Hidden Craft beer hall opens near downtown Trolley station

Hidden Craft beer hall in downtown San Diego
Hidden Craft beer hall and restaurant has opened in the Core-Columbia area of downtown San Diego.
(Haley Hill Photography

The self-service 36-tap beer hall and eatery is co-owned by Amar Harragcq and Othman Jana


Beer-focused restaurants exploded in San Diego over the past decade, but it’s been a while since a new one opened locally, particularly with the pandemic under way.

Now comes Hidden Craft, a self-service 36-tap beer hall and eatery that opened June 11 in the shops lining the American Plaza San Diego Trolley stop in the Core-Columbia neighborhood downtown.

Hidden Craft is co-owned by longtime friends Amar Harrag and Othman Janati. They met in France, both attended college at the University of San Diego and have been business partners for 13 years. Harrag is the general partner for Tahona mezcal bar in Old Town San Diego and co-owns Matisse Bistro restaurants witih Janati in San Diego and Orange counties. Janati also owns the social impact catering company Catering Artists.

A bacon and brie burger at Hidden Craft tap hall.
A bacon and brie burger with beer-glazed bacon, caramelized onions, brie cheese and brioche bun at Hidden Craft tap hall.
(Courtesy of Hidden Craft)

Hidden Craft offers a rotating selection of three dozen craft beers brewed in San Diego County. Its menu offers an international selection of items priced from $9 to $14, including starters, salads, grain bowls, flatbreads, burgers, vegan options and desserts.

Harrag said the new business is opening gradually due to social distancing measures. But eventually they plan to offer live music, trivia nights, beer tastings and beer education programs. Hidden Craft takes over the 2,700-square-foot former location of the partners’ original Matisse bistro at 600 W. Broadway, Suite 130, in downtown San Diego.

“This location has a special place in our hearts because this is where Othman and I started our journey into the hospitality industry in 2007,” Harrag said. “These are difficult times, but we hope to bring something new and positive to the community.”