Liberty Call distillery opens in Barrio Logan

Bone marrow with filet of beef tartare at Liberty Call Distilling.
Bone marrow with filet of beef tartare, one of chef Miguel Valdez’s new dishes at Liberty Call Distilling in Barrio Logan.
(Courtesy of Rob Andrew)

After more than 18 months in the planning stages, Liberty Call Distilling opened its distillery, tasting room and restaurant in the Mercado del Barrio in Barrio Logan on June 1.

The long-in-development project had been slated to open in April, but the debut was pushed back because of the pandemic. Founded in Spring Valley in 2013, Liberty Call makes and sells whiskeys, bourbons, rums and gins. Its name was inspired by San Diego’s Naval history. Because its manufacturing plant is in a rural area, Liberty Call owner and co-founder Bill Rogers said he had long wanted to open a second location in downtown San Diego, and when he saw the Mercado location a couple years ago, he was sold.

But the process of planning, design, engineering and getting a city redevelopment loan took much longer than expected. Rogers said he was just days away from spending $35,000 to fill the new venue’s pantry in March when the pandemic struck. Instead, the project was put on ice and the company shifted its manufacturing efforts to making hand sanitizer for front-line essential workers.

READ MORE: Liberty Call Distilling shifts operations to producing hand sanitizer in response to pandemic

The 3,300-square-foot project at 1985 National Ave. has a glass-walled distillery, a full bar and a restaurant with an outdoor patio with fire pit and herb garden. Chef Miguel Valdez’s menu at the new location includes braised short rib tacos with birria sauce, seasonal poutine, chorizo pigs in a blanket, fried cashew wings and bone marrow with filet of beef tartare.

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