Monday, November 16, 2020

Start Of An Avalanche?

Last week saw the permanent closure of Royale! in Point Loma/Ocean Beach and Small Bar in University Heights, while craft brewery Rip Current Brewing put itself up for sale. I am getting the sense that a wave of closures is coming, and the list of local favorites is going to grow at an increased pace. 

The end of Royale! hurts. It was run by two brothers and it had a steady group of regulars. We would get Royale! take out at least once a week, and it stayed open late, which helped me numerous times. The comments on Royale's Instagram thread show people varied in their favorite dishes. I like Royale!'s grilled fish sandwich, its farmer's salad, and its Brussel Spouts when in season. Royale!'s space (long and narrow with a tiny front patio) and location (near a busy intersection with no convertible sidewalk space or street access) did not allow it to transition to outdoor dining. Looking back, these two factors signaled Royale!'s fate. 

I never made it to Small Bar, but like Royale!, it sounds like it had its loyal fans. Rip Current has a strong reputation, but I don't often see its beers on draft or its beers for sale in cans. Rip Current's website lists a number of beers in cans, so I will look harder for its beers. Its website is not up to date on where to find Rip Current beers on draft. It appears to be more of accounts that may sell its beers rather than places having Rip Current beer on draft now, and it still lists Sessions Public as a draft account, but it closed a few years ago, and was replaced by Royale! Pandemic or not, accurate details on distribution are crucial to compete in the COVID world.