Saffron expands to La Jolla

April 30, 2018 by  

Saffron, a Thai restaurant that has been a landmark on India Street for over 30 years, is opening a second location in La Jolla, taking over an old Chipotle.

This is the first time Saffron has expanded since founder and former owner Su-Mei Yu sold the original restaurant to Karina’s, a hospitality firm based in San Diego.

Karina’s plans to open a Saffron each year with Yu’s guidance. Although she remains passionate about Thai food, Yu no longer has the energy to continue growing her business, but will remain part of the expansion process. Yu said she was happy to bring Saffron to La Jolla because she lives there, and because La Jolla residents have been asking for a Saffron for years.

Renovating the former Chipotle will cost approximately $250,000, according to Karina’s David Contreras Curiel. The d├ęcor will be the same as the India Street Saffron, with dark floors, earth tones, and brick accents. The La Jolla space will also have a patio that adds another 800 square feet to the premises.

The menu too will include favorites from the original location, such as Thai grilled chicken and noodle dishes, but Karina’s is considering adding ice creams and gelatos made especially for Saffron. The group is also thinking about adding wine to the menu.

Saffron should open in June this year. New ventures like this can benefit by passing out promotional products to early customers to help build the brand.