SAN DIEGO — After serving up drinks for 25 years, it’s officially the end of an era for the long-time Pacific Beach staple, Bub’s at the Beach.
A new business is set to replace the beloved sports dive bar, which permanently closed in mid-April. Soon, the beachside spot will become a more elevated joint called Bar Ella.
Tavern at the Beach’s General Manager Krista Barrella is the soon-to-be owner of Bar Ella, named as a play on her last name.
Backed by The Verant Group, whose footprint is well-known in Pacific Beach with bars like Sandbar and Mavericks, she’s looking to transform Bub’s to fit a new vision for the neighborhood spot — something a little more up-scale and vibrant.
Remodeling and rebranding is already underway: “It’s a super open floor plan right now,” she said, “trying to create a separation between what will be the dining area versus the bar area.”
The renovated space will also come with a fresh cocktail menu that brings a modern twist to classic drinks, on top of delectable food offerings.
“We want to make sure that we have great cocktails, vibrant cocktails, creative cocktails,” Barrella said, “and we want the food to match that.”
Barrella spent decades in the restaurant industry, working her way up from a hostess when she was a teenager to a future restaurant owner in San Diego’s beachside nightlife hub.
“It’s going to be really exciting to join that small group of female (bar) owners,” she said.
Barrella, who spent many a night at Bub’s, says that the former bar’s owner, Todd Brown, is supportive and thrilled to pass the torch to a new, up-and-coming business owner.
“For me, (Bub’s) was the spot when I was in my early twenties,” she reminisced. “My girlfriends and I would come here every ‘Wing Wednesday.'”
“It’s really exciting for (Brown) and really exciting for me,” Barrella said of the opportunity to make the spot her own.
She plans on keeping the former bar’s quintessential brick façade, as she makes the space her own — filling the gap in the Pacific Beach restaurant scene that Bub’s closing left.
“I think that we can provide a service that hits both dining (and) social hour,” said Barrella. “I want to combine the two really well.”
While no exact opening date has been set, Bar Ella is anticipated to open sometime in early fall.