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Moving, shaking, brewing

Urge Gastropub owners move on from Vista bowling alley to O-side brewpub

Grant Tondro
Grant Tondro

It’s been nearly two years since Urge Gastropub co-owner Grant Tondro announced a grand scheme to convert a former Vista fitness center into a combination brewpub, bottle shop, and bowling alley. That ambitious interest was to be named Urge: Craft Alley, with its brewing component dubbed Project X Brewing Company.

Place

URGE American Gastropub

16761 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego

After two years of trying to close the deal and smooth things out with regulating agencies, Tondro and business partners Nate and Zak Higson are x-ing this item off their (rather long) list of projects and shifting their attention to another brewpub concept: Urge Gastropub – Oceanside.

Everything about the brewing operation that was to be installed at Craft Alley will find its way to a 9200-square-foot building at 2002 South Coast Highway. Fifteen hundred square feet will be devoted to the brewery, which will likely operate under the name Mason Ale Works.

From the beginning, Tondro has had former Port Brewing Company/The Lost Abbey and Boulevard Brewing brewer Mike Rodriguez slated as his choice to head beer production. Assisting him will be Jason De La Torre, formerly of Saint Archer Brewery and Golden Road Brewing. A ten-barrel brewhouse will soon be up and running, boiling up wort for mostly classic West Coast styles, including a hoppy pale ale, hop-driven amber ale, India pale ale, and saison. Spirit barrel-aged and sour ales, beers Rodriguez had extensive experience with at his former posts, are also in Mason’s plans.

The new property’s bar will be equipped with 41 taps dispensing house beers along with a line of beers similar to those of Urge’s original restaurant in Rancho Bernardo. There will also be bottled beer and more than 300 varieties of whiskey (mostly bourbon) when it opens. Some of that firewater will make it into cocktails devised by mixologist consultancy Rumbling Tins Co.

Urge's floor plan for their Oceanside gastropub

The cocktails will be available at both a 70-seat bar and a 30-to-40-seat speakeasy in a bank vault from the site’s previous life. That component will likely go by the handle 101 Proof, referring to both alcohol and the highway the gastropub will abut.

Back in the over 5000-square-foot dining room and bar (which will give way to a 1500-square-foot patio along Coast Highway), the menu will be the same as that of the restaurant’s RB predecessor, right down to the executive toque.

Chef Mark Liautard has been freed up from his exec duties at Urge sister restaurant The Barrel Room, so he can better oversee this venture, which is scheduled to open sometime this summer. The aesthetic will be similar to the RB Urge, but different enough that it won’t feel like a link in a chain. That is important to Tondro, who has a local artist working on a large mural for the building’s exterior.

Urge Gastropub – Oceanside will essentially be located midway between two other popular North County coastal brewpubs — Bagby Beer Company and Pizza Port Carlsbad. Each is just over a mile away, but Tondro believes there is enough distance between them that they won’t cannibalizing off each other. If recent trends ring true, it’s likely the trio of brewing venues will create a beer-tour-able route that will benefit all three as well as nearby businesses Breakwater Brewing Company and Stone Company Store – Oceanside. Tondro likes the idea of creating an "O-side slide" similar to North Park’s popular “SD Drinkabout.”

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Grant Tondro
Grant Tondro

It’s been nearly two years since Urge Gastropub co-owner Grant Tondro announced a grand scheme to convert a former Vista fitness center into a combination brewpub, bottle shop, and bowling alley. That ambitious interest was to be named Urge: Craft Alley, with its brewing component dubbed Project X Brewing Company.

Place

URGE American Gastropub

16761 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego

After two years of trying to close the deal and smooth things out with regulating agencies, Tondro and business partners Nate and Zak Higson are x-ing this item off their (rather long) list of projects and shifting their attention to another brewpub concept: Urge Gastropub – Oceanside.

Everything about the brewing operation that was to be installed at Craft Alley will find its way to a 9200-square-foot building at 2002 South Coast Highway. Fifteen hundred square feet will be devoted to the brewery, which will likely operate under the name Mason Ale Works.

From the beginning, Tondro has had former Port Brewing Company/The Lost Abbey and Boulevard Brewing brewer Mike Rodriguez slated as his choice to head beer production. Assisting him will be Jason De La Torre, formerly of Saint Archer Brewery and Golden Road Brewing. A ten-barrel brewhouse will soon be up and running, boiling up wort for mostly classic West Coast styles, including a hoppy pale ale, hop-driven amber ale, India pale ale, and saison. Spirit barrel-aged and sour ales, beers Rodriguez had extensive experience with at his former posts, are also in Mason’s plans.

The new property’s bar will be equipped with 41 taps dispensing house beers along with a line of beers similar to those of Urge’s original restaurant in Rancho Bernardo. There will also be bottled beer and more than 300 varieties of whiskey (mostly bourbon) when it opens. Some of that firewater will make it into cocktails devised by mixologist consultancy Rumbling Tins Co.

Urge's floor plan for their Oceanside gastropub

The cocktails will be available at both a 70-seat bar and a 30-to-40-seat speakeasy in a bank vault from the site’s previous life. That component will likely go by the handle 101 Proof, referring to both alcohol and the highway the gastropub will abut.

Back in the over 5000-square-foot dining room and bar (which will give way to a 1500-square-foot patio along Coast Highway), the menu will be the same as that of the restaurant’s RB predecessor, right down to the executive toque.

Chef Mark Liautard has been freed up from his exec duties at Urge sister restaurant The Barrel Room, so he can better oversee this venture, which is scheduled to open sometime this summer. The aesthetic will be similar to the RB Urge, but different enough that it won’t feel like a link in a chain. That is important to Tondro, who has a local artist working on a large mural for the building’s exterior.

Urge Gastropub – Oceanside will essentially be located midway between two other popular North County coastal brewpubs — Bagby Beer Company and Pizza Port Carlsbad. Each is just over a mile away, but Tondro believes there is enough distance between them that they won’t cannibalizing off each other. If recent trends ring true, it’s likely the trio of brewing venues will create a beer-tour-able route that will benefit all three as well as nearby businesses Breakwater Brewing Company and Stone Company Store – Oceanside. Tondro likes the idea of creating an "O-side slide" similar to North Park’s popular “SD Drinkabout.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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