Normal Heights Cocktail Haven Brings Home a Monumental Win for San Diego’s Craft Cocktail Scene


(Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

“The Imbibe 75”, a list created by one of the nation’s foremost authorities in liquid culture, Imbibe Magazine, aims to recognize the 75 most notable people and places to watch in the coming New Year. This week, as the second annual “best-of” issue—The Imbibe 75—hits subscriber mailboxes around the U.S., Polite Provisions’ General Manager and Partner, Erick Castro, alongside the entire CH Projects team (Craft & Commerce, Noble Experiment, etc) are proud to announce Polite Provisions as the recipient of Imbibe Magazine’s 2014 Imbibe 75 “Cocktail Bar of the Year”.

Having opened doors less than a year ago in February of 2013, the Normal Height’s cocktail haven immediately captivated the attention of the international cocktail industry with features in Imbibe Magazine, The Spirits Business, Details Magazine, Tasting Panel, Sunset Magazine, Restaurant Hospitality, Food & Wine and Playboy to name a few.

“I am beyond honored. This award is the culmination of hard work by an amazing team of individuals we have working at Polite Provisions,” says Erick Castro. “San Diego’s cocktail scene is on steroids right now. We’re growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s refreshing to see our local cocktail community being recognized on a national level. We’ve broke open the floodgates this year, and there’s no stopping us now.”

“We think of the Imbibe 75 as an opportunity to take stock of who has been having a notable impact on the drinks world over the past year and who looks to have an interesting vision moving into the year ahead,” says Imbibe publisher Karen Foley. “We’re very excited about our list for 2014—it’s such a fun representation of the creativity happening across the drinkscape.”

Chosen by Imbibe’s editors, the Imbibe 75 features interviews and recipes from important tastemakers who are defining the way we drink. Last year’s inaugural “Cocktail Bar of the Year” was won by none other than Joaquín Simo’s Pouring Ribbons (NYC). The issue will hit newsstands on January 1, 2014.


  • Imbibe Magazine’s 2013 Imbibe 75 – January 2013
  • Eater National’s “40 Most Anticipated Openings of 2013” – January 2013
  • Details magazine’s “Where to Drink in 2013” – January 2013
  • “The Bars to Watch in 2013” by The Spirits Business – November 2012
  • Tales of the Cocktail’s 7th Annual Spirited Awards: finalist in two separate categories, “World’s Best New Cocktail Bar” and “Best High Volume Cocktail Bar”, with Polite Provision’s partner/general manager, Erick Castro, announced a finalist for “American Bartender of the Year” – May 2013
  • Thrillist’s “33 Best New Bars in America” – December 2013
  • James Beard Foundation’s “Our Favorite Dishes (and Drinks!) of 2013” – December 2013
  • Food & Wine’s “Best New Bars in the US” — December 2013
  • Imbibe Magazine’s 2014 Imbibe 75 “Cocktail Bar of the Year” – January 2014

About Polite Provisions and Soda & Swine: The dual-concept launch of Polite Provisions and sister restaurant, Soda & Swine, puts one of the nation’s most respected bartenders, Erick Castro, alongside two-star Michelin Executive Chef, Jason McLeod, to bring a renewed spirit of community to a bustling street corner of one of San Diego’s most eclectic, burgeoning neighborhoods, Normal Heights. Helmed by Consortium Holdings, the social-engineering-duo who have been single handedly pioneering San Diego’s urban hospitality movement, Polite Provisions aims to revive and modernize the golden era of the neighborhood drugstore with spirited cocktails prepared with housemade bitters, soda pop, tinctures and syrups, as a nod to those ingredients’ medicinal uses. The adjoining eatery, Soda & Swine, features a straightforward menu consisting of two classic staples: meatballs and apple pie, keeping in line with the simplicity of Main Street America.

Polite Provisions is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., with happy hour offered Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and is located at 4696 30th Street, San Diego, Ca 92116. For more information please call 619.677.DRUG or visit  Soda & Swine is located at 2943 Adams Ave. San Diego, Ca 92116. Doors open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. For more information call 619.269.SODA or visit

About Erick Castro: Erick Castro initially built his spirits empire at San Francisco’s Rickhouse and Bourbon & Branch by searching for obscure recipes, methods and ingredients that originated prior to Prohibition. The bartending behemoth has created unique spirits programs that have earned a place on some of the nation’s most coveted lists, including Esquire’s Best Bars in America, Food & Wine’s “World’s Top Bars” and now seven nominations at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in New Orleans, and was recognized by the StarChefs organization as “Rising Star Mixologist” in 2010.  Now in 2013, Castro has partnered up with Southern California’s powerhouse hospitality collective, CH Projects, to launch his newest establishment, Polite Provisions.  Having opened doors in February to tremendous acclaim, Erick’s newest concept received incredible pre-launch buzz in Imbibe magazine’s “The Imbibe 75” of 2013, Eater National’s “40 Most Anticipated Openings of 2013”, Details magazine’s “Where to Drink in 2013” as well as one the “The Bars to Watch in 2013” by The Spirits Business.

*Courtesy photo
This entry was posted in Food and Wine and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.