Meet Jayne: 5 Restaurants Whose Owners Still Work the Room

Whether it's Ingrid Croce greeting guests in the Gaslamp, Paul Dobson working the door during the power-lunch hour downtown, or Ms. Jayne Battle bustling about the dining room of her Normal Heights gastropub, we love it when a restaurant's namesake is present and accounted for at their own establishment. Here's a list of our favorite owner-occupied spots around town.

Updated: August 06, 2009

Meet Jayne

Jayne's Gastropub

4677 30th St., San Diego, CA 92116

Jayne Battle, a native of La Jolla, and her husband made the rounds through New York and San Francisco before returning home to San Diego to start their own restaurant. And a sweet gastropub with a simple menu and perfect patio it is, and Ms. Battle is there, bustling around, most every night of the week. Livin' the dream? We think yes.

Croce's Restaurant And Jazz Bar

802 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Ingrid Croce (Jim's widow) is a staple of the neighborhood in the Gaslamp, always perked up and ready please at the hostess stand under the classic red awnings of Croce's restaurant and jazz bar.

Karl Strauss Brewing Company

1157 Columbia St, San Diego, CA 92101

Though the founder Karl Strauss died recently, his name lives on in several family members who still work at the multiple brewhouses and restaurants scattered throughout the county. As the father of craft beer in a city where the art of ale is really heating up, Mr. Strauss' legacy surely lives on.

Nicky Rottens Bar & Burger Jnt

560 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Nicky Rotten, aka Nick Tomasello, is almost always either working the door or working the bar at his Gaslamp burger joint, opened in 2007. A San Diego native, Nick has a host of his Italian family members and friends on staff, too, so this is often one of the few Gaslmap haunts where locals outnumber tourists on any given night.

Dobson's Bar & Restaurant

956 Broadway Cir, San Diego, CA 92101

A power lunch at Dobson's just wouldn't be the same without a handshake from Mr. Paul Dobson himself, who is always waiting at the door to greet patrons or working the room that's full of local politicos and journalists at lunch.