One of the most-anticipated projects in recent years officially opens Tuesday, September 27 when Mabel’s Gone Fishing makes its debut in North Park. Run by Chelsea Coleman and Rae Gurne who also own Bodega Rosette, the adjacent bottle shop on 30th Street, as well as popular South Park wine bar the Rose, the new restaurant and bar continues their advocacy of natural wine, small batch spirits, and local ingredients by drawing parallels between the climate and coastline of San Diego and the Iberian Peninsula, which spans both Spain and Portugal.
Named for Coleman’s dog, the restaurant reimagines the beloved fur friend as a fish-loving mermaid who sends home postcards recounting her adventures along the Mediterranean, and there are tributes to her throughout the space, from impressions of Mabel’s paw prints pressed into the concrete floor to custom artwork commissioned by Coleman’s friends.
Coleman, who serves as co-chef with Ross Garcia (Marlow & Sons, Diner) and Dan Luong, who has been in the Rose’s kitchen for two years, says that most of their ever-changing, seasonal dishes will be based around seafood, including bycatch or less popular but more sustainable local varieties. Divided into sections, the menu includes raw oysters and big eye tuna or bay scallop crudo, snacks like smoked mackerel toast, paella onigiri, and Pacific sea snails, and shareable plates of clam fritters, swordfish schnitzel, and Portuguese-style seabass for two.
Pastry pro Neale Holaday, who heads up the team’s South Park bakery Secret Sister, is supplying all the bread and desserts, including a fluffy Basque cheesecake served with cajeta and chocolate mousse with pine nuts and puffed farro.
Bartender Tony Roehr, who comes off a decade working with CH Projects, created a mostly gin-based cocktail list that includes a gimlet spiced with cardamom, a negroni variation with apricot eau de vie and coconut, a Spanish twist on a sherry cobbler, and goblets of exemplary gin and tonics; the house tonic’s botanicals include fig leaf and black sage, foraged from a nearby canyon.
With vermouth and sherry on draft, and a wine list sourced exclusively from Portugal, Spain, and California, the bar will offer a 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. oyster hour and host quarterly happy hours for Bodega Rosette’s gin club with free pinxtos and other snacks. Diners can also purchase bottles next door and open them at Mabel’s with a corkage fee.
Mabel’s Gone Fishing 3770 30th Street, North Park. Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.