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INCOMING: Manzanita Tasting Room, More Swell Cafes

Santee brewer opening tasting room in P.B.; The Patio acquires Swell, plans expansion

By Troy Johnson

Slowly but surely, quality food and drink is infiltrating Mission and Pacific Beaches. When I lived in the area 10 years ago, the food quality seemed to assume every taste bud within two square miles had been rendered comatized by Jaegermeister.

Over in Mission Beach, The Patio Restaurant Group (PRG) has struck again. This time they’ve acquired one of San Diego’s best, sustainable coffee outposts, Swell Café. In September they to launch in-house roasting of different blends with partners James Coffee Company. Some of those custom roasts, of course, will go to the Patio’s existing and planned locations—which now includes Pacific Beach, Mission Hills and Liberty Station. With PRG’s help, Swell plans to open more outlets and launch a large-scale roasting facility for a wholesale operation. “[I plan to] travel directly to coffee origins,” says Swell founder John Vallas, “bringing dollars directly to farmers and villages in parts of the world that don’t know what it’s like to spend $4 on a coffee, or even have shoes or running water for that matter.  We are in the midst of creating our opportunity to change the world through coffee, and I like that idea.”

In Pacific Beach, Twisted Manzanita Ale Company (formerly Manzanita Brewing) will open a tasting room between Duck Dive and Dirty Birds (4652 Mission Blvd., the former Surf Indian shop). Aiming for a Labor Day opening, head of marketing Nina Izadi says the spot will showcase “our more experimental beers and casks—getting back to the real definition of a tasting room. Not just our core six beers, which you can get anywhere.” They’ll do pints, flights, kegs, bottles and growlers to go.

INCOMING: Manzanita Tasting Room, More Swell Cafes

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