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Bruski Burgers & Brew owner Omar Abdullah (second from left) stands next to staff members Michael, Nadia and Mackenzie. (photo by John Gregory)
Bruski Burgers & Brew owner sets priorities
By John Gregory

Omar Abdullah took ownership of Bruski Burgers & Brew, 9844 Hibert St., in September. Since then, he has been concentrating on his people and consolidating a quality selection of items the restaurant will offer.

Abdullah said he grew up in the restaurant business, as his father owned an Italian restaurant. Abdulla, himself, owned a couple of sandwich shops in San Diego before going to work for General Atomics for about 10 years. This year, he decided to jump back into the restaurant business with his purchase of Bruski Burgers & Brew.

His father always said that the people come first. Therefore, Abdullah is working on three main things at his new establishment: the people, the product and the process.

"My main focus is going to be on the people and, of course, that also includes the customers," he said. "So, our team, our people, will take care of our customers and, in turn, everyone gets taken care of."

The product is second on his list, and this involves the menu.
"It seems like the menu got a little overgrown," he said. "We're revising our menu to the best hitters — the most popular offerings that we have, whether it's the food menu, the beer menu or the wine menu."

The name Bruski Burgers & Brew speaks volumes when it comes to priorities, he said.

"Our burgers are what are popular and, of course, our beers," he explained. "The cyclical effect of these craft beers — San Diego is well-known for the craft beer industry here. So, we're going to continue featuring these beers and the customers love it. They don't want the same old beer. They like to try and taste new things."

Abdullah said he has given free range to a couple of his managers to work with the vendors to get the most popular beers, the kinds his customers will like.

Another area he is looking into is his appetizer list.

"A lot of our customers come in just for an appetizer and a beer," Abdullah explained. "A couple will sit at a table and just enjoy an appetizer — and they're good-portion appetizers, so you can share them."

Abdullah has a sweet tooth, so he's considering the creation of a good dessert menu. He mentioned one possibility: an oversized chocolate chip cookie with a scoop of ice cream in the middle. That would be a treat that could be shared.

He also wants to run a few promotions to get involved in the community to help worthy causes in San Diego. For example, his staff is working on a concept called "Woof Wednesdays."

"On Wednesday, when you bring your four-legged family member — your pet — with you, we're going to contribute 10 percent of your total ticket to an animal shelter or humane society," he said. "We have a lot of clients who walk down with their pets. We offer the pets a water bowl because by the time they get here, they're thirsty."

Abdullah has also asked his staff to look into other causes to help support, especially for the holidays.

"I'm glad to be here and I'm glad to be part of the community," he said.