SD's hospitality industry's finest dish on all of the year's biggest upsets, very few of which are actually upsetting.
David Cohen, Owner, Uptown Tavern
"That North Park made #13 on Forbes hippest hipster neighborhood list. We were in great company with areas like Silverlake and Brooklyn but I think many people misconstrue the word hipster...Yes we ride bikes to work, yes some of us have mustaches, yes we drink craft beer & eat great food and yes, we listen to music you have never heard of... but that just makes us fun... it doesn't make us hipsters."
Erick Castro, Beverage Director/Proprietor, Polite Provisions
"America's obsession with gin. I was blown away with how much gin was starting to permeate into the younger culture like it never has before. Craft cocktails becoming more approachable on all levels --- they made their way out of a sub-culture and into the media.
Adam Stemmler, Blind Tiger Cocktail Co
"The formation of the Elbow Benders Association was a huge surprise for me, because the cocktail scene in San Diego was kind of catty and had a me-vs-you mentality. The city has such a young, small cocktail culture that there's no reason for anyone to be fighting with one another. Once there's a cocktail bar on every corner we can start fighting over the same 6in of ground, but for the time being it's important for everyone to come together as a community and it seems like the EBA will be successful where others that preceded it weren't. I was also surprised to see Seven Grand open a spot in SD, and acknowledge that this is a legit place for cocktails. I went in with mixed feelings, given it's a venue that exists in another city, but I was really, really impressed.
Anthony Schmidt, Head Bartender, Noble Experiment
"I LOVE Rosé. That was a surprise. And the proliferation of chicken skins.
Kevin Templeton, Executive Chef, Barleymash
"I would say the biggest surprise of 2012 was the boom of some great new restaurants and bars popping up all over San Diego. Downtown has come a long way in the past few years and is now offering something for everyone. North Park is still growing at a huge pace with even more great places to eat and drink. I love it.
Roddy Gibbs, Owner, RodzillaReviews.com
"That Jason McCleod was announced as exec chef to oversee restaurants from Consortium Holdings. Coming fresh off being awarded Ria, I'm hoping the Consortium boys have something planned to showcase more of his haute-cuisine as well."