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117 West Spirits Joins CoLab Public House in Vista

The distillery will be taking over the former Laguna Beer Company location this June
Courtesy of 117° West Spirits

117° West Spirits’ is expanding, approximately 22 degrees north-northeast of its Vista tasting room, taking over the former Laguna Beer Company spot inside CoLab Public House with an estimated opening date of June 10. 

Nick Apostolopoulos, owner of 619 Spirits in North Park and half-owner of 117° West, explains that this location will be more of an introduction to their brand than their final destination. Because of the restrictions placed on distilleries without their kitchens—despite Baby’s Badass Burgers operating out of the shared space—117 can only serve customers 1.5 ounces of alcohol daily. But Apostolopoulos says despite the limit, he hopes people who wouldn’t have otherwise found out about them will be interested enough to visit their original tasting room at 2332 La Mirada Drive, Suite 800.

Interior of Vista's CoLab Public House food and drink venue in San Diego where 117° West Spirits will be opening a new location
Courtesy of CoLab Public House

Apostolopoulos says because their tasting room is a little more off the beaten path than the bustling CoLab space, people who show up tend to be whiskey fans already. “[At CoLab], we’re hoping that people will come in because it’s a pretty busy space, get beer and wine and then go ‘oh yeah, look, here’s whiskey!’ Then maybe try some and buy a bottle,” he says.

They also hope to build a membership program for their whiskey, bourbon, gin, and rum. Their CoLab sublease is for around a year; at this point, he says 117 will decide if their efforts have paid off.

Rye cocktail from San Diego distillery 117° West Spirits opening a new location in Vista
Courtesy of 117° West Spirits

“Assuming it goes well, we’ll sign a lease with CoLab directly,” he explains, adding that an expansion was inevitable at some point. “We’re actually kind of running out of barrel space at the old space anyway.”

This second location might not be the last for 117, promises Apostolopoulos, who says a full-service location for distilling, serving, and food would be ideal—especially in North County. “I would love to find a place,” he says. “It’s just not the easiest thing in the world to do… [but] it’s on our radar for sure.”

Sunset luaus food events return to San Diego's Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa located in Mission Beach
Courtesy of Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

NA Cocktails at Pride By The Bay On June 1

Pride Month starts this Saturday, and the first (of many) party is the 17th annual Pride by the Beach North County in Oceanside. This year, aspiring non-alcoholic bar and LGBTQ+ women-owned business Good News will be the very first alcohol-free bar at the event. Find their mocktails and merchandise near the main stage between noon and 6 p.m.

Sunset Luaus On The Bay Kick Off June 14

More beach fun is coming, this time at The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa in Mission Bay every Tuesday and Friday between June 14 and August 30. The summer series includes performances by local luau dance group Pride of Polynesia (including fire dancers), Mai Tais, kid activities, and an all-y0u-can-eat buffet featuring dishes like Kalua roast pig, grilled pineapple salad, and more. Tickets are available here, with special rates for hotel guests.

Food dishes and drinks from San Diego Mexican restaurant Don Vargas Birrieria y Mariscos
Courtesy of Don Vargas Birrieria y Mariscos

Beth’s Bites

Mister A’s, San Diego’s favorite formal dining experience in the clouds, is throwing a Father’s Day Lobster Cookout on June 15 and 16 to benefit The Monarch School. Executive chef Stephane Voitzwinkler will be stationed on the patio, grilling lobster, crab legs, Manila clams, and more. You can check out the whole menu here, and reservations are available here.

If feasting on flesh isn’t your thing, try Meatless Mondays at Blind Lady Ale House instead. I’m a hopeless carnivore, but even I’m interested in trying this Crispy Garbanzo Pizza special.

The best food in the world might very well be birria, and the best birria can often be found south of the 54 freeway. Now, I can get birria at Don Vargas Birrieria y Mariscos and three other food trucks in one spot in Chula Vista. Birria makes this year’s beach body.

Have breaking news, exciting scoops, or great stories about new San Diego restaurants or the city’s food scene? Send your pitches to [email protected].

By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

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