Puesto Cerveceria, the newest restaurant plus bonus brewery from the crowd-pleasing Mexican concept, debuts today in Mission Valley where it replaces Gordon Biersch brewpub. Delayed out of the gate due to a COVID-19 case, the opening follows a professional cleaning of the 10,000-square-foot space and comprehensive testing of all employees. In an Instagram post, the eatery shared that it spent $20,000 to get the site cleared and ready to welcome guests.
Though it holds 450 seats, current indoor dining restrictions limit the Mexican eatery to service on its two existing patios and an additional pop-up outdoor space in its parking lot. Once patrons are allowed inside, they’ll see the results of an $8 million dollar buildout by BASILE Studio, inspired by modern Mexico City style and Puesto’s signature bright colors that includes the designer’s signature custom elements, including a multi-tier hydraulic bar that allows bartenders to access its different levels at the push of a button.
Running the on-premise brewery is veteran brewer Doug Hasker, who previously led the beer program for Gordon Biersch and is producing a series of Mexican lagers for the cerveceria, ranging from golden to amber and dark, that will eventually also be available at Puesto’s six locations throughout California. The beers were initially brewed for the originally-scheduled launch of the project in April; due to the pandemic, the beers will now be released in August.
Available now is an all-new cocktail program by Beau du Bois, who joined Puesto earlier this year as creative director of bar and spirits. Du Bois, named Eater LA’s Bartender of the Year in 2014, moved to San Diego from a plum post at Napa Valley’s three Michelin-starred The Restaurant at Meadowood. At Puesto Cervecia, he’ll roll out an extensive spirits collection that includes 70 varieties of tequila and 50 mezcals as well as margaritas on draft and a speciality cocktail list that includes the Cannonball (El Silencio mezcal, apricot liqueur, pineapple, fresh lime, and Angostura bitters).
Founding chef Luisteen Gonzalez’s Mexico City-style tacos are the foundation of any Puesto menu, but the Mission Valley restaurant also features new dishes from the company’s culinary director Erik Aronow and executive creative chef Marco Arreguin. Aronow worked at Jordan Kahn’s daytime LA spot Destroyer while Arreguin joined Puesto from Orange County’s acclaimed Taco Maria.