East Village taproom will have 50 craft brews on draft


Sandwiched between a hodgepodge of downtown breweries, the future location of the Ale Tales Taproom at 1501 Island Avenue will give San Diego beer drinkers another several dozen craft varieties to choose from.

The restaurant and beer bar, which will take up 4,025 square feet on the ground floor of the Shift apartment building in East Village, is slated to open by year’s end if all goes as planned. The proprietor, Claude Burns, is awaiting approval of two permits by Civic San Diego, the city’s downtown planning agency.

As envisioned, Ale Tales will include a large dining room, 1,305 square-foot outdoor patio with walk-up bar, event space and retail bottle shop. The latter element is a nod to the company’s two bottle shop locations in San Diego and the Bay Area, which strive to collect hard-to-find beers. The eatery will serve up a yet-to-be-decided menu of American comfort foods. And the event space will host a mix of public and private get-togethers — think birthday parties or food and beer pairings.

The centerpiece of Ale Tales, though, is a 50-plus tap bar where a rotating selection of beer, wine and cider will be offered on draft. The assortment should be “fun and interesting,” with a range of styles designed to introduce experienced and novice beer drinkers alike to something new, Burns said.

“It’s about bringing people together around beer,” he added. “We’re not a brewery so we’ll be carrying things that are our interpretation of different styles.”

And while the neighborhood is already brimming with plenty of beer options — neighbors include Amplified Ale Works, 10 Barrel Brewing and Melvin Brewing — the area is also teeming with new residents, hundreds of whom are just an elevator ride away.

East Village is in the middle of a building boom with more than 4,800 multi-family units available and another 2,138 under construction, according to data from real estate tracker CoStar. The region is also expected to get the city’s most expensive downtown park, East Village Green. The park, just blocks away from Burns’ taproom, is meant to stitch together the high-rises, bars and anticipated office buildings.

The Shift complex where Ale Tales will reside offers 19,000 square feet of ground-floor office and retail space, with San Diego-based martial arts gym The Boxing Club taking up more than half of the first level.

Ale Tales has applied for a conditional use permit and neighborhood use permit, according to documents provided by Civic San Diego. The permits are required for the sale of alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption and the operation of a private outdoor patio.