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A local restaurateur is looking to bring Hillcrest the quintessential San Diego experience via a new bar concept, and he's decided University is the right avenue for that vehicle.

David Cohen, owner of North Park's West Coast Tavern, has taken over the former site of Ono Sushi. By July, he plans to have installed Uptown Tavern, a place he envisions as a go-to spot for locals as well as a place where San Diegans can "treat visiting guests to a glimpse of what it truly means to live in San Diego."

Trés ambitious, no?

It sounds as though the food and drink will be the main component, or at least the most obvious, backing the SD immersion manifesto. The menu, which has yet to be announced, but will be the creation of West Coast Tavern chef Eli Freebairn, is being billed as "super local." (I'm a native and consistently sing the praises of our region. Wonder if I should start billing myself as "super local?")

Twenty taps offering local craft beers and craft cocktails will make up the drink program and add extra regional focus.

Indoor and outdoor seating will be available. Roll-up garage doors, the restaurant industry's preferred portal of the moment, will provide access from one to the other. Once open, Uptown Tavern will be located at 1236 University Avenue.


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Ian Pike June 1, 2012 @ 2:52 p.m.

Now that every restaurant has "local" somewhere on its menu, new blood must do a little something extra to stand out, hence, "super local!"


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