Uptown Food Briefs – June 17

Posted: June 17th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Uptown Food Briefs | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Taking shape in Bankers Hill is The Corner Drafthouse, due to open by late June at Laurel Street and Fifth Avenue in the space previously occupied by Hexagone. The drink menu will spotlight more than 70 local and regional beers on tap, as well as wine and craft cocktails.

The Corner Drafthouse

A hotspot coming to Bankers Hill (Courtesy of Alternative Strategies)

Executive chef and partner Dan Sobek has created a menu of California-inspired salads, share plates, sandwiches and entrees for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. He previously worked at luxury hotels in London and New York.

The venture is being co-launched by David Creviston of The Beir Garden of Encinitas. It will feature communal and booth seating in addition to a few outdoor patios. 495 Laurel St.,

The name sums up the concept at Beerfish, which has its soft opening on June 8 in University Heights to an all-seafood menu (except for a chicken sandwich). The venture is rigged with 30 craft beer taps, plus five wine taps, although owner Abel Kaase says he is still waiting for final approval of his alcohol license before the drinks can be served. Kaase also owns Sessions Public in Ocean Beach.

Beerfish logo-FacebookHeading up the kitchen is Aaron Obregon, formerly of D Bar and Bay Park Fish Co. His menu includes lobster rolls, fish and chips, and a full oyster bar.

Situated in a converted house, customers order at the counter before seizing a table within the predominately outdoor dining area. 2933 Adams Ave.,

Bino’s Bistro & Creperie in Hillcrest has closed after operating for nearly three years. Coming into its place this summer is Taste of the Himalayas, which has locations in the Midway District and La Jolla. The menu will spotlight chicken, lamb and vegetable dishes that are similar to northern Indian cuisine, but made with less oil and more spices. 1260 University Ave.,

Smokd Hog fried chicken by Chris McAfee

Get your weekly fix of fried chicken at the Smok’d Hog. (Photo by Chris McAfee)

The Smok’d Hog on the North Park/Hillcrest border recently introduced “fried chicken Fridays,” every week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (or until supplies last). The poultry recipe hails from the eatery’s chef, GuBon Stewart, who fries to order quarter-leg sections that are brined in-house and dusted in flour. The cook time is about 20 minutes and customers are encouraged to phone in their orders ahead of time. The cost is $9, or $15 with a choice of two side dishes. 3749 Park Blvd., 619-546-5467,

A butchering demo and pig roast conducted by staff from The Heart & Trotter in North Park is planned for a summer solstice barbecue from 3 – 7 p.m., June 18, at the certified-organic Nopalito Farm & Hopyard in Valley Center. Beer for the event will be supplied by Amplified Ale Works and Monkey Paw Brewing Company.

Roundtrip shuttle service is available at 2:30 p.m. from South Park Brewing Company (1517 30th St.) for $20. General admission for the barbecue is $55. Tickets can be purchased online at Castlecrest Drive, Valley Center, CA.

Bar by Red Door rendering by Maria Hesse

Architectural rendering of new space (Courtesy of Bar by Red Door)

In a follow-up to our recent report on The Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge closing for re-branding June 20, owner Trish Watlington has since announced the Mission Hills space will be renamed Bar by Red Door, which is slated to open in mid-July. The cocktail list is still in the works, although Chef Miguel Valdez has revealed a few dishes comprising his menu of mostly small plates: grilled seasonal carrots with burrata and pesto; scallops paired with summer squash and heirloom tomatoes; and quinoa sopes with farm chicken and a cage-free egg.

Wellington’s last night for dinner will be June 19, after which it will undergo an exterior-interior redesign that eliminates the dark, sultry motif in lieu of large windows accenting its A-frame roof. 741 W. Washington St., 619-295-6000,

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

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