Last week, I went to the new Magnolia Tap & Kitchen (where the old Bareback Grill used to be). I found out that there used to be a Magnolia Saloon on the corner of 6th and E in the “saloon” days of San Diego, hence the present day name Magnolia Tap & Kitchen. The restaurant is a blast from the past with some modern touches. I enjoyed the magnolia flower decor hanging from the ceiling and engraved on their bathroom mirrors to compliment their namesake. I also enjoyed the old books greeting you as you enter the establishment with exposed brick walls in the dining area with a fireplace facade. The bartenders were continuously muddling and burning orange peels into their hand crafted cocktails while I was there. I could tell that they work on each drink. There has to be 4-6 ingredients per cocktail. The food is pretty basic right now, which is comprised of mostly of really good wings, sandwiches and salads. I did talk with the head chef Michael and they do plan to introduce some comfort food and more entrees in the future such as duck tacos and meatloaf.
They still call their restrooms W/C (water closets) and note the papers dating back from the late 1800s hanging on their walls leading up to the W/C and in the closets themselves. This is really a great laid back place to hang out.
Magnolia Tap and Kitchen
624 E Street
San Diego, CA 92101