Pokéz Mexican Food Takes Over Kitchen At Downtown San Diego's Historic Tivoli Bar

September 6, 2023

The team behind East Village's Pokéz Mexican restaurant has taken over the kitchen at downtown San Diego's more than century-old Tivoli Bar. 

Upon graduating high school, local artist and musician Rafael Reyes and his father opened San Diego's first vegan/vegetarian Mexican restaurant, Pokéz, in San Diego's East Village in 1994. After running the restaurant for eighteen years, and following his father's death, he sold Pokéz to his younger brother. Pokéz has become a popular destination for its customizable taco shop menu where almost every item can be adjusted for vegetarian and vegan diners.

The team behind Pokéz has recently taken over the kitchen at downtown San Diego's historic Tivoli Bar, which is considered by most as the oldest bar in San Diego. The Pokéz menu at Tivoli includes a large list of smothered fries, tacos, burgers, burritos, salads, wings, desserts and more. The kitchen team is trying to figure out operations and the kitchen is currently only open during evening hours, but that could expand in the near future.

Between 1872 and 1885, the building that houses Tivoli Bar was a boarding house, a feed store, and a blacksmith shop, and the nine apartments above the bar were once used as a brothel. Tivoli opened as a saloon in 1885 and was once frequented by legendary gun slinger Wyatt Earp. The tavern still has its original wooden bar and back bar, as well as its original cash register on display.

Tivoli Bar & Grill is located at 505 Sixth Avenue in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter and Pokéz Mexican Restaurant is sited at 947 E Street in the East Village. For more information, visit tivolibarandgrill.business.site and pokezsd.com.