In late 2020, the Rose celebrated its tenth anniversary in South Park, an impressive milestone for any restaurant or bar — let alone one reached during an overwhelmingly terrible year for the hospitality industry. Near the start of the pandemic, after temporarily closing the wine bar, co-founder Chelsea Coleman documented her fears for the Rose’s future in an essay for Eater, writing about the particularly vulnerable state of small, independently-run businesses like hers.
Through the stops and starts, the Rose hung on, and just finally resumed indoor operations on May 1; Coleman says she delayed reopening indoors until all her employees had reached their two-week post-vaccination threshold.
Over the last year, the wine bar and bottle shop expanded to lunch service, which has proved to be a hit, especially with the majority of the neighborhood still working from home. The addition of a nearly 30-seat streetside patio — one that Coleman hopes they’ll be allowed to keep — also provided a welcome boost.
And, after winning a coveted liquor license, the Rose returned with an amaro and vermouth-focused cocktail list and brand new dishes that lean in on Coleman’s time spent working and living in Argentina; the empanadas, a longtime menu favorite, are joined by grilled skirt steak with crispy chimichurri potatoes, a chicken Milanese sandwich — a popular South American version of the Italian classic — and kumquat dulce de leche ice cream.
Coleman has long championed natural wine: She’s one of the founders of Nat Diego, the natural wine festival and really good time that will be returning to San Diego next summer — and curates a monthly wine club through the bottle shop. For May, she’s doing the same for Eater Wine Club, our monthly subscription service that delivers restaurant-quality wine picked by experts around the country.
Her collection, which comes with access to a virtual wine party on Tuesday, May 25, is a mix of bottles that all feature different expressions of the same grape: grenache. There’s even one made right here in San Diego by acclaimed local winery Los Pilares. Coleman helped to pick the Ramona-grown grapes for the 2020 vintage, which is available exclusively to wine club members.
As San Diego emerges from the pandemic, Coleman and business partner Rae Gurn are giving the city a lot to look forward to. They’ll soon open Bodega Rosette in North Park, a gin and natural wine store that’ll accompany Mabel’s Gone Fishing, their much-anticipated pintxos joint, and will be launching a new bakery and cafe in the space next door to the Rose. Scope out the Rose’s menu below and consider learning a little more about Coleman at this month’s event.