Phil's BBQ in San Marcos Permanently Closed

“If it wasn’t for COVID, I feel San Marcos probably would’ve had a chance,” the owner said.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A San Diego barbecue staple is closing the doors to one of its locations after 10 years in business.

The Phil’s BBQ San Marcos location opened in 2010 and owner, Phil Pace, told NBC 7 he had to make the right business decision and close it permanently.

“If it wasn’t for COVID, I feel San Marcos probably would’ve had a chance,” said Pace. "The decision to close really, truly was heartfelt.”

Pace stopped operations in March at the San Marcos location. He and his business associate estimated they’d be losing $10,000 to $15,000 a day if they stayed open. Pace said they’ve lost $200,000 since closing in March and decided to close permanently last week.

“It was just basically a business decision and to stop the bleeding,” said Pace. The majority of the employees who were working at the San Marcos location have transferred to other locations, Pace said.

Pace has been vocal in trying to gain more local control over the state’s reopening plan. He said he feels for the small businesses that have poured their life savings into a business and have had to shut it down.

“It’s not cheap to start a restaurant from the ground up and I feel so bad for them, but they all know that we’re here,” said Pace.

Pace has Phil’s BBQ locations in Point Loma, Santee, Rancho Bernardo and Temecula, and at the San Diego Airport, Petco Park and Sycuan Resort Casino. There is a chance Pace will reopen a North County location sometime after the pandemic.

“It is very depressing. I’ve done this close to 40 years, 22 years here in San Diego and I’d say it’s the most depressing feelings about business I’ve ever had, because my passion for my business it right here,” Pace said, while touching his heart.

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