Students and faculty at UCSD now have their own piece of the San Diego restaurant scene — the third location of Soda & Swine — courtesy of CH Projects co-founder and UCSD alum Arsalun Tafazoli. The eatery and bar opens on campus today at the old student center; the much-anticipated project replaces longtime fixture Porter’s Pub and slots in next to the Stage Room, which hosts concerts and special events.
This is the first Soda & Swine to serve breakfast, which will be offered from 8 a.m. to noon and includes a meatball-based breakfast sandwich and breakfast tacos as well as the Japanese-inspired egg salad and omelet sandos from CH’s wildly popular breakfast spot Morning Glory. The eatery will also feature a coffee and doughnut cart on the front patio.
Its all-day counter-service menu kicks in at 11 a.m., and combines its original lineup of meatball sliders, from chipotle barbecue-sauced chorizo balls and Vietnamese-style smoked pork balls to vegetarian and vegan versions, with Italian-American dishes like chicken parmesan and rigatoni with pink sauce that were introduced with the recent revamp of its Adams Avenue location.
Soda & Swine is one of the few venues on campus to serve alcohol, and offers 24 beer taps, wine, and two slushies made with trendy White Claw Hard Seltzer. A 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. “social hour” will feature $4 food and drink specials.
Intended to offer an escape from campus life, the 14,000-square-foot restaurant was designed in partnership with Paul Basile and BASILE Studio; the UCSD project marks the hospitality group’s last with the local firm. Inside, there’s a 25-foot curved copper-faced craft cocktail bar as well as cantilevered lighting , a Baltic birch seating system, and pink tile accents. Working with the existing rustic wood siding exterior, Basile incorporated in effects using a Japanese technique for burning wood called “shou sugi ban”, and outside, a 30-foot communal whitewash cedar fire table has a quilted steel fireplace as its centerpiece. Basile shared, “This project is an evolution of the original location in North Park with a little flavor of Liberty Station. The outdoor fireplace is a great example; we were originally inspired by a massive outdoor alcohol kiln that could be found in the midst of a forest. While we built them for the first two locations, we didn’t have the space to go completely to scale. With an abundance of patio space here at UCSD, we were able to build this circular fireplace to nearly 14 feet high. It fits perfectly under the surrounding eucalyptus trees, which are iconic to the campus.”