San Diego taco institution Puesto will open its third location of Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar by the end of this year in Mission Valley, and introduce an all-new concept as part of the space, Puesto Cervecería, a craft brewery focused on Mexican lagers. Located in the former Gordon Biersch brewery, the Mission Valley location will also be the largest in Puesto’s collection of restaurants, founded by a first-generation Mexican American local San Diego family in 2012. Located in the center of a bustling shopping, dining and entertainment destination, the $8 million dollar build out, 450-seat restaurant spans more than 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor patio space. While the San Diego-based restaurant group has opened several restaurants in California over the past few years, it chose its hometown as the location for its biggest project to date.
Puesto Cervecería is spearheaded by longtime San Diego brewer Doug Hasker, who led Gordon Biersch’s program for more than 20 years. As head brewer, Hasker will focus on perfecting four styles of Mexican inspired beer to complement Puesto’s authentic dishes. The beer brewed onsite will be distributed to Puesto’s six other California locations: two in the Bay Area, two in Orange County and two in San Diego, with expansion to distribution in the future. In addition to the brewery program, a full bar will offer the restaurant’s signature margaritas, seasonal cocktails and agave spirits. Agave connoisseurs will find an unparalleled and rare selection of tequila, mezcal, sotol, raicilla and more, including spirits harvested from wild agave plants. The restaurant’s premier Baja and Valle de Guadalupe wines on tap program will also be available, offering an impressive selection of Mexican varietals.
MEXICO CITY MEETS SAN DIEGO
The Puesto team has again partnered with highly acclaimed designer Paul Basile’s BASILE Studio, which has brought to life four other of the brand’s properties, including the recently opened Concord, Calif., location. Known for his grandiose work and dual design-and-build approach, Basile will reimagine both the interior and exterior of the building, incorporating Puesto’s signature pops of bright color into the façade, and custom fabricate all interior elements, working with Brazilian quartzite, terrazzo, lush greenery and brass. The overall design is inspired by modern Mexico City, with most of the pieces being custom built in San Diego. The space will include private dining rooms and a range of seating styles to accommodate parties and events of various sizes. The dining room will also feature an open kitchen and a four-tier, custom-designed hydraulic bar that lowers the top shelf to bartenders at the push of a button.
TROPHY TACOS & PERFECT MARGARITAS
Founding Chef Luisteen Gonzalez’s mainstay Mexico City-style tacos are the pinnacle of the menu, in addition to innovative dishes from newly appointed Executive Creative Chef Marco Arreguin, who joined the Puesto team from Michelin-starred Taco Maria and San Diego Executive Chef Edgar Chong. Signature tacos like the Filet Mignon and Chicken Al Pastor will be represented alongside regionally inspired mariscos, salads, share plates and more. Continuing to take great care in sourcing its ingredients, the culinary team will utilize heirloom organic Masienda blue corn from Mexico for its handmade tortillas, select fish from the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market for weekend marisco specials and work with local purveyors like Chino Farms. Chef Arreguin and Chef Chong will collaborate to introduce entirely new dishes, including a lineup of wood-fired and hearth-roasted dishes that will be exclusive to the Mission Valley location. Executive Pastry Chef Erik Aronow, who joined the Puesto team last year after an impressive run in Los Angeles – including time spent under Chef Jordan Kahn at Destroyer – will oversee the pastry program, utilizing hard-to-find Mexican ingredients to reimagine traditional flavors.
Puesto is family-owned and operated by first generation Mexican American and local San Diegan brothers Eric, Alan and Alex Adler, alongside their cousins Isidoro and Moy Lombrozo and Founding Chef Luisteen Gonzalez. With six locations in California, Puesto provides a contemporary and approachable take on authentic Mexican cuisine. Sourcing its ingredients from in and around the state, the restaurant has earned national acclaim for its Mexico City-style tacos made with non-GMO organic, heirloom Masienda blue corn stone-ground tortillas, crispy melted cheese and scratch salsas. In San Diego alone, Puesto will employ around 350 people with the addition of the Mission Valley location and has donated more than one million dollars to community causes through its Puesto Cares program.