From Rising Star Restauranteur Duo, the Paleo-Centric Concept Will Usher in a New University Avenue Anchor Upon Opening in Spring 2024
As North Park continues to refine its destination-worthy repute, a new full-service restaurant from the Godinez sisters is set to join the neighborhood’s ascendant dining scene. Come Spring 2024, the duo will open doors to a ~3,100 square foot restaurant dubbed Carne y Hueso at The Waldorf, a historic 50s-era building currently undergoing a transformative renovation.
An ode to Mexico’s traditional foodways, Carne y Hueso marks a long-held vision come to life for Chantelle and Crystal Godinez. Young and ambitious, but far from industry novices, Chantelle and Crystal come from a legacy of South San Diego / Mexico restaurateurs. Their family-owned Birrieria Don Rafa, where they began working as teens, is a local birria institution largely credited as one of the first to popularize the slow-stewed delicacy in San Diego using recipes passed down through generations of Godinez in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Now, leveraging their firsthand knowledge and collective ‘book smarts’— Crystal with a master’s in finance and Chantelle with a degree in economics—the sisters are building a legacy of their own and are looking to empower the next generation of restaurant operators, head chefs, and CEOs.
“As a women-led business, we’re excited to contribute to the restaurant industry’s ever-evolving narrative. Growing our platform with each project— Carne y Hueso being our largest undertaking yet—we aim to create a space at the intersection of ‘next-gen’ innovation and traditional wisdom” said Crystal.
On its current course, Carne y Hueso’s debut will come just over a year since Chantelle and Crystal opened doors to their first solo hospitality project, Sunday Breakfast Society in Chula Vista’s Eastlake neighborhood. The idea, however, traces back to the sisters’ early days at Don Rafa, watching in awe as the birrieros would break down a whole goat for their signature chivo tatemado.
Reminiscing on the arduous process, from butchering to braising, Chantelle said, “A rogue soup bone would wind up in a guest’s order every once in a while. Eventually, the ‘bone-in’ birria became almost like a secret menu item—our regulars would actually request it! Something conventionally undesirable, and initially accidental, became a symbol of Don Rafa’s authenticity.”
The literal translation of “carne y hueso” is “meat and bone” but, in context, the Spanish phrase often takes on a more connotative meaning as to say, “merely human.” A fitting entendre for the forthcoming concept, Carne y Hueso dares to challenge conventional notions of perfection in modern cuisine by celebrating the unrefined nature of indigenous cooking traditions. The menu will draw from the culturally distinct regions of Puebla, Jalisco, and Oaxaca, showcasing ancestral ingredients and lesser-known specialties in a new light.
More details on the restaurant design, culinary and bar programs to come.