The owners of Kearny Mesa-based Kilowatt Brewing figured their next satellite tasting room would land in the South Bay. Steve Kozyk and Rachel Fischer spent months checking out spots in Chula Vista, but finding the right deal proved challenging. That led them to expand their search the opposite direction, to the county’s northwesternmost municipality. They instantly fell in love with the rapidly-growing community.
“It’s really close-knit; everybody knows everybody. That fits our vibe,” says Kozyk, who says that communal spirit has been the key to the success of Kilowatt’s existing tasting room in Ocean Beach. “We feel Oceanside is the closest we can get to that winning formula in OB. Besides, people always get mixed up, thinking we’re in Oceanside instead of Ocean Beach, so now no matter where they go, they’ll be right.”
Kilowatt’s new spot will go in at 406 Mission Avenue and initially be outfitted with 24 taps. The space used to house a Subway sandwich shop, which means they are inheriting a kitchen, as well. An on-site food option wasn’t on Kozyk’s and Fischer’s list of desired amenities, but they are happy to be able to offer eventual patrons a short-list of sandwiches, wraps, salads and a decadent beer-braised bacon-studded macaroni and cheese. Their pseudo-restaurant status will also allow them to offer guest beers should they opt to go in that direction.
The couple is also enthused about the long-term nature of their lease, which will provide them the opportunity to remain in their new digs for as long as 18 years if they wish. But those are decisions for the future. For now, they are working on renovating the 2,500-square-foot space to meet their needs. They want to create an open feel bolstered by floor-to-ceiling, roll-up garage doors and enhanced by Kilowatt’s trademarks—colorful art, giant murals, king-sized bar games and elaborate lighting installations. For the latter, Kozyk (a lighting professional by trade), says he has some “crazy, next-level stuff” planned.
Kilowatt’s Oceanside tasting room is on pace to open sometime this summer. Meanwhile, two 15-barrel fermenters and a pair of seven-barrel tanks are on order for its Kearny Mesa production facility. Additionally, West Coaster readers recently voted Kilowatt San Diego’s most improved brewing company in our 18 for ’18 readers poll.