Though Guadalupe Brewery opened in 2015, due to permitting, the mom-and-pop business in the back of a Carlsbad brewery supply store has never been able to serve beer at its tasting room — just growler fills to-go. After two years of long, hard work by Guadalupe owners Raul and Lisa Deju, they’re opening a satellite tasting room at 631 South Santa Fe Avenue in Vista, and that spot will soft open this Saturday, April 20.
The Dejus originally sought space for their satellite operation in Carlsbad, but the Vista residents ended up stumbling across their 1930s-era, 1,200-square-foot space. It was hard to miss, having suffered front-end fire damage and in need of some TLC. Where others might have seen construction hassle, they saw opportunity and liked the “bare box” nature of the space. They developed a vision and went to work realizing it, going as far as redoing the building’s foundation. The lengthiness of the project led some to believe there were permitting issues, but it was simply a complicated build-out getting the venue and the aesthetic the way they wanted it.
“Our theme is Mexican wine country, which is to say mixed materials with some rustic elements along with some modern accents as well as furniture custom-made in Rosarito,” says Lisa. “We have salvaged the majority of the old hardwood flooring and floor joints, and have used those to create architectural accents, using all the joints to frame our windows and doors. The former flooring has been used in all sorts of places such as counter facing and the front window. We even made or own office door.”
The Dejus also remodeled the front of the building, installing a 16-foot roll-up window with a deep window sill to facilitate people-watching. The City of Vista is currently beautifying Santa Fe from Main Street to Civic Center Drive, aiming to give it a “main street” character courtesy of wide sidewalks, green landscaping and a variety of parking options.
Inside, an L-shaped bar gives way to 16 taps serving the company’s beers, including mainstays El Vanillo vanilla-infused cream ale, Choco Stout and Russian House Belgian-style imperial stout.
“We’re just excited to be able to get our beer out to more people. Having such limited opportunities for people to try our beer meant that, after four years, there are still a lot of beer aficionados in San Diego who’ve never even heard of us,” says Lisa. “We hope to build on the great feedback we’ve gotten over these years to be more known and able to keep making a wide variety of really good beers.”
Guadalupe’s Vista tasting room will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. for its soft opening. From there on, the Dejus will determine their permanent days and hours of operation.