Get ready to include a new stop on your list of uptown drinking destinations. Perfectly timed for Eater’s Cocktail Week, San Diego's premier whiskey lounge Seven Grand has just launched a new dedicated high-end whiskey concept, Bar Three Piece.
Spearheaded by general manager Brett Winfield and bar manager Jay Stapleton, the project draws inspiration from Japan's famed whisky bars and will operate as an entirely separate experience from Seven Grand. A significant build-out has seen the 600-square foot stage bar transformed into a sophisticated 65-seat den dedicated to whiskey connoisseurs and curious first-timers alike. With an emphasis on education and accessibility, the new concept offers guests a chance to sip and savor in more genteel surrounds complete with tableside service from the team of expert bartenders including Chad Own, Josh Judd and Meghan Balser. Bar manager Stapleton explains:
"Three Piece centers around good old-fashioned hospitality and education for the community – no pretensions, no arrogance. Our aim is simply to encourage the sharing of information and passion for whiskey."
In lieu of a traditional menu, a tailored Whiskey List offers access to over 400 marks of rare, hard to find and discontinued whiskeys, ryes, and Scotches from Europe, Japan and the United States. With a focus on serving the spirit "at its best", pours will be available neat, on the rocks (ice cubes will be hand carved), or by way of an Old Fashioned. Other mixed drinks can also be made upon request.
Showcasing "special occasion" whiskeys, back bar standouts include every Pappy Van Winkle statement from 2012, Personal Parkers Heritage Collection, five statements of Heaven Hill Brands, and one of only 212 bottles in existence of Yamazaki 25 Year Old Single Malt. Employee favorite Fighting Cock (a star under-the-radar "table whiskey") deserves a mention in that this is the only establishment worldwide with re-sale rights. Accessible "every day" bar top whiskeys include Old Forester Single Barrel, Russell's Reserve, Elijah Craig and W.L Weller.
While taxidermy and the Highlands hunting-lodge feel remains, dark hardwood floors have replaced the signature tartan carpeting and button-tufted leather banquettes now offer more intimate seating. An upright piano serves as the focal point for live music, with three-piece jazz and blues bands playing Thursday through Saturday. Custom-built whiskey lockers are available for those wishing to invest in a personal bottle - prices range upwards of $240. Designated a 'sit down only space' tables, are available on a first come-first serve basis, with bottle holders getting the additional perk of reservations.
A hostess will arrange access to the bar on Friday and Saturday nights; during the week, a switch on the wall (in the adjoining corridor to Seven Grand) can be pressed to gain entry, triggering a red light behind the bar to alert staff.