3rd Street Grill: Down-on-the-corner cuisine - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

3rd Street Grill: Down-on-the-corner cuisine

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - On the north end of Ramona, Jim McWhorton serves up gourmet burgers from a tiny trailer that used to be at the Marine golf  course on Miramar Road.

Jim has owned restaurants in Ramona since 1981, but this wasn't exactly what he had in mind when he bought a vacant restaurant on the corner of 3rd Street and Main a year and a half ago. He submitted remodeling plans to the county engineering department and applied to the SBA for a small business start-up loan.

"Plans lay in the engineering department so long, the SBA changed their minds about start-up restaurants," Jim said. "So I had to come up with something to create income on the property."

Last year, Jim opened the 3rd Street Grill, and despite its humble housing, he's managed to handcraft burgers mixed with homemade sauces and fresh delicacies like sweet potato fries. The locals can't seem to get enough.

"I thought hey, maybe this is meant to be, but it's been a hard slog," he said.

There are hearty burgers like the Baldwin with Texas smoked bacon and sauteed mushrooms. There are healthy choices like the vegetarian black bean burger wrap. And Jim has remodeled the front rooms of his vacant restaurant, but weather permitting, most patrons of the 3rd Street Grill prefer to dine al fresco. Still, the whole situation is a bit mystifying to the owner.

"I get all these things in place and then I couldn't use the restaurant, so it's kind of weird," he said.

At the north end of Main in Ramona, you'll find an empty restaurant, a broken dream and some of the best burgers in the county.

3rd Street Grill

316 Main St.
Ramona, CA 92065
(760) 789-2866


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