Restaurant News & Reviews

New SLO restaurant with ‘modern, speakeasy feel’ is coming to old Forden’s spot

A new restaurant is coming to downtown San Luis Obispo.

Finney’s Crafthouse & Kitchen is expected to open at 857 Monterey Street, next to Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica, in December, according to owner Greg Finefrock. The spot was formerly the longtime home of Forden’s store.

Finney’s Crafthouse & Kitchen started in Westlake Village three years ago and has since opened locations in Santa Barbara and Ventura.

“We’re an American restaurant, scratch kitchen with a craft bar,” Finefrock said. “All our items are from scratch, dressings, sauces, everything.”

According to the restaurant chain’s website, Finney’s brings “upscale cooking to casual dining.”

Menu items include chicken and waffle bites with sriracha maple butter, a bacon and blue cheese burger and truffle flatbread pizza.

finney’s veggie pizza
Finney’s Crafthouse & Kitchen, coming to downtown San Luis Obispo, features nine signature flatbread pizzas. Gary Moss Courtesy Greg Finefrock

The San Luis Obispo Finney’s location will have 30 beers on tap, with the majority from local breweries in San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County, Finefrock said. California wine and classic spirits will also be available.

Finefrock said the restaurant will have exposed brick walls, a copper bar and reclaimed wood tables. The front doors will be accordion-style with the option to be rolled up during nice weather, he said.

The space “has a modern, speakeasy feel,” Finefrock said.

There will also be multiple television screens, a skee-ball machine and a photo booth, he said.

chicken and waffles finney’s
Chicken and waffle bites with sriracha maple butter is one of the popular appetizers at Finney’s Crafthouse & Kitchen, coming to downtown San Luis Obispo. Gary Moss Courtesy Greg Finefrock

And that’s not the only entertainment for diners. Finefrock has curated a music playlist over the past three years that features more than 5,000 classic rock and roll songs.

Finefrock has family members that have lived in San Luis Obispo for more than 50 years. His twin brother went to Cal Poly and Cuesta College, he said.

Finefrock said he loves the downtown area and thinks Finney’s will fit in well there.

He is looking to hire between 70 and 100 employees for the restaurant.

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