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Eppig Taking Over Former Stone Tap Room Space by Petco

Plus more coffee in Mission Valley, a new Common Theory coming to Chula Vista, and a permanent spot for Nico’s Fish Market in Pacific Beach
Eppig Brewing
Courtesy of Eppig Brewing

When Eppig Brewing came to San Diego, they made history—for a while, at least. In 2016, owners Stephanie Eppig and Todd Warshaw revived the Brooklyn-based brand, quickly making a name for themselves in San Diego beer by churning out historical styles and high-quality lagers and IPAs, landing them on our 15 of the Best Breweries in 2023 list.

Last year, they began to fall on hard times, first with Stephanie’s departure to work in the marketing department of QDOBA HQ, then Todd faced health issues that forced him to take a break from the brewery. Brewer Nathan Stephens (formerly of Ballast Point) also departed in 2023, leaving Eppig’s leadership and very future in question.

A Newport Beach-based consulting group West Coast Ventures & Resources—which includes Mason Ale Works among its hospitality outlets—stepped in and quickly closed Eppig’s short-lived La Jolla location, keeping their Point Loma Waterfront Biergarten open and the brand alive, if not on life support.

But don’t sound the death knell for Eppig quite yet. According to a pending Type-23 ABC license for small beer manufacturing, Eppig Brewing will open a new tasting room in the former Stone Brewing Tap Room location at 795 J Street next to Petco Park.

West Coast Ventures & Resources worked with Mason Ale Works before taking Eppig on board, helping them to expand their distribution footprint and brand awareness. They hope to do the same for Eppig, opening a space for the two brands in a highly trafficked location that has plenty of beer history of its own. (Stone Brewing Tap Room occupied the space from 2014 to 2020.)

This development proves that ain’t over ‘til it’s over, and I, for one, am glad to see the history books haven’t closed on Eppig Brewing quite yet. 

Eppig Brewing, West Coast Ventures & Resources, and Mason Ale Works have been contacted for comment and have confirmed the license application, pending more details. We will update this developing story as they share more information.

Common Theory, Otay Ranch
Courtesy of Common Theory

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

Common Theory Coming to Otay Ranch This Month

Cristian Liang and Joon Lee opened Common Theory on Convoy Street 10 years ago, serving signature dishes like duck fat fries alongside one of the best beer tap lists in town. Now, the pair is returning to their South Bay roots to open Common Theory Otay Ranch at 1980 Optima Street by the end of February. 

“We’re actually both from Chula Vista—we went to high school here, and both of our parents are still living here. So we kind of wanted to go back to our home ground and cater to people here,” explains Lee. Plus, he adds, “it has a significant meaning, because this year is our 10th year anniversary for Common Theory [Convoy] in June. We are opening our second location on the 10th anniversary of the first one.”

If all goes well with final details and construction, Lee says Common Theory Otay Ranch will open on February 27 every day starting at 11 am to midnight, although hours may change depending on clientele. Other changes include some original menu items specific to the location, incorporating Mexican and Filipino flavors, as well as some updated design details and no hidden speakeasy. But Lee says one thing is certain—there will still be plenty of rotating beer on draft.

Ox Coffee Now Open in Mission Valley

There’s no shortage of great coffee shops in San Diego, but we can always use one more (IMHO). The latest java hut, Ox Coffee Roasters, just opened in Mission Valley at 8590 Rio San Diego Dr. Suite 101, next to Mission Valley Breakfast Company. Ox is part of Rise and Shine Hospitality Group, which also includes Breakfast Republic, and hopes to continue building a neighborhood feel in an area known more for retail than residents. 

“With Ox Coffee, we aim to create not just a place to enjoy great coffee, but a community hub where people can connect, learn, and savor the simple pleasures of life,” says Johan Engman, founder of Rise and Shine Hospitality Group, to San Diego Magazine. “We are thrilled to bring Ox Coffee to Mission Valley and beyond.”

Ox promises to focus on coffee education as well as service, offering classes, tastings, and other training opportunities for aspiring coffee nerds. Ox is now open daily from 7 am to 3 pm. 

Beth’s Bites

Bali Hai is kicking off its Platinum Jubilee starting March 1, celebrating 70 years of slinging Mai Tais in San Diego. I’ll cheers to that!

I’m a super-far-advance planner, so I’ve already marked my calendar for this year’s Nat Diego festivities on June 28-29. It’s the weekend after the Lao Food Festival in Mira Mesa on June 22-23, so it sounds like June is shaping up to be a delicious month. 

Oh, hello! Nico’s Fish Market is setting up shop at 745 Emerald Street in Pacific Beach this summer. We love to see a pop-up become a brick-and-mortar (especially when there’s shrimp involved).

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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