El Dorado Cocktail Lounge, Foundational For Chartering A Craft Cocktail Culture In San Diego, Welcomes New Ownership
Pouring With Heart, a hospitality group focused on preserving bars and building industry careers with care, will become the new owners of El Dorado Cocktail Lounge.
El Dorado was formative in establishing San Diego’s craft cocktail scene 14 years ago when it was opened by the Stanton brothers, Nathan, Marshall and Matthew, and their lifelong friend, Ryan Kuntz.
The group has owned and operated North Park’s Seven Grand Whiskey Bar since 2012, and will bring a similar communal neighborhood vibe to El Dorado, while reviving it to its original intended form as a timeless San Diego institution.
A revival of San Diego’s pioneering cocktail bars
A revival of the bars in San Diego that were so integral in building the cocktail and bar scene in San Diego is happening, with the recent revamp of Neighborhood, cementing Starlite’s future, and now new ownership at El Dorado.
“There’s a movement in San Diego to secure the future of the establishments that shaped its culinary, cocktail, drinking scene, and the unique neighborhood culture of this city,” said Peter Stanislaus, Chief Development Officer of Pouring With Heart. “This is the pillar that Pouring With Heart was built on and could not be more inline with our mission as a hospitality group, it is why we are so excited to contribute to this effort with El Dorado, and resurrect the fond memories people have from nights spent there.”
The ownership transition of El Dorado will follow the approach Pouring with Heart takes to each of their projects, keeping as much of the original staff as possible, refreshing and bettering the space, and training.
The Group then passes the management of each bar they operate to the local team, and empowers the leaders and teams within each bar to make decisions on how to best pour for the neighborhood and locals that are in the bars every single day.
The vision for El Dorado in good hands
The vision for El Dorado and understanding of its history, and the group’s commitment to bettering the industry, embody the reason Marshall Stanton is excited about the choice of new ownership.
“Being the first venue we brought to San Diego, and the only one from our original team of four, it was with a heavy heart that we were making the decision to move on. That was until we got to know more about how Pouring WIth Heart had evolved in their journey to where they are now. We were big fans of their projects in LA from years past, and to see their desire and passion to ensure they could take the El Dorado brand into the future was tremendously uplifting for us as a group.”
“The undertaking in which they allow for our amazing team to move forward with their vision as this transition happens was for us as owners an essential part of letting go and feeling good about leaving something that will carry a good deal of what we desired to do originally into the future for years to come,” said Marshall Stanton.
Timeless and people-focused
El Dorado is scheduled to close in mid-January for a week-long transition period. While the design will remain intact, the space will be updated and refreshed, and the experience will shift away from the club and DJ vibe into a more consistent, less program-based venue, with a timeless cocktail experience that is a comfortable contrast between being highbrow and lowbrow.
Stanislaus adds, “Our venues, from employees to guests, are people focused. We understand that a bar is not just cocktails, rather it is who is in the bar, who pours your drinks, that creates the story of it and makes people return night after night, and employees stay. Pour with heart and show you care, because the more regulars we build, the more careers we create, and the more we can change the perception of what working in bars means.”
Pouring With Heart aims to increase retention and career longevity through extensive training, health and wellness programs, and equity incentives for all managers and directors and has a goal to build 2030 careers by the year 2030 and see every employee as a potential leader within the organization.
See you there, San Diego!