CH Projects Completes East Village Space with Opening of 'Fairweather' | Second Story Bar Concept Overlooking Petco Park Now Open

August 21, 2014

This week, respected cocktail veteran Anthony Schmidt, in partnership with CH Projects (Ironside Fish & Oyster, Polite Provisions, Neighborhood, Craft & Commerce), fully opened doors to downtown's newest dual-concept venue with the launch of FAIRWEATHER, a gorgeous rooftop patio bar overlooking the Padres’ Petco Park stadium. Located in the historic Simon Levi Building, Fairweather is perched above CH’s neighborhood delicatessen and schnapps bar, RARE FORM, which opened doors just a few weeks earlier.

Anthony Schmidt
One of the most recognized names in San Diego’s cocktail scene, Anthony Schmidt has spent the past decade immersing himself in the culture and history of classic American cocktails. Alongside the CH Projects team, Schmidt has gone on to create unique spirit programs earning a place on some of the nation’s most coveted lists – including Esquire's “Best Bars in America” (Noble Experiment, 2013) and Food & Wine’s “Top 50 Bars in the Country” (Craft & Commerce, 2011) as well as receiving two nominations at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in New Orleans (Craft & Commerce, 2012 and Noble Experiment, 2014). Now Schmidt takes the lead on a new dual-concept venue in San Diego’s historic Simon Levi building at Petco Park. Partnering with CH Projects, Schmidt announces the official opening of Rare Form, a unique take on the classic neighborhood delicatessen, and Fairweather, a colorful rooftop patio bar taking over the former Proper Gastropub space and featuring “drinks from sunny places.”

Influenced by cultures famed for iconic delicatessen traditions – Jewish, German, Italian and French – Rare Form transports you into the world of a modern-day European deli inside its new 3,500 square-foot space. Executive Chef Aldo Negrete (Whisknladle, Saltbox-Hotel Palomar, Quality Social) turns out daily classic butcher shop specials including pâtés, terrines and pork rillette; sandwiches with house-cured pastrami, linguiça, smoked ham, chicken schnitzel, and house-cured lox; along with soups such as matzo ball, cream of tomato and lentil & smoked ham hock. In a break from ‘delicatessen tradition,’ Chef Negrete also offers a lineup of savory waffle sandwiches with combos including smoked ham & swiss, crispy chicken & maple syrup, and house-made knockwurst, caramelized onions & roasted peppers, among others.

Front man, general manager & co-owner Anthony Schmidt, spent the last two years experimenting with Rare Form’s beverage program to create one of the only, if not the only, schnaps bars in the U.S. Unlike the commonly known, sugar-sweetened American version, Schmidt’s program is designed to highlight true schnaps (a.k.a. eau de vie), a pure, crystal clear brandy made from fruit.

Capturing the essence of produce preserved at peak ripeness, the distillation method is a process still used by families throughout Europe today and sees mashed fruit, which has fermented for several days, distilled into a strong, clear liquor. Water is then added to make the drink palatable and bring alcohol content down to around 40 or 50 percent. With its clean, pure flavor, and no excess sugar, the end result is bottled immediately and served as a digestif. Alongside nine featured schnaps cocktails, Rare Form offers 12 draft beers, a selection of wines and three different boilermakers – an old-school classic which pairs a shot of schnaps alongside a draft beer chaser.

Poised above Rare Form, Fairweather pays homage to San Diego's beautiful weather and 'fair weather' fans at the 1,500 square-foot rooftop patio oasis overlooking the famed Padres’ Petco Park stadium. Fairweather offers imbibers ice-cold cocktails curated by the capable hands of Schmidt alongside manager Ryan Walsh. Mezcal, rum and tequila reign supreme throughout Fairweather’s 32-count cocktail lineup. Daiquiris, a Mai Tai, Piña Colada, Zombie, Painkiller, and Ti’ Punch are among 16 familiar “Classic” throwbacks recreated from timeless recipes discovered in old cocktail journals by Schmidt, while 16 “Fairweather Signatures” offer unique riffs on the classics – the Oaxacan Dead (Schmidt’s riff on the Zombie with Mezcal and rum), the Monkey’s Junk (coconut, bananas and cacao rum), Rum Row (an aged Old Fashioned with coconut bitters and banana liqueur), and the lighthearted Piece of Advice. Priced at $300 (essentially the most expensive “Dealer’s Choice” you can imagine), this top shelf cocktail is offered with—you guessed it—a piece of sage advice from your friendly bartender. Fairweather gladly serves any of their drinks frozen and also offers 12 beers on tap in addition to a handful of wines.

Fairweather and Rare Form are located at 793 J St. in San Diego's East Village. Fairweather is open 7 days a week, Monday through Thursday 5-11pm, Friday 4-11pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am to 11pm. Happy hour is 5-7pm Monday through Friday with $5 Daiquiris, Piña Coladas, and Margaritas. Rare Form is open everyday from 11:30am to 2am, with happy hour Monday through Friday from 4-7pm.