Bay City Brewing plans downtown tap room and pizzeria

Three-year-old Bay City Brewing Company is looking to expand beyond its Midway District production facility and tasting room with a full-fledged restaurant in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood.

The local craft brewery is currently seeking permits through downtown’s planning agency, Civic San Diego, to operate a multi-level tasting room and artisanal pizzeria. The venue, at 627 Eighth Ave., would also include a walk-up counter and a sizable rooftop deck.

Founded in 2015 by Greg Anderson and Benjamin Dubois, Bay City produces a dozen or more beers, including seasonal options. Though still relatively new to the industry, the brewery was selected in 2017 by the San Diego Tourism Authority to produce the city’s first official beer, “72 and Hoppy.” That same year, Bay City was also named the 28th fastest growing independent craft brewer in the nation by the Brewers Association, a non-profit trade group

As proposed, the East Village eatery and drinking hole would take over the ground floor and fourth-floor rooftop of a commercial office building owned by marketing agency Mindgruve.

The new Bay City space, near the future Ritz Carlton, encompasses 4,735 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, with the bulk of the square footage, or 3,228 square feet, saved for the rooftop deck. The establishment’s design is said to be in the same vein as the “coastal urban” vibe of Bay City’s other venue at 3760 Hancock St. The project would, according to the description submitted to Civic, incorporate existing materials from the East Village building to create a true-to-downtown ambiance.

When reached via email for comment, co-founder Anderson said that he’d prefer to discuss the East Village venture after the required permits have been secured. The brewer’s application still needs to be presented to the Downtown Community Planning Council, which will make a recommendation on the permits. The most significant permit is a Process 3 conditional use permit for a brewery tasting room that offers alcoholic beverages manufactured by the business for off-site consumption. The final decision will rest with Civic San Diego’s hearing officer.

Though plans could change based on public feedback and input from Civic, Bay City’s downtown tap room will emphasize pizza just as much as its beers.

“The pizzas will be made fast and fresh, and range from traditional pizzas to seasonal varieties inspired by the pizza chef,” the application says. “The quality of the pizza is just as important to the brand as the beer is.”

The East Village tap room is a clear departure from Bay City’s beer-only roots.

However, the food-plus-brews endeavor is not a giant leap for Anderson, who was the original proprietor behind Downtown Johnny Brown’s, a classic beer bar and restaurant that operated for 29 years in Civic Center Plaza. Anderson also owns McGregor’s Ale House, a popular sports bar and pub in Grantville near SDCCU Stadium.

jennifer.vangrove@sduniontribune.com (619) 293-1840 Twitter: @jbruin

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