Absinthe fans: A new bar specializing in the spirit is on its way to San Diego

Wormwood, an absinthe bar and restaurant, is opening on 30th Street.
(Arlene Ibarra)

Wormwood, billed as San Diego’s first absinthe-focused cocktail bar and restaurant, will open later this month in the former Jayne’s Gastropub space in North Park.

Owned by Amar Harrag, who runs the mezcal-focused Tahona Bar and restaurant in Old Town, Wormwood will specialize in serving up to 30 varieties of the green-hued anise-flavored spirit from Europe and the U.S. Absinthe originated in Europe in the mid-19th century. After it arrived in the U.S. in 1912, it was banned for more than 100 years under the mistaken belief that it had hallucinogenic properties.

Besides full cocktail and absinthe education and event programs, Wormwood will also serve French-influenced shareable plates such as roasted bone marrow wagyu tartare, creamed pearl onion and caviar with sea urchin flan. Wormwood is at 4677 30th St. in North Park. Visit

Pam Kragen writes about restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at