Cocktail Bar And Art Experience, Botanica, Now Open In North Park

Recently announced cocktail bar, Botanica, the newest concept from San Diego’s Be Saha Hospitality Group, is now open at 3139 University Avenue in North Park.

Following nine months of construction and an elegant redesign to the prime corner location within North Park’s Art Produce building, Botanica brings an immersive drinking and social experience to San Diego through its focus on genever and gin, creative bites, and modern art, including an NFT digital art gallery.

Botanica North park

Botanica and Be Saha Hospitality Group founder Amar Harrag is known for highlighting unexpected artisanal spirits through concepts including mezcaleria, Tahona Bar, and speakeasy, Oculto 477, in Old Town, and absinthe bar, Wormwood, in University Heights.

Botanica is an extension of Be Saha Hospitality’s commitment to artisanal spirits that are typically less commercially available and strongly connected to cultural traditions and the culinary arts.

Genever at the forefront of Botanica’s bar program

At the forefront of Botanica’s bar program is lesser-known genever, one of Europe’s oldest distilled spirits and the precursor to gin, which Botanica will serve in elegant flutes – to be sipped with one’s hands behind their back, a tradition carried over from the Netherlands.

Botanica will offer one of San Diego’s most diverse and thorough selections of genever, gin, and other botanical spirits sourced from around the world, and educational genever and gin tastings and other events themed around both spirits.

Botanica bar program

Creative and classic cocktails both on the menu

Botanica’s creative cocktails come from beverage director Marina Ferreira, co-founder of RoseWater Cocktail Co., with each drink reflecting a famous piece of art and many crafted using herbs from Botanica’s shared garden.

Highlights include:

  • No. 1 Swan, a vintage swan bowl with Monkey 47 gin and Thomas Keller caviar
  • Meditative Rose with genever and notes of rose, sandalwood, and harissa
  • Heads Will Roll, gin-based with chamomile grappa and passion fruit
  • The Warhola Diaries with banana rum, cereal-infused coconut cream and winter spices

Botanica will also offer classic genever and gin cocktails like the Negroni and French 75, plus non-alcoholic options including a cacao mushroom chai with turmeric and Beauty Tonic with goji berries and rosewater.

Creative cocktails

Dare to eat with your hands

Recently appointed Executive Chef Tiffany Tran joins Be Saha Hospitality’s culinary director, Janina Garay, in creating the food menu – and not for the first time, as the duo previously worked together at Michelin-starred Addison.

Explore seasonal small plates intended to be eaten with one’s hands; silverware will be provided upon request. The inventive bites will include such items as paella-inspired croquettes, wagyu oysters tartare, salmon served three ways, and crudité of farmers market vegetables with avocado hummus.

small bites

A wall full of NFT art to feast your eyes on

Botanica opens within the same complex as Art Produce, a like-minded nonprofit cultural center that connects artists, cultural organizations, schools, urban farmers, and businesses.

Botanica’s 1,500-square-foot space, designed by Studio Bel, features a bar and lounge area exuding elegant speakeasy vibes and seating up to 48 guests, where you can peruse an ever-evolving gallery of local and international art, including street and digital art.

Behind the lounge, an urban garden provides a private venue for al fresco gatherings, with a portion of event proceeds benefiting Art Produce Foundation.

wall full of NFT art

Notably, Botanica is one of the first NFT-exhibiting cocktail bars on the West Coast and one of very few in the United States. One wall within Botanica will exclusively showcase NFT (non-fungible tokens) art displayed on custom-designed framed display screens, with guests able to purchase through a digital art gallery,

This art-forward aspect of Botanica is launched in collaboration with San Diego-born blockchain company Humbl, which specializes in buying, selling, and listing NFTs and facilitates discovering new artists across the globe.

Proceeds from NFT art sales will benefit the artist as well as Create Purpose, a 501c3 nonprofit providing educational programs to orphanages in Mexico.

See you there

Botanica North Park

Botanica North Park is open Wednesday through Monday at 3139 University Avenue, San Diego, California 92104.

Visit them online here and follow along on Instagram.

See you there, San Diego!

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