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The Brew Project Taps New Beer-Centric Bar & Restaurant in Hillcrest

It's also a bottle shop.

The Brew Project has arrived in Hillcrest, where new owners Beau Schmitt and Mike Sill have been working to transform the former R Gang Eatery space into a craft beer destination. Among the changes is an expanded bar, which holds 24 taps of San Diego-brewed beer, plus red, white and sparkling wine, kombucha and cold brew coffee on draft. There's also a full bar, with a list of craft cocktails spiked with local spirits and boozy adult lemonades. The Brew Project's happy hour, available week days from 4 to 7 p.m., features $4 wells, $5 beer and $6 wine.

Along with putting in fresh flooring and an upgraded kitchen, Schmitt and Sill have sprinkled a few TVs throughout the space and opened up the restaurant to the spacious front patio, which has a new drink rail that faces 5th Avenue. And a previously inactive upstairs space has been turned into a comfortable lounge, which will be available for additional seating and private events.

Part of the former dining room has been filled with coolers for a mini Bottle Shop, selling beer and wine to-go. The Brew Project hopes to do bustling takeout food service, offering 10% off bottle sales with a food purchase, though it's still yet to be determined if the retail section will keep the same hours as the restaurant, which are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Friday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Executive chef Tom Miller, who last cooked in Ballast Point Little Italy's kitchen, created brunch offerings that range from chicken and Belgian waffles and breakfast burritos to doughnut holes with Mexican chocolate ganache, available Friday, Saturday and Sunday. His daily lunch and dinner menu starts with shareable snacks and salads and extends to tortas and sandwiches stuffed with everything from carnitas to carne asada and grilled chicken, served with housemade sauces that include avocado-cilantro and a peach mole barbecue.