A popular San Diego eatery currently undergoing a large-scale renovation has added one more feature to its master plan: a new tiki bar hidden within the restaurant.
Locally-based hospitality company, CH Projects, has been renovating Craft & Commerce, the popular Little Italy spot at 675 W. Beech St., for the past few months. On Tuesday, it was announced that when Craft & Commerce reopens in spring 2016, it will also house a “hidden tiki bar” dubbed False Idol – a project spearheaded by prolific tiki bar owner and enthusiast, Martin Cate.
False Idol will be tucked away within the restaurant, offering tiki-inspired rum cocktails and Polynesian flare. Cate currently owns a San Francisco-based bar called Smuggler’s Cove, which boasts the largest rum selection in the United States, so he’s considered an expert in the tiki bar business.
"San Diego has long been one of my favorite cities, and I'm excited to help bring a fully-realized tiki project to this thriving community,” Martin Cate said in a press release Tuesday. “With the operational expertise and fantastic creativity of the CH group, along with the legendary art of tiki pioneer Bosko, we can't wait to welcome everyone to an unforgettable experience."
For now, details on the new tropical oasis within Craft & Commerce are under wraps, but CH Projects has said the interior of the tiki bar will be elaborate. The company has enlisted the help of respected tiki artist Bosko Hrnjak and designer Paul Basile to help craft the perfect space.
The addition of False Idol will make the renovated Craft & Commerce eatery a duel-concept venue. The buildout will also bring a new menu, created by newly-appointed Executive Chef JoJo Ruiz.
Both False Idol and Craft & Commerce are expected to open alongside one another in the spring.
Craft & Commerce – a 2,500-square-foot restaurant – first opened in Little Italy in 2010 and quickly became a favorite among foodies. The renovation project will bring an overhaul to the interior design of the eatery, plus a new kitchen and an expansion of an outdoor patio, among the new bells and whistles.
To date, CH Projects has created 11 dining concepts in San Diego’s food and drink scene, including Polite Provisions, Soda $ Swine and UnderBelly, to name a few.