together. It made for such an easy transition for me.
History Lesson: Park 101 inhabits the footprint of the former El Corral pottery store. This business was a mainstay in North County and had been open since 1947. It was the last independently owned seller of Fiesta Dinnerware. The store also sold fountains, pottery and concrete lawn ornaments. The former owner decided to close the doors on El Corral in late 2013, when the partners behind Park 101 were able to snatch up the iconic location and start making their plans shortly after.
Up in Smoke: The structure for Park 101 was actually built around the smoker for Park Smoked Meats. The device was so large that it had to be installed before the building was completed. It is capable of churning out about 2,000 pounds of smoked meat per day.
Office Space: There are USB connections in all of the available outlets for guests to use. The space was intentionally designed so that visitors could charge their devices while they relaxed, or so that diners could use Park 101 as an office away from work.
Throwback: Pete Cich played football for Northern Arizona University. Cich was a tight-end who played for the Lumberjacks in 2000 and 2001.
Make Your Own Frosé
-2 cups chilled Pinot Grigio
-1 cups frozen peaches
-1 cups frozen pineapple
-1/2 cup ice
- Place the fruit and wine in the blender and pulse until smooth.
- Add in the ice and blend until you have a slush-like consistency.
- Pour into glasses and enjoy!
Coming Up for Park 101
-Board shaping demonstrations
-A party/reception venue
-Off-menu specialty events
-Seasonal menu items
Park 101 Carlsbad
3040 Carlsbad Blvd
Carlsbad, CA 92008
760.434.2254 Park 101 Carlsbad
We Found Your New Hang Out at Park 101 Carlsbad