Earlier this year we announced that Cutwater Spirits, the rebranded liquor company that began as Ballast Point Spirits, is in the process of building a 50,000 square-foot distillery, bar and restaurant in San Diego's Miramar area - the largest distilling facility on the West Coast. The ambitious project has hired an all-star crew to lead the 200-plus seat bar and kitchen at its new dining & drinking destination, including Executive Chef Luke Johnson (Alinea, La Valencia) & Bar Manager Christian Siglin (Noble Experiment, The Pearl Hotel).
After selling the craft brewing portion of Ballast Point for $1Billion to Constellation Brands in November 2015, founder Jack White & COO Yuseff Cherney (who is now head distiller) continued to own the spirits portion but had to relinquish the rights to the "Ballast" label, so the rebranded Cutwater Spirits was born. The company is now producing the former Ballast spirit line including Devil's Share Whiskey, Three Sheets Rum, Old Grove Gin, Fugu Vodka, the canned pre-mixed cocktails, and the popular Bloody Mary and Mai Tai mixers, with more concoctions planned for future release.
At Cutwater's new distillery, located at 9750 Distribution Avenue in Miramar, they are gearing up to open by this summer. The facility will be the biggest distillery on the West Coast and will also be a destination for dining and drinking in San Diego, with a 220-seat restaurant, tasting bar, outdoor dining and entertainment space, and retail merchandise store.
The restaurant is in the hands of experienced chef Luke Johnson, who previously worked at the now-defunt Sky Room at La Valencia Hotel and ran the kitchen at the long-closed Red Velvet Wine Bar in Little Italy (now Underbelly). Before that Johnson cooked in the kitchen with celebrated chef Grant Achatz at Alinea in Chicago, which is considered by many as the top restaurant in the United States, as well as the 2-Michelin-starred Mélisse in Santa Monica.
The Cutwater bar & restaurant will be managed by Alessio Marini, who was the GM at the shuttered Bijou French Bistro in La Jolla and managed The Grand Del Mar before that. Behind the bar, Christian Siglin will be leading the way and designing Cutwater's cocktail program. Siglin is considered one of the top bartenders in town, maybe in the country, and has experience working at many area bars, including La Jolla's Hyatt Regency, The Pearl Hotel, Noble Experiment, Craft & Commerce, Sycamore Den, Bankers Hill and Bracero Cocina de Raiz.
Cutwater is also gearing up to takeover the former Ballast Point Beer Garden bar in left field at Petco Park for Padres 2017 season and has begun local and limited out-of-state distribution of its products. For more information, visit cutwaterspirits.com.