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First Look: Gravity Heights’ Newest Location Opens

The dynamic brewpub’s second location brings high-end craft beer and bites to Mission Valley
Gravity Heights, Mission Valley

As a society, we’ve finally moved on from normalizing industrial garages cosplaying as legitimate taprooms. No more sinking into secondhand furniture or leaning on stacks of rickety pallets in dusty corners. Now if we’re going out for a pint, we expect some vibes to go along with it (and if there’s food, that’s even better).

Whisknladle Hospitality knew this when the group designed and opened Gravity Heights’ 12,000-square-foot brewpub in Sorrento Valley five years ago. Investing in the beer from day one, Whisknladle managing partner Arturo Kassel partnered with brewmaster Skip Virgilio of AleSmith fame to develop a world-class beer program.

Kassel also built an elevated food program with culinary director and business partner Ryan Johnson, crafting a menu that far outshines the bowls of dry pretzels and microwaved hot dogs ubiquitous with the bars of yesteryears. Gravity Heights has pops of color and natural light. It has sleek wood and iron patio furniture. There are ferns in macrame hangers and quippy sayings spelled in neon lights. It has kale on the menu, for Pete’s sake. It’s nice

That investment is paying dividends. On Wednesday, April 17, Gravity Heights will open its second location at in Mission Valley. Kassel says the expansion has always been the goal, despite the three years it took to find the right next space. Opening three, four, or five locations may one day be in the cards. “No question, we have long-term aspirations of filling that void of the small, independent, Southern California brewpub,” he adds.

Gravity Heights Mission Valley sprawls over 9,000 square feet with seating for 260 guests. Half of the space is the outside patio—an intentional choice. “That’s where the magic happens,” Kassel says. Unlike in Sorrento Valley, there’s no brewhouse at the new location. However, Whisknladle worked with architecture firm PGAL for the seventh time to create a space from the ground up and hone in on every detail. “Wherever you are, the energy will be great. It’s just really well-laid-out,” he promises.

The menu is largely the same at both locations, but executive chef Jordan Beall (Whiskladle, PrepKitchen) heads up the kitchen in Mission Valley. Kassel says they plan to tweak the offerings over time as they get a feel for what the neighborhood wants. One big difference, he notes, is the move from a wood-fired pizza oven in Sorrento Valley to a gas-powered one in Mission Valley.

“That’s kind of forced us to change the style of pizza, so we’re doing more of a New Haven–style, and we’re really happy with the results,” he explains. Expect the same craft beers, too, especially the Hazy IPA June Gloom, which Kassel says is a best-seller. “At this point, Gravity Heights is synonymous with June Gloom,” he laughs. “It’s definitely a standout.” 

He hopes the new location provides an oasis in a sea of primarily corporate chain restaurants. “We’re just happy to add to the conversation regarding independent restaurant hospitality groups in the area,” he says. Reservations are not required, but they are now available for both locations. 

Gravity Heights Mission Valley opens Wednesday, April 17, at 525 Camino de la Reina, Suite 101.

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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