There are a few San Diego tiki bars that are not speakeasies and now there is another place where tiki bar drinks are available on a when-you-show-up basis. It’s Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters in La Jolla Shores, for it now has a tiki drink master behind the bar. As the name inplies it is not true tiki bar but it does have some of those Polynesian pleasures.
Andrew Phillips is the Bar Manager and he was the lead bartender for five years at Cellar 335, the No. 1 tiki bar in the NYC area according to Yelp. He also created the cocktail program at Ace Hotel Brooklyn for its opening in the spring of 2021 and spent a year as the lead bartender there. Earlier in his career, Phillips served as a bartender at MICHELIN-recognized Pastis by Keith McNally in New York City for two and a half years.
So he knows his way around cocktials and tiki drinks are his speciality.
“Going from crafting cocktails in a concrete jungle to crafting cocktails in a palm tree jungle is a dream come true,” Phillips said. “The La Jolla community has been so welcoming to me and my family thus far, and I vow the same for everyone who walks through Sandpiper’s doors. We are a couple hundred yards from the beach, but I want guests to feel as if their toes are in the sand with a tropical drink in their hand.”
Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters is owned and operated by the team at the well-known George’s at the Cove in La Jolla Village. So this is not a dive-ish tiki drink experience.
“Andrew brings to the Shores an overflowing glass of craft cocktail experience that will elevate our overall food-and-beverage experience,” said General Manager Evan Vallee, who holds a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 4 Diploma. “La Jolla is a tropical paradise, to say the least, so we feel Andrew and the new program will be a perfect fit.”
A good time to go to Sandpiper for the tiki drinks is during Happy Hour, which is Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 4-5:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. -5:30 p.m. Specality cocktails, well drinks, draft beer, and wines by the glass are all $4 off during Happy Hour.
Address & Map: 2259 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA
Website: Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters
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