Storyhouse Spirits To Return To San Diego's East Village After Nearly 2 Year Hiatus

April 5, 2021

After opening in early 2019, the 7,600 square-foot Storyhouse Spirits closed abruptly within 4 months in San Diego's East Village. Now after almost 2 years in hibernation, the craft distillery, restaurant and event space will reopen this spring with a new food menu and craft cocktails made with the company's very own line of locally-produced spirits.

Co-founders Steve Kuftinec and Matt “Woody” Kidd opened Storyhouse Spirits in early February 2019, but the requirement to maintain a full time eatery caused them to close the craft distillery the following June. Many speculated the project was done for, but the closure was merely a means of sorting out the company's business model. The company planned to reopen in spring 2020, but when the COVID-19 pandemic took over the globe, ownership decided to delay their return until things stabalized.

"Our primary business plan has always been to be a California lifestyle brand with our roots firmly planted in San Diego," explained Storyhouse Spirits co-owner Woody Kidd. "As a business, when we experienced significant delays with construction and more importantly delays with our packaging for our bottled spirits, it became clear we needed to take a calculated step back and tackle these critically important things first. What was thought to be a delay of weeks had quickly turned into months. It simply didn’t make sense to remain open without having our own spirits to share with our friends. The initial plan was always to be open with our own Storyhouse Spirits being served in specialty cocktails across the bar and available by the bottle for retail purchase. This delay led to us retrenching until we could reopen with our own top quality spirits in place." 

Storyhouse Spirits plans to reopen by this May after receiving an investment from a local entrepreneur with interests in restaurants and beverages across the country. The space will have the addition of a sidewalk patio cafe along J Street, as well as an 1,870 square-foot mezzanine level area available for private functions. The food menu is still in the works but will center around items cooked inside the kitchen's copper-clad, wood-fired oven. There will also be a menu featuring Storyhouse distilled spirits in both classic and innovative format cocktails. Storyhouse also plans to add barrel tastings, mixology classes, and gin-blending experiences for patrons. Storyhouse's initial lineup of house-distilled spirits includes Seaside Vodka, California Dry Gin, Meyer Lemon & Cucumber Vodka, California Coastal Gin, Bourbon and American Single Malt Whiskey.

"We all have a story, and sometimes that story takes longer to unfold," continued Kidd. "For us, that meant taking a step back and making sure we were ready to share only the best spirits we have to offer. We simply weren't ready before, but coming this Spring we will be!"

Storyhouse Spirits is located at 1220 J Street in San Diego's East Village. For more information, visit