Pueblo was the first restaurant I branded. I had previously designed menus, flyers, business cards and a bunch of other collateral for restaurants, but at that point I had only dreamed of getting to brand a new restaurant from start to finish.
I met Mark Oliver (Pueblo’s founder) at a restaurant in PB. I don’t usually get nervous for meetings, but I was nervous that day. I knew this project would be a game changer for my career if I got the account. Mark arrived right on time with a friendly smile on his face. He was about my parents age and had a tan that suggested he had lived in San Diego his whole life. He wore cowboy boots and had a big thick gray mustache like out of an old western movie. He instantly made me comfortable and I could tell working with him would be really fun. I just had to first convince him I was the right woman for the job.
Our meeting was about two hours long and it went well. I loved his vision for a contemporary, upscale modern Mexican restaurant with fresh local ingredients, an incredibly long tequila list, and lots of seafood (my favorite.) I knew that a classy, mature concept like that would stand out in PB against the backdrop of smelly sports bars and greasy taco shops. Towards the end of the meeting, Mark told me that he was impressed but that he had met with other agencies that had more experience. My heart sank a little for a second. Then, to my disbelief, he hired me on the spot, telling me he could sense my enthusiasm for the project and my passion for graphic design and branding. I was elated. Best. Day. Ever.
We explored a handful of concepts for Pueblo’s branding over the next month or so, then one day Mark called me to tell me he had found the perfect breed of fish to translate into the logo. I can’t remember the name of it anymore but it lives in Baja which is the region that would inspire and influence Pueblo’s cuisine. Once we had the logo nailed down, the rest of the project came together quite fast.
There were some frustrating delays in getting Pueblo open to the public (licensing stuff with the city) but WOW was it worth the wait. I took my best friend Erica to the opening and we drank and ate like queens. The food was SO GOOD. The menu changes constantly so I don’t have a recommendation, but I always order fish and it never disappoints. Pueblo is the perfect place to take family, for date night, or for a girls dinner.
I highly recommend that you experience Pueblo for yourself. It’s located at 877 Hornblend Street in Pacific Beach. Enjoy, and tell them Gretchen sent you!
I’m Gretchen Kamp.
I'm a graphic designer turned business owner & branding specialist who lives in yoga pants and is fueled by pizza and red wine. I am a soon-to-be fiancé to a handsome nerd, and a mom to a goofy snaggle-tooth rescue dog. I love traveling and teaching other entrepreneurs and business owners everything I've learned in the last 3+ years of full-time self-employment. When I'm not in my design studio, you can find me at Cyclebar, or galavanting in San Diego with my semi-insane girlfriends.