Spanning a cider house, tap room and restaurant, Bivouac Ciderworks is prepping for a August launch on 30th Street. Fueled by a successful Kickstarter campaign, it’s a debut project from first-time owners and best friends Lara Worm and Matthew Austin, whose 2500-square-foot eatery and bar in the heart of North Park will share space with a cider production facility.
Created in collaboration with Tecture, a local firm whose other works include refreshes of Firehouse Eatery & Pub in Pacific Beach and the Level2 bar at George’s at the Cove, the design is being rendered in sleek and rustic wood, steel and stone with an open air layout and lots of live plants. Inspired by modern adventuring, among its custom elements will be a decorative wall of intricately knotted climbing rope.
Signed to lead Bivouac’s culinary expedition is Danilo “DJ” Tangalin, a longtime San Diego-based chef whose experience ranges from cooking at Whisknladle and PrepKitchen Little Italy to helming the kitchens of JRDN, San Marcos’ Decoy Dockside Dining and most recently, Tidal at Paradise Point.
Tanaglin’s menu of California cuisine will feature local ingredients, classic cooking methods and traditional flavors combined with a twist; Tanaglin says his aim is to “blow your mind with simple, clean flavors, prepared in an unexpected way.” There will natural food pairings with cider, including cheese and charcuterie, plus appetizers like deep fried deviled eggs and green goddess hummus with koji fermented vegetables. Specialty tacos will include an oyster po'boy taco with pork belly and kimchi Brussels sprouts while burger options will range from the Pork, Pork, Pork burger with a sweet longanisa patty, pulled apple cider-braised pork and pork belly topped with gruyere and pickled and whole grain mustard aioli to the Bivouac burger with smoked beef, tomato jam and fried onion. Rotating specials will include a fisherman’s catch of the day.
Austin, who has over a decade of home fermentation experience, will be the master cider maker. His dry-style cider, dubbed San Diego Jam, is flavored with sage, chicory, rosemary, lavender, and local berries; other cider innovations, made with West Coast-sourced or foraged ingredients, will include speciality releases aged in bourbon, calvados and tequila barrels. It will be poured in flights and pints, retailed in bottles and cans, and available in kegs for distribution once the full operation is up and running. Beyond housemade cider, Bivouac’s beverage options will also include craft beer, wine and fruit brandies.