2123 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
© 2017 Cueva Bar. All rights reserved.
© 2017 Cueva Bar. All rights reserved.
One day in a cold winter in the city of Harrisonburg, Virginia, I was sitting in the bar in the basement of Clementine Cafe in Harrisonburg along with my brother Corey Butts back in in 2008 when both of us had just started getting into craft beer. At that time we didn't know about the craft beer movement in San Diego, but thanks to one 22oz dark bottle with a devil looking drawing in it the veil that had been covering our eyes was removed. As I was scanning for a beer I hadn't taste yet, and I asked the bartender for something new and exciting he pointed to the San Diego based hop juice. When I held that bottle in my hand and started reading about it, I quickly grabbed Corey and asked him to read it too. We were planning a visit to San Diego the following summer in June 2009 and reading about this beer got us all excited and looking forward to our summer trip. The Arrogant Bastard was the first San Diego based craft beer I ever tasted, and it was the first beer I would ask for every time I visited Clementine Cafe from that day on. I was excited to take my friends to this place and show them this amazing tasting, bold beer.
Fast forward a few months later and Corey and I were siting at Blind Lady Ale house on a quiet night. Little did I know the guy pouring beers for us at the bar was Lee Chase, Stone Brewing's former head brewer! As tourists we were, we inquired for beer and asked Lee (still not knowing who he was) for good tasting beer, and so he did. I honestly don't remember which was my first craft beer in San Diego because I was personally just taking the scene in, as well as trying to read all about the other beers they had on tap at that time, the summer of 2009.
By the time it was my turn to open my own eating/drinking establishment, I have had enough inspiration from Clementine Cafe and the Blue Nile in Harrisonburg to feel confident about opening a spot on Adams Avenue, not too far from BLAH, where I had my first San Diego craft beer drinking experience.
When we opened Cueva Bar, we didn't have a clue about designing an eating/drinking establishment and how that would maximize the space, and the flow in order to have a sound business. Some of the principles we followed were to create a welcoming, clean, space that offered quality food, with quality service, and quality-good tasting beer and wine. Of course we wanted to have 20 taps flowing with local and regional craft beer but those dreams were quickly shattered by our arquitect due to the lack of space.
When we finally got our beer and wine selling license business picked up a little more, but we still faced the challenge to get the word out so our University Heights neighbors knew they could come and enjoy craft beer, along with the food we offered. This has been as much of a challenge as constantly putting successful events together, specially when the biggest local publication related to craft beer calls you a place where you take your significant other for a romantic night. Such label doesn't come as a surprise when your business partner is your wife, and that business partner is the one responsible for the decor and color theme inside Cueva Bar. In conclusion, I understand many people see our story as a romantic endeavor and I am happy to share it through Cueva Bar. At the same time, I personally invite you to come in and enjoy our carefully selected line up of some of San Diego's best craft beer regardless if you're trying to impress someone, or have a romantic time. It is the beautiful diversity of supporters and fans that makes Cueva Bar. When you come in, it is like you're walking into a friend's house, and that friend happens to be married with an amazing woman who puts her touch inside your quarters to make it comfy, warm and welcoming. After all, our romantic attraction and bonding is what brought us to San Diego and gave us the collective will and trust to follow our heart and offer it to you all through our food, the drinks and atmosphere you will find next time you visit us.
About the publisher/editor/author.
Chef Oz was born and raised in Mexico. After moving with his wife and son to San Diego in 2009 he pursued his dream of owning a business. Together with his wife, they share their abilities, and vision with the world through Cueva Bar, Oz's and Jo's first restaurant.