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Fathom Bistro: Craft Beer and Bait & Tackle

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1776 Shelter Island Drive
1776 Shelter Island Drive

[All photos by Candice Woo]

Welcome to the where you're going to want to be doing all your future drinking. There are waterfront bars, and then there are bars that are completely surrounded by water, like the new Fathom Bistro.

Scheduled to open on Groundhog Day (February 2), Fathom Bistro is a new craft beer bar and eatery located in the San Diego bay — housed in the Shelter Island Fishing Pier's bait and tackle shop.

The man behind your new favorite place is Dennis Borlek, who many local beer folks remember fondly from his time managing Hamilton's Tavern — he was also Scot Blair's partner in Monkey Paw Pub and Brewery. Borlek was born in the neighborhood, learned to fish on the bay and worked as a deckhand on local boats, so it seems fitting that he's taking over the shop, which will continue to sell bait, tackle and refreshments to fishermen and families who frequent the pier.

The shop is small —there will be seating for 20 inside and another five tables on the patio. Borlek was one of the original cooks at the Liar's Club (RIP), and he'll serve a menu of homemade sausages, Hawaiian breakfasts (think loco moco) and occasional seafood specials.

There will be 15 beers on tap, 10 of them designated for local San Diego craft brews and one handle dedicated to Russian River Brewing Company, a perk of being Vinnie Cilurzo's former roommate. An additional to-go license means that Fathom will also be able to operate as a bottle shop.

With little room for cold storage, Borlek told Eater that he plans to avail himself of nature's chilling system by rigging up a derrick that'll submerge kegs in the San Diego bay for a cooling dunk.

Operating hours will start from 3 to 10 p.m. on weeknights, midnight on weekends, but in the summer they'll open for lunch too. The shop also comes with its own dock, so kayakers and other boat people will soon be able to paddle or motor up for a cold one.
· Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle [Facebook]
· All Beer Coverage on Eater San Diego [~ESD~]