Though I always passed it up for nearby competitors Churchill’s Pub & Grille or Sublime Ale House, there was something comforting about driving past Penny Lane Pub & Grill. Tucked off the side of San Marcos Boulevard, it was a constant — a Brit-outfitted mainstay for two decades. But, as of September 22, it will be closed down to make way for a new concept. It’ll feel strange not having The Beatles’ song of the same name chime off in my head, but it would see a pretty decent concept will be installed in Penny Lane’s place: Inland Tavern.
The concept of Peter Zacarias, a native San Diegan who helped open The W San Diego Hotel Downtown, Inland Tavern is described as a spot with a raw, rock, coastal vibe and a modern, beach-away-from-the-beach culture. This would seem a nice addition to a community that epitomizes inland living. Twenty beers, craft cocktails, and an extensive wine list will be available along with a worldly menu developed by chef Rob Conaway, who states his bill of fare will change constantly as he discovers new and exciting ingredients. He’ll also strive to be adventurous, but not to the degree that he alienates diners.
Early confirmed menu items include shrimp-pomelo escabeche, Kale Kobb salad, Baja chocolate clams with house-made tasso ham, an avocado-brie torta with peach and blueberry mostarda, ginger-sesame beef “banh mi,” and short rib carne asada tacos with onion soubise, Brussels sprouts “kraut” and crispy shallots. And dessert will include feta drop donuts served churro-style with cinnamon sugar and dipping sauce.
Inland Tavern will make its debut beneath the blue, suburban skies on October 18. In inheriting Penny Lane’s digs, it also gets built-in competition in the form of the aforementioned Churchill’s and Sublime, as well as the county’s second Slater’s 50/50 outpost and local breweries, Rip Current Brewing Company, Dos Desperados Brewery, and San Marcos Brewery & Grill, the last of which is located right across the street.