Blue Bridge Hospitality Debuts El Roy’s Tequila Bar + Kitchen At The Coronado Ferry Landing In San Diego

August 13, 2018

After Candela's on the Bay shuttered in the beginning of the year, one of San Diego’s leading restaurateurs - David Spatafore, principal of Blue Bridge Hospitality (Leroy's, Liberty Public Market) - took over management and operational responsibilities of the prime Coronado Ferry Landing space and transformed it into El Roy's Tequila Bar + Kitchen, which will officially open its doors to the public on August 15.

The transfer of Candela's quietly took place in May 2018, and over the past four months, Spatafore has transformed this 4,500 square-foot, indoor-outdoor waterfront gem into El Roy’s Tequila Bar + Kitchen. Overseeing the research and development for El Roy’s culinary program is Blue Bridge’s esteemed Executive Chef, Tim Kolanko, alongside Blue Bridge newcomer Chris Gallo. A New York native with classic French culinary training, Gallo is a seasoned alum of San Diego’s premier kitchens including Bertrand at Mister A’s and The Lodge at Torrey Pines' A.R. Valentien. Gallo joins the Blue Bridge team as the executive chef of El Roy’s Tequila Bar + Kitchen. The name, El Roy’s Tequila Bar + Kitchen, is a playful, south of the border nod to Blue Bridge’s first farm-to-table Coronado eatery - Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge.

"We’re not an authentic Mexican restaurant; we’re focusing less on regionality and authenticity, and more on innovation," says Executive Chef Chris Gallo. "Creating the menu has been a fun process. We’re combining flavors that are easily translatable and already well loved by local palates (because of San Diego’s close proximity to Mexico) - yet we’re exploring them in different forms with outside influences that pair well."

El Roy's food menu will meld traditional staples with a variety of unique interpretations. The Grilled Pork Chop “Al Pastor” is an amplified play on famous Mexican street food, tacos al pastor, and is served with a chorizo cornbread, chipotle roasted carrots, and pineapple habanero salsa. The Watermelon & Citrus Shrimp Ceviche with tangerine, avocado, cucumber and pickled red onion also emphasizes el Roy’s hybrid approach, a thoughtful mix between a popular Mexican-style summer salad (watermelon and avocado) and the colorful fruit stand staples soaked in a citrus dressing. Chef’s Grilled Skirt Steak is prepared with a carne asada marinade and paired alongside crispy mashed potatoes (pre-roasted with Mexican flavors), chimichurri, and a non-traditional vinegar-based spicy coleslaw. Lastly, a riff on the foundational Mexican dish elote (grilled street corn), El Roy’s Mexican Corn Pudding celebrates the height of sweet corn season with roasted local corn, charred poblano, cotija cheese, chive and chipotle crema.

El Roy’s bar program will pay respect to the exalted Mexican spirits tequila and mezcal with an extensive, handpicked collection of more than 90 specialty options. Guests can sip the artisanal lineup of premium agave-based spirits neat, or sample selections within special flights of three or four. Mirroring the restaurant’s dedication to the Latin American liquor is an assortment of margaritas, such as the Melonrita crafted with Corazon Blanco, fresh watermelon, lime juice and agave. Rounding out the beverage program, El Roy’s offers sangria, wine, draft and bottle beer, seasonal vodka infusions, and an array of craft cocktails including the Smokey Paloma (mezcal, grapefruit juice, agave, fresh lime juice, soda) and Cucumber Cilantro Gimlet (Old Harbor Gin, fresh lime juice, agave).

El Roy’s boasts one of the most sought-after bayfront panoramas of San Diego’s downtown skyline and is located merely steps away from the beach and ferry pier at the Coronado Ferry Landing. The restaurant’s design showcases a fresh, bright color palette accompanied by a one-of-a-kind Calavera (skull) mural from local artist Aleck Christian (of Beautiful San Diego, a volunteer-based organization of local artists). Ten-foot tall floor-to-ceiling windows offer unobstructed bay views from within el Roy’s 3,000 square-foot dining room. Alongside a variety of traditional tables and high-tops, the airy indoor space showcases an extensive bar and communal arrangement for guests seeking a more social atmosphere. Outside, a 1,200 square-foot elevated sundeck currently provides seating for 70 guests.

Introducing El Roy’s Tequila Bar & Kitchen at the Coronado Ferry Landing. The former Candela’s is now a refreshing take on Mexican. I like to call it “Mexicanish”... No rules, no boundaries the food and drink will take inspiration from Mexican & Latin cuisines but not be bound by the confines of what is “expected”. Seasonal fresh ingredients, local when possible will dictate the menus. Pictured: Pork Chop “Al Pastor” , chorizo cornbread, chipotle roasted carrots, pineapple & habanero. Melonrita: Watermelon Aqua Frescas , fresh lime, agave nectar, Corazon Silver........AND THAT VIEW! Open Daily 11am / Brunch Sat & Sun 10am / Happy Hour daily 3-6pm / Live Music Wed nights, Sat & Sun Brunch’s. @elroyssd #elroyssd @bluebridgehospitality #bluebridgehospitality #coronadoferrylanding @coronadoferrylandingshops #coronado #localesd #mysdmdish #diningoutsd #chefsroll #rollwithus #bonappetit #foodandwine #visitsd #visitcoronado
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Founded in Coronado in 1998, Blue Bridge Hospitality currently owns and operates Liberty Public Market, Maretalia Ristorante, West Pac Noodle Bar, Stake Chophouse & Bar, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge, Village Pizzeria, Lil’ Piggy’s Bar-B-Q, MooTime Creamery, Crafted Baked Goods, and Coronado Coffee Company. El Roy’s Tequila Bar + Kitchen will officially debut at Spatafore’s eleventh unique concept - a welcomed addition on the heels of Blue Bridge Hospitality’s 20-year anniversary.

El Roy's will open at 1201 First Street in Coronado on Wednesday, August 15 and will be open for lunch weekdays from 11am-3pm, for dinner daily from 4pm to close, and offer a weekend brunch from 10am-3pm. For more information, visit and check out the menus below.