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Pita Jungle in Hillcrest closes its doors

SAN DIEGO -- The Hillcrest location of Pita Jungle, a restaurant that specializes in "fresh Mediterranean fare with a twist," has closed it doors. Its last day in operation was Sunday.

The Hillcrest eatery opened in summer 2012, and many in the community were pleased as it filled in a storefront that had been vacant for nearly a decade. Located next to Rich's nightclub on one of the neighborhood's most prominent blocks, Pita Jungle was part of the revitalization of the south side of the 1000 block of University Avenue, which had suffered from numerous vacancies in recent years due to some business closures and a major fire in 2011.

Shortly after Pita Jungle's opening, neighboring businesses Obelisk and others that had been closed due to the fire re-opened and the block experienced a short period where all 11 storefronts were occupied and open. Late last year, Nativa, located at corner of University and 10th Avenues, closed. With Pita Jungle's closure, nine of the 11 storefronts are now occupied.

Pita Jungle is a chain of restaurants that operates 17 stores in Arizona, and two others in Southern California. Since opening, the Hillcrest location struggled. While diners were regularly seen inside the restaurant, it was hard to consistently fill the large space with customers that was once split up into two storefronts.

SDGLN's The Taste Buds reviewed the eatery in July 2012 and gave it a favorable review.

While it is unclear how long management had been planning the closure, as recent as Jan. 1 the Pita Jungle San Diego Facebook page pledged to provide healthy food tips throughout 2014.

A few staff members were seen inside Pita Jungle today closing things up, and a sign was posted on the door that thanked customers for their support over the last year and a half.

Bears San Diego had planned a Bears Dinner Night at Pita Jungle this Thursday, but will notify those interested in attending of the new location HERE once it is selected.

Those with other inquiries about Pita Jungle should contact the company's corporate office through its website.