Soft opening tonight at 832 Garnet Avenue is Backyard Kitchen & Tap, which slots into Moondoggie's former Garnet Avenue spot; owner Eric Leitstein, whose OMG Hospitality Group also runs Pacific Beach AleHouse and the Union Kitchen & Taps in Encinitas and the Gaslamp, has renovated the two-room space with garage doors, reclaimed wood and walls lined with whiskey bottles.
Leitstein founded the legendary Canes Bar & Grill in Mission Beach, and sees Backyard as reflection of the neighborhood's evolution, an alternative to the uber-casual beach bars that offers craft beer, cocktails (including house-infused vodkas and boozy lemonades) and "coastal cuisine" from executive chef James Nunn (Union Kitchen & Tap), who will be doing seafood boils every Tuesday and weekly Sunday pig roasts.
There's also a large outdoor patio, a rarity on Garnet, that will host live entertainment, from DJs to acoustic music, seven nights a week. It also houses a bar, fire pits and three cabanas stocked with big screen TVs. The eatery will start with dinner service, then expand to lunch and brunch; they plan to offer brunch daily starting this summer.
Backyard has also been staffed with some employees from PB AleHouse, which was significantly damaged in a recent fire; Leitstein says that he will take the opportunity to redo and refresh the space, which should reopen in a few months.