Soda and Swine to Rebrand as ‘Uncle Italian’


Kalohelani Danbara

Soda and Swine, the beloved restaurant and bar just south of Sun God Lawn, plans to reintroduce itself as ‘Uncle Italian’ by the end of this year. This decision is part of a rebranding effort by Consortium Holdings, a company co-founded by UC San Diego and 2006 John Muir College alumnus Arsalun Tafazoli.

The old Soda and Swine at UCSD is nestled between the eucalyptus trees of the Old Student Center. The stylish interior and outside patio, which previously cultivated an atmosphere for students to gather over sliders and drinks, is undergoing renovation in anticipation of the upcoming rebrand. 

Uncle Italian will welcome both UCSD students and the San Diego community for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with an array of Italian style food including pizza, pasta, and salads. For drinks, those over 21 years of age can be seated on the outside patio at the long bar table centered around a fire pit.

Much has changed under the Soda and Swine brand since the UCSD location first opened three years ago. The previous UCSD establishment from 1993 to 2015 was a small bar and music venue known as Porter’s Pub. The original Soda and Swine in Normal Heights transformed into a lively Chinese restaurant known as Fortunate Son, while the location at Liberty Station altogether shut down. 

Other San Diego eateries under the Consortium Holding name include Little Italy’s hot brunch spot, Morning Glory, the popular ramen restaurant, Underbelly, and the speakeasy bar/lounge Raised by Wolves nearby at Westfield UTC. 

Consortium Holdings did not respond to The UCSD Guardian’s request for more details on the opening of Uncle Italian. In a previous interview with The Guardian, Arsalun Tafazoli discussed Consortium Holding’s goals for Soda and Swine as an on-campus establishment. He explained the company’s vision to remain a part of UCSD for the next decade or two. 

Passing through the Old Student Center, the bold red sign outside the restaurant which once read “Soda and Swine” has already been replaced by its new name. The doors of 104 Eucalyptus Grove Lane are expected to open sometime this October.

Photos by Haley Hill Photography via Eater San Diego