“We’re having four 60-inch LCD screens put in by the end of September, and we just replaced all of the tables and booths,” said franchisee Robert Waldon, who opened Oggi’s in Point Loma seven years ago after serving as a firefighter in Orange County.
Aside from running the family-friendly bar and grill, from which he’s raised more than $10,000 for the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation, he works in public safety as a technology consultant.
Liberty Station also marks the first Oggi’s in San Diego County to soon expand its tap offerings from 14 to 30. The lineup already includes eight of the company’s signature craft beers, plus a seasonal brew and a barrel-aged special, although in the coming month it will make room for a slate of suds produced by other local brewers.
Oggi’s was founded in 1991 by brothers George and John Hadjis. They opened their first location in Del Mar as a pizzeria. A few years later, they integrated microbrewing into the equation and eventually launched Left Coast Brewery in San Clemente for beer making.
The effort blossomed into a portfolio of award-winning beers like crisp California Gold blonde ale, slightly sweet McGarvey’s Scottish Ale and the refreshingly hoppy Double Up IPA. Connoisseurs will also cherish the hearty barrel-aged Black Magic Stout that earned a gold medal at this year’s San Diego International Beer Competition. The honor ranks among dozens of others that Oggi’s beers have garnered at high-profile competitions over the past two decades.
The company currently operates 16 franchised restaurants, located mostly throughout Southern California. In addition, Oggi’s Pizza Express outlets opened recently at 825 Garnet Ave. in Pacific Beach and in the Student Union Center at San Diego State University.
Several companywide menu changes were implemented in August, including the enlargement of personal-size pizzas from eight to 10 inches. As with the bigger sizes, the pies are constructed from hand-tossed dough and house-made red sauce, ranking as “the official pizza of the San Diego Chargers.” (Oggi’s is the exclusive pizza vendor at Qualcomm Stadium.)
From the specialty list, the new Sports Fan pizza is crowned with a zesty mélange of pepperoni, sausage, red onions, bell peppers, roasted garlic and jalapeños. The popular Heavy Weight ups the meat factor with the additions of Canadian bacon, ground beef, salami and ham, while the Wimbledon coddles vegetarians with a garden’s worth of fresh veggies, pineapple and parsley.
Ringing in at 550 calories or fewer are such newcomers as quinoa-stuffed portabella mushrooms, a goat cheese spinach salad and colorfully constructed lasagna rollups stuffed with grilled veggies.
Waldon said Oggi’s hand-formed burgers containing “secret seasonings” remain top sellers at Liberty Station and beyond. Customers can either build their own or cave to the temptations of Parmesan patty melts, spicy Matadors with Cajun aioli and a few others that raise the volume with bold ingredients.
For those hankering for an Oggi’s meal while settled into the comforts of home, delivery service is available from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily, spanning from Point Loma and Ocean Beach to the Midway District and downtown.
Given his proximity to Naval Base Point Loma, Waldon holds regular fundraisers for military veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
“We throw parties for them and collect cash donations at the restaurant,” he said. “We also have a memorial wall of plaques for those who died in battle.”
His latest fundraiser for the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation kicks off with raffle drawings held during each of the coming season’s Monday-night football games. Customers can enter the raffles by purchasing an entrée or a large pizza or by making a cash donation to the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation. Prizes include Oggi’s gift cards, Chargers-autographed memorabilia and more.
• OGGI’S is located at 2562 Laning Road in Liberty Station. For more information, call (619) 876-5000, or visit libertystation.oggis.com.