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Life & Work with Jonathan Petr

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jonathan Petr.

Hi Jonathan, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
We were gearing up for a whiskey bar here in the North County when the stay-at-home restrictions were put in place in March 2020. We lost all interest in funding for that concept. We had to have that gut check moment where we needed to decide whether or not we continue with the project or shut it down. We said screw it, let’s move forward with the food component from the bar concept, our burger. We emptied our bank accounts and invested in our mobile kitchen. Our goal was now to gain traction and relevancy with the North County communities. We have been absolutely amazed at how well our burgers and the Copper Kings concept has been received by residents of north county San Diego.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Like any new business, it has not been a smooth ride. We’ve had many challenges to overcome. Most of these challenges are Covid restriction related and the aftermath of Covid. Right now we are currently watching beef commodity prices skyrocket.

I think one of the coolest things that we recognized in hindsight was our timing. Most people were horrified when we told them we started a food-related business during Covid shutdowns. Turns out we were a hot commodity. Bars, breweries, wineries, and any other alcohol service facility were required to sell substantial food with any alcohol purchase. We were able to establish quick relationships with breweries and subsequently, customers tried our food more quickly than maybe they would have otherwise. Next thing you know we’re growing like a weed and now have a strong customer base that follows us from brewery to brewery.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Myself and my business partner, Dermot, have worked our entire adult lives as professionals in the food and beverage industry. When it came time to develop the food menu for our concept we decide that we are sick and tired of how corporate America convinces us and the rest of the public that paying top dollar for inferior food is acceptable. We decided that if it is possible to own it we will! For our burger, we butcher and grind three different primal for our burger patties. We pickle our own pickles, onions, and chiles. We make our own mayo and American cheese. We cure our own bacon. We make our own creme fraiche which is the base for our house-made ranch. Probably the most commented on item that we made is our variation of a Japanese milk bun. It’s really awesome to look people in the eye, tell them I honestly know every ingredient in every item we make, I’m super proud of that.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I have about a million cookbooks. I’m always searching the web for new ideas and trends. I think the best resource I have right now is my team. Everyone is 100% on board with our concept. We are always analyzing our systems and procedures. We really enjoy spitballing about our weekly specials and diving those out. Anything some is feeling creativity block, someone else will jumpin’ a get the ball rolling. I’ve got a great team. They’re the true backbone of this business.

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Image Credits
Jason Reyes Photography

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