Blush Ice Bar is taking over the former Wet Willies location at 555 Market Street in downtown San Diego and gearing up for a summer 2015 opening. Not much is known as of now, but Chef Daniel Barron (formerly of La Valencia and Blue Pointe Coastal before that) will run the "East/West" kitchen located on the corner of 6th & Market.
Restaurateurs Taylor Kim and Russ Fukushima are expanding their much buzzed about Bay Area concept to San Diego with a Southern California spin.
“Russ and I have been searching up and down the West Coast for a spot for our second restaurant and San Diego is the ideal location with its attractive people and relaxed vibe,” said Taylor Kim, co-owner and creator of the restaurant’s namesake Blush cocktail, who lives in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood.
The concept for Blush Ice Bar + East-West Kitchen is centered on the memorable Blush cocktail, built on the base of a craft cocktail with an accent of a fruit forward frosted ice. Chef Daniel Barron (La Valencia, Blue Pointe Coastal) will head the kitchen which will offer an inventive selection of dishes blending West (modern American fare such as Umami Bomb New York Strip and Mary’s Half Chicken Clay Pot) and East (fusion favorites including Sushi Tacos and Sesame Soy Glazed Chicken Lollipops). The lunch and dinner menus will present an approachable offering of small plates, mains, buns, salads and sides. Dishes will be served in a playful West meets East communal dining format combining family style service and an a la carte steakhouse experience.
Barron will also prepare fresh and local seafood, including split and roasted whole crab and raw items, and an array of vegetarian dishes made with fresh-picked produce. Dry-aged and smoked meats as well as fermented miso, kimchi and yuzu kosho will be made in house.
“We’ve reimagined our original concept and menu to satisfy local tastes while staying true to the creative cocktails on which we’ve built our reputation,” said co-owner Russ Fukushima who honed his restaurant management skills with national multi-unit restaurant chains.
Beyond the signature Blush cocktails, the eatery will feature other on-ice elements and dishes including an 18-seat raw bar with luscious shellfish in a dedicated oyster lounge. A 40-seat main bar will be illuminated with an expansive and colorful selection of premium infused vodkas, brown spirits and sakes to be shaken or stirred into handcrafted cocktails served straight up or on the rocks. An iced dessert menu will also feature favorite sweets with an imaginative frozen spin plus a selection of homemade craft ice creams.
Guests can expect a lively bar scene, an expansive outdoor patio and a come-as-you-are setting in which to dine, drink and take in the downtown scene. The 7,500 square foot space is being transformed into a chic, warm and welcoming space with the main bar as the focal point. Featured materials will include glass, metal and white marble combined with accents of fabric and wood. Eye-catching design elements will include a collection of crystal drop chandeliers, a wine wall representative of the restaurant’s carefully curated list of California and global wines and roll-up garage door windows to create an indoor-outdoor environment.
Caonnect with Blush on Facebook and Instagram @blushicebarsd.