Venue Reporter

Soda & Swine + Polite Provisions
Cortnie Fausner
REPORT
No. 1382
VENUE:
Soda & Swine + Polite Provisions
LOCATION:
San Diego
TYPE
STYLE
SETTINGS
Private Dining / Restaurant
Retro Nostalgia
City
REPORTER: Cortnie Fausner

The Report

This venue is VRV (Venue Report Verified), we have personally visited this venue.

I scream, you scream,we all scream for ice cream!  We all know that happiness IS a bowl of ice cream, and when you combine that with an adult beverage it equals pure bliss. These two new restaurants and venue spaces will transport you (Marty McFly Back-To-the-Future-Style) to the old school days of ice cream parlors and soda pop shoppes. While Polite Provisions  and Soda & Swine are two separate spaces, they are also dual-concept venues located in on the bustling street corner of one of San Diego's most eclectic, burgeoning neighborhoods, Normal Heights.

Polite Provisions’ boasts an antique pharmaceutical accouterment. It's 2,200-square-foot space houses one of the most ornate bar setups in existence – a massive, 46-custom tap system expansive beverage program. Helmed by internationally celebrated bartender, Erick Castro, the menu focuses on spirited cocktails prepared with housemade bitters, soda pop, tinctures and syrups, as a nod to those ingredients' medicinal uses. Additional standouts include a selection of dessert cocktails, nonalcoholic housemade sodas, craft punch bowls, as well as beer cocktails developed in partnership with local brewers.

Soda & Swine, an adjacent sister restaurant concept, features a straightforward menu by Chef, Jason McLeod, who brings Michelin star experience to San Diego.  In keeping in line with the simplicity of Main Street America, McLeod’s menu consists of two classic staples: meatballs and apple pie. The meat, ground in an old-fashioned butcher shop setting, is available in basic or “smashed” meatball form. The pies are be lovingly prepared from scratch and complemented with housemade soft serve ice cream. All food ordered from the neighborhood eatery can be brought to the adjacent Polite Provisions to enjoy!

CELEBRATION CAPACITY: Soda & Swine - 50; Polite Provisions - 198
ACCOMMODATIONS: None Onsite
HIGH SEASON:
FOOD SERVICE: Onsite
BAR SERVICE: Onsite
VIEWS: Street & Restaruant
ESTABLISHED IN: 2013
VENUE SPACES: 2
DECOR: Retro Nostalgia

THE SCOOP

Soda & Swine is a casual open-air eatery and as mentioned resides alongside its sister concept Polite Provisions. So you have options, options, options. If you just want to dine with your buds, rent out Soda & Swine. If you want a larger cocktail party then Polite Provisions is the one for you, and you can have Soda & Swine cater the food. If you REALLY want a rager for guests to write home about, we recommend renting both venues.

THE DETAILS: Smaller intimate dinner parties, rehearsal dinners and birthday parties are recommended at Soda & Swine. There are two large and long communal tables in the middle of the space that cannot be moved, but why the heck would you want to?! They are fabulous and striking, and at the very center is a beautiful roaring fireplace. We can envision these tables laden with candles for a wow factor. Polite Provisions can handle a larger party of 198, but 130 comfortably. It’s a cocktail bar so anything you’d want to use a cocktail bar for would be ideal- welcome reception, corporate party, holiday party, anniversary party, etc..

Nostalgia is the name of the game at these venues. Along with their from-scratch menu rooted in the nostalgia of two culinary mainstays: meatballs and apple pie, serve your guests an assortment of treats crafted by Soda & Swine’s new bill.

For the Gentleman: We particularly think the thick and foamy beer floats, served with housemade, slow churned chocolate and angostura ice cream, made with pure vanilla beans, baking spices and Angostura bitters, sound divine.

For the Ladies: Two words. Champagne slushies. Soda & Swine, is bringing back the nostalgia of the good ole’ big gulp, upgraded with fresh juices, housemade syrups and of course champagne. Current options include flavors like Peach & Pomegranate. With a variety of flavors rotating seasonally, Castro utilizes champagne, fresh citrus, housemade flavored gomme syrups, various bitters and fortified wines. Slushies are priced at $6, this is definite cause to chant sip, sip, hooray!

For your Booze-Free Buddies:  If you’re opting for a booze-free version or celebrating with the kiddos, Soda & Swine delivers plenty of nostalgic variations with an ice-cold Virgil's old-fashioned root beer, also on draft – or you can pop into the adjoining cocktail bar, Polite Provisions, to order an old fashioned housemade Egg Cream or Balboa Park Fizz (both non-alcoholic).

Perfect for:

  • birthday party
  • corporate event
  • dinner party
  • holiday party
  • social event

BONUS

HEAR YE, HEAR YE - IN THE PRESS: These two beauties sent from retro heaven opened doors in February 2013 to an incredible amount of pre-launch buzz, including Imbibe magazine’s “The Imbibe 75” of 2013, Eater National's “40 Most Anticipated Openings of 2013”, and Details magazine's “Where to Drink in 2013”.

Must Tries (yes, the soft serve is back people!!):

*Stone Brewing Co.'s Farking Wheaton stout with Angostura ice cream
*AleSmith's Nut Brown Ale with chocolate
* Post Brewing Company’s Board Meeting Brown Ale with chocolate & Angostura swirl
* Anthem’s Cherry Cider (non-local brew) with Angostura ice cream

STYLE FOR YOUR SETTING

1. Use vintage apothecary bottles as vases  2. Create custom party labels for the soda bottles on the bar 3. Set out old wooden soda crates to hold straws, cocktail napkins, and favors for your guests

INSIDE SCOOP

Employing some of the best barkeeps in town, Polite’s ladies and gents behind the bar can pretty much make you any custom cocktail based on liquor and flavor preference. They are extremely knowledgeable on all types of spirits due the unique pedigree of the man in charge, Erick Castro (partner & GM). TIP: Get creative and come up with your own concoction.. It just might make the specials board!  

HIGHLIGHT REEL

  • You will have a true walk down memory lane
  • The nostalgic decor doesn't require much additional decorating
  • The antique pharmaceutical accouterment at Polite Provisions is a jaw dropper
  • Large vintage punch bowls serve alchohol
  • Champagne slushies!
  • Meatballs and apple pie done oh so right
  • Ice cream floats & ice cream floats WITH alcohol!

AROUND TOWN

Tiger! Tiger! Tavern:

For those boozehounds who want to make the night a LONG night, they can carry the party on at Tiger! Tiger! Tavern. They have new brews in stock all the time. Ask for their latest and greatest.

Continue the Pub Crawl..:

At Blind Lady Ale House. North Park has become known as one of the nation’s beer capitals with renowned beer bars and breweries aplenty.

Shop at Hunt & Gather:

Carry on the vintage theme of your soiree by purchasing your party duds at Hunt and Gather. Clothes that are "re-worked, re-cycled, and re-loved" (photo: Chris Woo)

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