October 12, 2017

Cruizin’ and Barrio Dogg Celebrate Grand Opening

By La Prensa San Diego

By Mario A. Cortez

Barrio Logan’s newest spot for gourmet hot dogs and lowrider art will be celebrating their grand opening next Saturday, Oct. 21.

Barrio Dogg and the Cruizin’ Lowrider Gallery have been operating out of a space on Logan Avenue for a little more than six weeks. But now, the art-and-food establishment is ready to celebrate their grand opening.

Ernesto A. Gastelum, co-proprietor of the business, spoke with La Prensa San Diego about the origins of the business and what is next for this concept.

“Our slogan is ‘from the barrio, for the barrio,’” Gastelum commented. “We’re bringing Chicano comfort food to the barrio through Barrio Dogg and we are also showcasing the lowrider lifestyle with the gallery.”

El Samurai is one of the specialties at Barrio Dogg

On the front end of the business, Barrio Dogg serves up gourmet hot dogs inspired by the bacon-wrapped hot dogs often found in Baja as well as home-inspired mexican side dishes such as sopa de fideos and nopales.

According to Gastelum, he and Pablo Rios, one of the establishment’s co-proprietors, enjoy being hosts for social and sporting events such as boxing or mixed martial arts fights. Tired of the usual wings and pizza, Gastelum made some hot dogs which everyone at one of their parties raved about.

Prior to this however, the two had already kicked around the idea of opening up a hot dog stand for a while.

“Sometimes we feel a bit burnt out in our trade and we had joked about opening a hot dog stand in Baja,” Gastelum shared. “So we started working with recipes and with my compadre Pablo being a foodie, we began thinking of food trucks and what to do with the concept.”

“One Sunday, Pablo and I were having coffee at Por Vida and saw the space available,” Gastelum continued. “We knew that’s where we belonged.”

Making use of the back of the space, the team opened the Cruizin’ Lowrider gallery, which features the work of lowrider enthusiasts and photographers.

Both Gastelum and Rios have had a love for cars from a young age so the gallery was a natural tie in to the space due to the duo’s shared passions.

“The love for cruising has been something which has been embedded in me since I was a kid”, Gastelum shared. “Whether it was classic cars, oldies, lowriders, or even off road vehicles, I have had a passion for cars since I was little.”

Pablo Ríos

In a previous interview, Rios shared with La Prensa San Diego that he has been involved in the lowrider scene since he was 13 years old, when he built his first Chevy Impala with hydraulics, and that his father was in one of San Diego’s original car clubs.

The artwork inside comes from various local photographers and has been carefully curated for display.

“We want to support local artists, we want to see the world through their eyes and their art,” Gastelum elaborated. “But every piece has to have its place, you can’t just throw a new picture up wherever because the art has to flow.”

The gallery has plans of working with more artists and photographers in the future in order to give local talent exposure and to share their vision within the Barrio Logan arts district and the San Diego community at large.

The grand opening celebration for Barrio Dogg and Cruizin’ Lowrider Gallery will feature food, live music, face painting for children, and 12 classic cars on display. The event will run from 3 through 10 p.m.

“Come out and pay us a visit, we always enjoy meeting people from the community”, said Gastelum. “If you don’t eat hot dogs you can always check out the art.”

Barrio Dogg and Cruizin’ Gallery are located on 2113 Logan Avenue in Barrio Logan.

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