Exterior plans for the Cardiff Confessional.
  • Exterior plans for the Cardiff Confessional.
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It’s only 1,202 square feet, but when all is said and done, the satellite tasting room Port Brewing Company and The Lost Abbey are inserting into Cardiff Towne Center Complex (2007 San Elijo Avenue, Cardiff) will have taken a year to bring to fruition. Little of that has to do with the intertwined businesses, offshoots of their Pizza Port parent company. The decision makers at Port and Lost Abbey decided last August that they wanted to open a sampling space a significant distance from their San Marcos headquarters, quickly deciding Cardiff was where they wanted to do it based on positive community aspects, proximity to the beach and the lack of any brewing company facilities anywhere within the neighborhood or Encinitas as a whole. By October, they had a lease negotiated with the landlord. So what took so long?

Interior plan for the Cardiff Confessional.

The wheels of government grind slowly — especially when it comes to this particular government and brewing companies. A number of brewing companies, both new and established, have wanted to enter Encinitas over the past few years, but numerous municipal government-related barriers and resistance convinced them to look elsewhere. But, Port and Lost Abbey had their hearts set on the location they selected, so they put their heads down and proceeded to slowly plow through the necessary steps to get approved under the Wine Bar Purview by the City’s Planning Commission. It took three months for that to happen, but an issue regarding patio space stretched things out from February to last week when the Commission approved the project three-to-two with a pair of conditions — that the business would not be allowed to serve large, organized tour groups (party buses, brewery tour companies, etc.) or serve any beer not produced by Port or Lost Abbey.

Scheduled for an August opening and situated near Seaside Market, “The Confessional” will be outfitted in a mix of wood and stainless steel with an L-shaped bar running the length of the west wall and north edge of the building. Pocket windows will allow both light and ocean air into the compact room, which will be able to house 49 people at a time. Beers will be available for on-site consumption as well as off-site purchase via growlers. At present, no venue-specific beers are planned, but the company does find the idea of brewing a beer specifically for The Confessional to be rather appealing.

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