"You can come here 20 times and have a different experience each time."
- Brian Jensen, owner of Bottlecraft
Whether you are a foodie, craft beer lover, wine aficionado or cocktail enthusiast, Liberty Public Market might just feel like a dream come true.
My first thought was, "I'm home!" And the best part? You can walk around the market freely with any of your choices, and yes, that includes your drink.
Step into Mess Hall and find a refreshing open air vibe with a pizza oven at one end, Bottlecraft's craft beer bar at the other, and a cocktail bar in between. Bottlecraft, a beloved multilocation watering hole, celebrates its fifth anniversary in June with 24 taps and 500 bottles at its new location.
"I've always wanted to be in Point Loma and close to OB, and I'd heard of several ideas over the years, but this one seemed to be done so well. I got excited," said owner Brian Jensen of his decision to come to Liberty. Jensen wants to highlight San Diego for the locals and tourists, and said the list will always be at least 50 to 75 percent local.
Loyal fans of Bottlecraft can expect the same high quality on draft and in bottles they have come to love.
"The biggest difference is the market and the interaction," Jensen said. "There will be more emphasis on the relationship and the synergy of food and pairings."
Greg Majors, beverage director for Blue Bridge Hospitality, oversees the drinks program at Mess Hall (along with Wine Director Tami Wong) and Grape Smuggler, the expertly curated wine shop in Liberty Public. He sees the extension into Point Loma as a "natural progression from our success at Stake in Coronado," where he developed a wine list nearly unrivaled in San Diego.
"I've taken a restaurant approach to a retail setting," he said of his methodology. "It helps people engage and interact. You know that when you come in, the dialogue will get you to what you want, just like a restaurant. We take away the discomfort, and make you comfortable, even if things are initially unfamiliar."
The wines in Grape Smuggler have the definitive thumbprint of an expert, while appealing to a wide range of tastes and budgets. Trust me, there's not a bad bottle in the bunch, and you will be able to try wines you've never heard of and will fall in love with. For those seasoned wine drinkers out there, you'll be silently giggling with delight. (Check out his Champagne selection).
Stay tuned for beer and wine dinners this summer in collaboration with Blue Bridge executive chef Tim Kolanko and Liberty Public Market vendors.
With 18 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 850 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to firstname.lastname@example.org.