Thirsty Carmel Valley residents now have a nice-looking watering hole to call their own, with the recent launch of WESTROOT tavern in the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch, a new complex that houses an outpost of the Baked Bear and the forthcoming Mediterranean-inspired Crudo.
WESTROOT is Verant Group's first foray into North County; the local hospitality group, which specializes in 'tavern-like' neighborhood concepts, also operates barleymash in the Gaslamp, Hillcrest's Uptown Tavern and Sandbar in Pacific Beach.
Open daily at 11 a.m., the two-level restaurant seats 300, includes two large patios and fire features and is primed to be gathering spot for the community, with 30 HDTVs, weekly live music on Wednesdays and a DJ on weekend evenings. It certainly has the most beverage options for miles, with two full service bars stocked with 30 beer handles each and a varied cocktail and spirits menu.
Executive chef Joseph Rodriguez, the former sous chef at barleymash, is rolling out the SoCal-influenced lunch and dinner menu in stages (there's also a robust weekday happy hour and a soon-to-debut Sunday brunch).