Spinning Spirits? Wolfie's Carousel Bar – Yes, a Bar That Looks Like a Carousel – Debuts in Little Italy

Wolfie's Carousel Bar is on Kettner Boulvard in San Diego's food-centric Little Italy neighborhood

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A Parisian-inspired bar and restaurant that revolves around a carousel – as in, an actual carousel serves as the centerpiece of the space – debuted this week in Little Italy. And you’ve got to see it to believe it.

Wolfie’s Carousel debuts Tuesday on Kettner Boulevard described as a “long-anticipated homage to Parisian joie de vivre.”

James Tran
The centerpiece of Wolfie's Carousel Bar - a 24-seat, rotating, carousel-turned-bar-top.
James Tran
Another seating area at Wolfie's Carousel Bar.

The restaurant and bar – designed by Gillian and Mauricio Couturier (Bang Bang; Airport Lounge; El Camino) and co-owners Abe and Ricky Aguilar – is inspired by the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans and features a carousel as its bar top.

Instead of fake animals slowly spinning in a circle though, the carousel at the center of Wolfie’s is surrounded by 24 plush bar seats. The circular cocktail bar slowly revolves, making a full rotation every 14 minutes, Eater San Diego reports.

James Tran
The exterior of Wolfie's Carousel Bar on Kettner Boulevard in San Diego's Little Italy community.

Aside from the 24 seats at the bar top straight out of a storybook, the 2,500-square-foot bar and restaurant features seating for 256, plus 400 carousel bulbs lighting up the space.

The bar was named after the Couturiers’ son, Wolfgang. The idea started as a sketch on a napkin during a trip the couple took to New Orleans. The work of Charles I.D. Looff, a German craftsman known for building hand-carved carousels, inspired the idea, too.

Patience and engineering wonders – and plenty of “trial and error” – led to the idea coming to life.

James Tran
The dishes at Wolfie's.

Local design team Davis Ink built the structure and added texture to give the carousel an aged feel. The bar also features 18th century paintings, giving the space a time warp vibe.

As for the menu, patrons will find bistro bites like steak frites and French Onion soup to luxuries like wagyu tartare.

Behind the carousel bar, there are lots of craft cocktails happening, including “The Last Mezcal” (botanical mezcal, maraschino, chartreuse) and “Wolfie’s Vieux Carré” (Whistle Pig, Remy Martin V.S.O.P. cognac, Carpano).

Wolfie’s Carousel Bar debuted on Aug. 17. It'll now be open Tuesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

James Tran
Craft cocktails at Wolfie's.
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