Modbom Cocktails & Papalo Kitchen To Replace Amplified Ale Works In San Diego's East Village

February 21, 2023

Replacing the 5 year-old Amplified Ale Works location in San Diego's East Village is Modbom Cocktails x Papalo Kitchen, a psychedelic-inspired bar with an onsite Sonoran barbecue restaurant and pizza concept from Executive Chef Drew Bent.

Aubree Miller has long been the art director for San Diego's Amplified Ale Works craft brewery, which opened its East Village location in summer 2018. She was the mind behind the Acid Vault basement speakeasy at Amplified's East Village branch and was recently given the opportunity from Amplified's owner Alex Pierson to take over the nearly 5,000 square-foot indoor-outdoor building adjacent to Fault Line Park at the corner of 14th and Island. With the help of investor Brian Rubinstein, Miller has partnered with longtime area chef Andrew "Drew" Bent to bring a new joint venture bar and restaurant to San Diego's East Village. 

"I have purchased and taken over the Amplified East Village space," explained Aubree Miller. "Drew Bent will be the chef in the kitchen. It is here he will be fully realizing his Papalo concept. Alex Pierson will be staying on as a minority percentage share holder. I wouldn't want to do anything without him, honestly he's been my biggest supporter throughout my career. Alex will be focusing more on the original Amplified PB location, his family and Morley Field [, which his family founded and continues to operate]. I am lucky to have his support in this endeavor. Given the success of Acid Vault, the speakeasy in the basement of the east village location that I hand painted and created, Alex wanted to give me an opportunity to grow the concept more."

Named after the word for a visual palindrome, Modbom Cocktails will expand on the trippy, gonzo design of Aubree Miller's Acid Vault music speakeasy. Essentially three concepts operating under one roof, the entrance will house a cafe component serving coffee drinks and morning-focused meals, then the main area will have a full food menu and cocktail bar, and the Acid Vault music-fueled speakeasy and live music space will remain as is. Amplified East Village will have its last day of business on Tuesday, February 28. 

From the kitchen, former Lola 55 founding chef Drew Bent will be serving new and evolving dishes from his Sonoran Mexican barbecue restaurant concept Papalo, which has a location in the works for South Park and a sister concept Papalito operating inside Little Thief wine bar in North Park. In addition to offering his Sonoran barbecue flavors in a sandwich, platter and bistro form, expect a unique array of hand-tossed pizzas that will be cooked in the building's onsite pizza oven. The bar will shake and stir craft cocktails from bar manager Faisal Asseri, as well as offer craft beers and other hard beverages like seltzers, kombucha and cider on tap. 

"For the bar and the kitchen we are working on a zero waste program - this initiative includes pizza pop ups on Mondays and Tuesdays where we will be creating pizzas," continued Ms. Miller. "Pizzas will likely be different each week since they will be based on that week’s menu. With this location there has always been on a site coffee component. We will be open at 6:30am with coffee and we will have a signature rose latte. Since we will be making all our syrups for the bar we will also be making all the syrups for our coffee program. Drew will be making to go breakfast burritos for the mornings and we will have a weekend brunch menu."

Modbom Cocktails x Papalo Kitchen will soft open at 1492 Island Avenue in San Diego's East Village on March 1 with an official grand opening on March 25.