Puesto Opens Puesto Cervecería…And All We Can Say Is WOW!
Taco institution Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar opened Puesto Cervecería, its third San Diego location, on July 14, 2020. Located in the former Gordon Biersch brewery and restaurant, the Westfield Mission Valley location is the largest in Puesto’s collection of restaurants and features its first craft brewery, focusing on Mexican lagers.
And WOW, does this place look amazing!
$8 million, 450 seats!
The 450-seat restaurant underwent an $8 million dollar build-out to create a space that spans more than 10,000 square feet in the center of a bustling shopping, dining and entertainment destination. While the San Diego-based restaurant group, which was founded by a local first-generation Mexican American family in 2012, has opened several restaurants throughout California over the past few years, it chose its hometown as the location for its biggest project to date.
The team is modifying dining to align with the current mandates and will be bringing the Puesto experience outdoors with the expansive patio and constructing additional outdoor dining, with market lights, outdoor rugs and patio seating.
Introducing Puesto’s signature Mexican Lagers!
In addition to a menu featuring Puesto’s Mexico City-style tacos, mariscos and shared plates, this location includes a brewery that focuses on Mexican lagers to complement their authentic cuisine. Spearheaded by longtime San Diego brewer Doug Hasker, who led Gordon Biersch’s program for more than 20 years, the cervecería will first brew a Puesto Mexican Lager, a Puesto Mexican Amber and a Puesto Mexican Negra Lager that will eventually be distributed to Puesto’s six other California locations.
Covid-19 delayed the opening by two-months, leading Hasker to rebrew Puesto’s Lagers, which will be available mid-July.
The Puesto Mexican Lager is a traditional, well-balanced and bright golden lager, with a crispy malt flavor from malted barley and hints of corn. The resulting beer has a medium bitterness from noble German hops with a clean finish.
The Puesto Mexican Amber is a lager beer, paying homage to the early days of brewing in Mexico by using Vienna malts and corn for its light delicious body. Balanced with a subtle hopping of German hops for bitterness with a smooth and refreshing finish.
The Puesto Mexican Negra Lager is a dark Mexican lager brewed using darker, roasted malts that is rich in flavor with a smooth and enjoyable finish.
And a brand-new bar program!
In addition to the brewery, Bar & Spirits Creative Director, Beau du Bois, will debut a brand-new bar program, including margaritas on draft, seasonal cocktails with a focus on agave spirits, and a selection of over 70 tequilas, 50 mezcals, and more than 300 spirits. Guests can look forward to sipping on the:
- Cannonball (El Silencio mezcal, apricot liqueur, pineapple, fresh squeezed lime juice, Angostura bitters)
- What Chef’s Having (Black Strap Rum, tamarind, black walnut, fresh lime juice and ginger beer)
Now based in San Diego, du Bois spearheads the bar program for all Puesto locations. With his extensive cocktail and spirits experience, most recently at three Michelin-starred The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, du Bois will elevate the bar program to match Puesto’s other beverage categories, including the brand’s craft beer and Valle de Guadalupe wine program.
Mexico City-style tacos are the pinnacle of the menu
Founding chef and partner Luisteen Gonzalez’s mainstay Mexico City-style tacos are the pinnacle of the menu, in addition to innovative dishes from Culinary Director, Erik Aronow, and Executive Creative Chef, Marco Arreguin. Culinary Director, 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 menu development as well as continue expanding Puesto’s pastry program, utilizing hard-to-find Mexican ingredients to re-imagine traditional flavors.
Executive Creative Chef Arreguin joined the Puesto team last year from Michelin-starred Taco Maria.
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 El Faro Seafood.
Chef Aronow and Chef Arreguin will collaborate to introduce entirely new menu items, including woodfired enchiladas and dishes.
A modern Mexico City
The Puesto team again chose 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 location. Known for his grandiose work and dual design-and-build approach, Basile re-imagined both the interior and exterior of the building, incorporating Puesto’s signature pops of bright color into the façade, and custom fabricated 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 includes private dining rooms and a range of seating styles to accommodate parties and events of various sizes. The dining room will 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.
The patio and newly constructed outdoor dining will offer socially distanced tables for the safest possible dining. The team has also implemented the highest standards of staff training, sanitation and safety.
Puesto Cervecería is located at 5010 Mission Center Road, San Diego, Calif. 92108. Opening hours of operation will be: 11:00am to 9:00pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00am to 10:00pm Friday and Saturday.
Stay healthy, San Diego!
See you there!