Trish Watlington closed Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge this past June to rebrand the space into Bar By Red Door, a bar-focused lounge with an emphasis on interactive cocktails and a mainly shared and small plates food menu, set to unveil on October 20.
Executive Chef Miguel Valdez has created an upscale menu of small plates for the new Bar By Red Door, highlighted by ethically-sourced ingredients, like the savory quinoa sope topped with marinated Mary’s free-range chicken, shallots, cilantro and poached egg; cactus salad with greens, feta, jalapeño, garlic, shallots and strawberries; and grilled carrots with burrata, carrot top pesto, meyer lemon balsamic and toasted almonds.
"Feedback from our neighbors is that Mission Hills is missing a true cocktail bar and comfortable gathering space, so we’re excited to bring something more progressive to the area," said owner Trish Watlington. "That, and we have to look to the future - what type of food will support a better San Diego ecosystem?"
Noted mixologist Cervantes Magaña is Bar by Red Door’s bar manager. He’ll be pouring culinary-infused craft cocktails throughout the evening. Think garden ingredients, housemade syrups and bitters and Southern California spirits. In neighboring Red Door style, the bar team will be fun and welcoming, brimming with thorough drink knowledge and food pairing suggestions.
Bar By Red Door is the sister restaurant to The Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar, which prides itself on serving farm-to-table dishes using fresh, seasonal ingredients from its own garden and from local ranchers, farmers and purveyors. In order to stay true to their mission to provide San Diego with locally grown sustainable food, owner Trish Watlington knew that The Wellington was in need of some major changes. The new concept will align with this focus on ethically sourced ingredients.
Owner Trish Watlington and her team grow nearly half of the produce used at the restaurant, in addition to producing honey from their bees and now eggs from their chickens. They source other ingredients from farmers and ranchers they know personally from around San Diego.