San Diego’s American brewpub, The Bell Marker, is now open! The restaurant, named after the mission bell markers found along the historic El Camino Real, offers a little something for everyone with on-site brewing, an expansive bar and multiple dining areas Located at 602 Broadway in Downtown San Diego, the brewpub will be the first location south of Los Angeles for Artisanal Brewers Collective (ABC).
“San Diego offers locals and visitors so much from its rich history to an incredible vibe and culture, so we wanted to harness that as we developed The Bell Marker to create a quintessentially Californian experience through our beers, food and overall ambiance,” says Tony Yanow, one of the founders of ABC. “We can’t wait to bring even more great craft beer to a city that has established itself as a craft beer mecca!”
The brewpub’s beer program is led by Noah Regnery, a native of San Diego, who has more than a decade of brewing experience. Noah honed his skills at the legendary Pizza Port Brewing where he won numerous local, national and international awards from revered events such as the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. An extensive copper clad 15-barrel brewing system will be used to make true-to-style beers that will mainly focus on classic American, English, German and an occasional Belgian offering. The Bell Marker will open with a brewed-in-house Cream Ale, Hefeweizen, Pale Ale, IPA and Brown Ale on tap, while the remainder of the tap menu will consist of a selection of guest beers that will rotate frequently and complement the house offerings. As a way to give back to the community, The Bell Marker will also have a monthly charity beer offering $1 of sales that month to rotating charity organizations with plans to kick this program off in April with Autism Tree.
“As a North County native, I could not be more excited to return to San Diego and the community that bore my passion for beer. It’s incredible to see familiar faces, get to know new ones, see how the scene has grown and progressed, and to be a part of the future of the legendary craft beer scene in America’s finest city,” said brewmaster Noah Regnery. “More than anything, I’m excited to get back to making beer in my hometown the way I did over a decade ago, but this time, with a whole new perspective and maturity.”
Culinary Director Trevor Faris has created a California Centric menu with several vegan and non-vegan options including inventive spins on pizza classics such as the Salad Pie with marinara and California chopped salad; theSquash Pie with fresh cream, winter squash, red wax gouda, pomegranate molasses and red onion; or the Fennel Sausage Pizza made in house with crushed tomatoes, impossible meat or pork fennel sausage, mozzarella and shallots. In addition to the expansive pizza menu, guests can choose from a variety of smaller items such as Smoked Fish Dip with fresh Idaho River trout, green garlic, tabasco and crackers; Ricotta Fritters with housemade ricotta and chili jam; or Mushroom Paté with pickled mustard seeds, horseradish cream and toast. The menu is replete with sandwiches such as the Shrimp Roll made with chilled jumbo shrimp, lemon aioli, celery, dill and served on a pretzel roll; the Spicy Chicken Melt with shredded chicken breast, red wax gouda, tomato, harissa aioli on sourdough bread; and the entirely plant based Impossible Burger topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, nut cheddar, not-so-secret sauce and served on vegan brioche. Larger dishes round out the menu with Steamed Clams gently poached in anise liqueur served with grilled bread; Cassoulet with heirloom Tarbais beans, long-roasted tomatoes and sauce verte; and Chicken alla diavola garnished with a pickled pepper relish and served over a spicy Italian-influenced stew.
The cocktail program, helmed by Dan Sutherland, consists of classic cocktails with a modern twist conceptually designed to play on the Bell Marker history and craft culture in San Diego. Cocktail names will nod to historical moments in Bell Marker history such as Daisy Anna, a cocktail named after Anna Pitcher who initiated an effort to preserve the yet commemorated route of Alta California’s Camino Real. The Daisy Anna features Los Altos Blanco Tequila, Pamplemousse, pink grapefruit, agave, rosewater, lime, pink Himalayan salt and bitters. The remainder of the craft cocktail list will play on iconic San Diego pop culture.
The 8,000-square foot, 212-seat restaurant designed by Ricki Kline of Ricki Kline Design + Build, features an open and bright layout favoring natural light with open windows, high ceilings and decorative brass lighting such as custom-built sconces, unique sized circular ceiling lights and table lamps. A subtle nautical color palette can be seen throughout the space with white brick accents, navy blue striped columns and pops of orange which are complemented by colorful patterned wallpaper. Glass partitions showcase the beer-centric back bar and brewing systems while also creating an open kitchen for diners and guests to enjoy. Guests can take a seat at the 44-seatplanked maple wood bar or at one of several maple wood booths and black faux leather banquettes. The restaurant will also feature a private event space with A/V capabilities in the upstairs area, offering guests an intimate setting to host larger group parties or conferences.
The Bell Marker is open 7 days a week from 5pm to 2am with plans to open for lunch at 11am in February. For more information about the restaurant visit The Bell Marker website or follow along on Instagram@thebellmarker, Twitter @thebellmarker and Facebook @thebellmarker.