Bitter Brothers Brewing Co., which operates a tucked-away tasting room inside a Morena Boulevard business park, launches a new permanent food component on Wednesday, September 15, in partnership with Royal Rooster chef and owner Cory Rapp that will hopefully help the five-year-old Bay Ho brewery bounce back from a hard stretch.
For any industry, San Diego’s ever-changing pandemic-related restrictions and curfews are tough to weather, but the local brewing community has been especially impacted — particularly breweries that did not serve food which were finally allowed to reopen for outdoor service in March 2021. To keep the lights on, many breweries without food service were forced to scramble to find restaurants or food trucks to collaborate with; for Bitter Brothers Brewing Co., its temporary solution was a hot dog cart.
Rapp, who previously cooked at San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Spruce and Ad Hoc in Napa, arrived in San Diego after a two-year hiatus from restaurants in which he worked on a local sport fishing boat. Through his fishing connections, the chef took over the bay view cafe at Quivira Basin’s Seaforth Marina in 2019, building Royal Rooster into a bustling spot where he makes sausages for breakfast sandwiches and hot sauce for his popular tacos.
Telling Eater that he loves opening restaurants in unlikely locations, Rapp will run his latest kitchen out of a trailer parked behind Bitter Brothers. Calling it a “farm-to-trailer” operation, he’s planning on sourcing all the produce on his menu from the nearby Fruit Stand, which opened on Morena over 20 years ago. He’ll do a classic burger on a brioche bun made with a house-ground brisket and chuck blend and a grilled fish sandwich with green goddess aioli using fresh, sustainable local catch as well as sandwich specials that could feature porchetta or pollo al mattone, chicken cooked under a brick. Sides will range from a market salad to onion rings, grilled zucchini, and fried pickles.
Royal Rooster will operate the same hours as the tasting room says Bitter Brothers co-founder Bill Warnke, who tells Eater that he hopes to bring back the brewery’s popular beer dinners with Rapp now on board.
- All Openings Coverage [ESD]