SAN DIEGO — You can sip a cocktail and take in one of the best views at the San Diego County Fair by finding the not-so-secret speakeasy within the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
What started as a tiny hideaway at the 2017 fair has grown into a full-blown attraction, with a rooftop patio overlooking all the excitement and an indoor lounge with large windows. For the 21-and-over crowd, it could be just what the doctor ordered after all the fair’s commotion becomes a bit much.
This year, the bar is branded Destination Unknown, and you won’t have to try too hard to find it. Step up to any bar around the fairgrounds and ask a bartender about the speakeasy, or keep an eye out for a flashily dressed “promoter” who might hand you a flyer for the hottest spot in town.
When you spot a “flock of flamingos” you won’t be far, organizers say, and soon you’ll be whisked up six floors in an elevator and arrive at the bar.
There, you’ll find a breezy South Beach vibe. You can take in the views and sip on craft cocktails, including old favorites from previous years and a couple of innovative new choices, including a “pink flamingo” topped with cotton candy and a key lime pie-inspired cocktail with whipped cream.
The fairgrounds speakeasy has grown in scope over the years, allowing more room for guests in 2018 and 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the fun. The team behind the project is thrilled to be back, so they’re not taking too many pains to keep guests from finding the bar.
Next year, however, they’ll unveil an extra-secret spot somewhere in the fairgrounds, while also bringing back a bar in this year’s location with a different theme. Double the speakeasies, double the fun.
As for this year, a mysterious bar insider told FOX 5 that they hope the rooftop spot will offer a peaceful little refuge after a day of walking the grounds.
“Destination Unknown,” they almost whispered. “Find us and get lost.”
Need a little more help planning your day at the fair? Check out our full guide here.