San Diego will soon receive a new craft beer-centric restaurant in the form of self-serve tap house Hidden Craft, opening in Downtown’s Core-Columbia neighborhood on Thursday, June 11 following a coronavirus-imposed delay to its original April opening. Located at 600 W Broadway adjacent to the Santa Fe Depot train station and One America Plaza trolley stop, Hidden Craft aims to elevate San Diego’s craft beer and culinary scene in a location designed to feel akin to an oasis within the city.
Once fully open, Hidden Craft’s beer hall will be a place of education and exploration of San Diego’s craft brewing culture. Thirty-six self-serve taps will feature approximately three dozen rotating craft beers from local breweries. Hidden Craft plans to share its commitment to craft beer through monthly talks with industry experts – alongside ongoing live music, trivia nights and tasting events.
Hidden Craft’s all-day menu will feature shareable plates and entrées influenced by diverse metropolitan cuisines. Among the wide-ranging menu will be the signature Hidden Craft Bacon & Brie Burger, Oak Wood Smoked Salmon Fries, a Montreal-style Smoked Pastrami Sandwich, the Cali Craft Taco Trio, a Deconstructed Salmon Poke Bowl, Korean Gochujang Baby Back Ribs and a variety of gourmet flatbreads. Health-minded options include a seasonal Shish Chicken Berber Couscous as well as quinoa and brown rice plates, seasonal soups and salads, and plant-based sandwiches.
Hidden Craft’s 2,700-square-foot space is designed by San Diego’s JG Color Studios, the team behind the Oaxaca-inspired Tahona Bar. A refined yet casual interior will exude the feel of an urban jungle through lush greenery installed into interior walls, sleek dark wood accents throughout the space, and a patio designed to serve as a peaceful escape for city dwellers.
Hidden Craft is a culinary project by social entrepreneur Amar Harrag, general partner of Tahona Bar in Old Town. Harrag also co-owns three locations of Matisse Bistro in San Diego and Irvine and real estate brokerage Allied Green Realty. With social good at the core of his every venture, Harrag is also the founder the San Diego chapter of Corazon de Vida, sits on the board of directors for the non-profit Create Purpose, and is an active board member of Old Town Chamber of Commerce.
Additional partners in Hidden Craft include general manager Othman Janati, who is the co-owner of Matisse Bistro and Catering Artists, the latter a social impact catering company headquartered in Downtown San Diego. Harrag and Janati, who originally met in France prior to attending University of San Diego, have been business partners for thirteen years.
“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,” said Harrag. “These are difficult times, but we hope to bring something new and positive to the community. Our newly hired staff is eager to get to work and to offer a joyful experience to anyone who comes through our doors. Just like we did with Tahona Bar, I envision Hidden Craft as a place for beer enthusiasts where stories can be told. We hope to give a voice to many of the best craft brewers in town and to be a place where they connect with the people that drink their beers. Now more than ever, connections are essential to the fabric of our community and there is no better way to create bonds than through good food and drinks. We aim to offer both at Hidden Craft.”
Hidden Craft will reveal itself to the public on Thursday, June 11 at 6 p.m. via live streaming on social media and YouTube channels. During its debut, Hidden Craft will show its space to viewers for the first time while sharing about its mission to promote and provide education about local craft beer. A special beer tasting kit to be enjoyed during the virtual reveal will be available to the 21+ public for purchase via pickup or delivery the day of the virtual event.
Furthermore, throughout June, for every meal purchased through Hidden Craft’s takeout and delivery service the company will donate a meal to the San Diego Rescue Mission, a 501(c)(3) non-profit shelter and recovery center working to end the cycle of homelessness in Downtown San Diego. Inside the restaurant, Hidden Craft will also place a donation bin for dry food items.