The Donut Bar’s popular franchise in San Diego’s Eastlake community has abruptly closed its doors – a move done "without notice," according to the chef who founded the beloved San Diego sweets brand.
"It is beyond regrettable that Donut Bar Eastlake has closed without notice," Chef Santiago Campa told NBC 7 Monday night via email. "In an unforeseen turn of events our operators of the Donut Bar Eastlake (franchisees Elizabeth Slaven and Thierry Dewaghe) have abruptly closed their location."
Donut Bar Eastlake – located on Eastlake Parkway in the Village Walk shopping center – had only been open since June.
In 2017, Donut Bar had tested the waters in Eastlake by hosting a surprise pop-up shop at the indoor go-kart facility, Speed Circuit. That pop-up lasted all of 40 minutes as fans raced to buy the doughnuts.
It seemed the sweets had a fervent following in the South Bay.
When the Eastlake Parkway franchise opened this past summer, Campa told NBC 7 fans of the brand had been begging for the company to expand to that community. During the shop's June debut, locals lined up for hours just to get their hands on the sugary, tasty treats first made famous by Campa several years ago at his original downtown San Diego Donut Bar store.
But, over the past five months, something soured between the Eastlake location and the Donut Bar brand, according to a note from the franchisees.
The Eastlake operators posted this notice to the door of their shop Monday:
"We regretfully announce the closure of Donut Bar Eastlake on Monday, November 4, 2019. We have enjoyed serving this community and we appreciate all of the support you have shown us over the past 5 months. We will miss seeing your smiling faces and we will especially miss those of you who graced us with your presence almost every day."
"We cannot thank you enough for giving us a chance to be part of this beautiful community. Although our goal was to continue to serve you for the next 10 years, we have found that we were not able to do so under the Donut Bar brand. Finding an honest and supportive brand that aligns more with our mission to be successful and serve our community is essential to us."
The note was shared across social media.
Campa said he knows how much Eastlake loves Donut Bar and how disappointing the shuttering of the shop is for the community.
"Donut Bar opened in Eastlake by popular demand and has enjoyed overwhelming success, support and praise," he said, pledging that he’d find a way to bring the brand back to the area someday.
For now, Campa said he has reached out to the operators of the Eastlake location and "extended job placement for their current employees."
"Our hopes are that we will be able to place them immediately," he added.
Donut Bar, which opened its original location in downtown San Diego in March 2013, is known for its oversized sweet and savory gourmet confections, including its Maple Bacon, French Toast, Salted Caramel and Pizza Waffle doughnuts.
The brand’s downtown location is known for its long lines and typically sells out of doughnuts within a few hours on the weekends.
After much success and accolades downtown, Campa opened a second San Diego location inside Terminal 2 at the San Diego International Airport. There’s also a Donut Bar in Temecula and in the heart of downtown Las Vegas.
Donut Bar is also opening a new location in Pacific Beach this Sunday and has more new shops in the pipeline in downtown Riverside and Tuscon, Arizona.