David Dodd 2:33 a.m., May 19
When even the wine bar is pairing beers with its happy hour food, you know something's up.
What's happening is the official opening of Stone Brewing's South Park store (2215 30th Street) where you can taste brewskis and get growlers of cheeky breeds like Arrogant Bastard.
And to make sure there's no ill feeling about these new kids in town stealing customers from the other South Park drinkeries, Stone's rule is one tasting flight per customer per day. (You can buy as many growler refills or bottles as you want.)
The line is about twenty people long right now (Wednesday evening). I ask these two guys, Dusty and Greg, if they have food here too.
"Oh man, no. Go next door to the Rose," they say, almost in unison.
"Rose Wine Pub," Greg says. "Same building." And he starts telling me about wondrous pairings of, like Baja-style oysters with pickled onions and lime and hot sauce paired with a glass of Stone IPA for five bucks. Part of a happy hour thing (4.30-6:00 p.m., daily).
"But the one you want tonight," says Dusty, "is the dates wrapped in bacon. They're coupling them with Double Bastard beer. Four ounces, five bucks, awe-some."
So I hop next door.
This beautiful little woody wine bar sits in the same ancient (1923) Rose Grocery Building. It's crowded in here too. Jason, the barista (teacher in real life. Works with the place's founder, Susan Prise, a school guidance counselor) brings me the bowl of two bacon-wrapped dates I ordered, and the glass of Double Bastard.
Oh man. One, the glassful has to be more than four ounces. Two, somehow that bacon/date combo works. Three, it takes a little of the hop bite out of the beer, and that makes for a great fusion of tastes.
They say they have specials like this every night, even when Stone isn't celebrating its opening. If so, we're talking major challenge to other South Park eat'n drinkeries here.
Or is that just the DB talking? Only one way to find out: Come back tomorrow night and try it again.
Greg Koch, Stone's CEO, celebrates South Park store opening with friends
Rose Grocery Building where the Stone Company Store and the Rose Wine Pub are new neighbors
Greg (blue shirt), Dusty (white shirt) and friend, waiting to get in to Stone store
Stone's Arlan Arnsten slips next door to the wine bar to sip beer with Jackie Campbell, Angie Kemp
...while Rose Wine Pub barista Jason Snitcko serves my Double Bastard
My date and bacon wraps with Double Bastard ($5 for the combo)
Jackie and Angie's margherita pizza ($7)