Shelter Island x San Diego, CA
When you think of Shelter Island you think boating, kayaking, canoeing. Perhaps you recall stays at posh bayside hotels with beautiful views of San Diego Bay, North Island, and Downtown. When I think of Shelter Island I think of fishing in the bay on a 1/2 day charter, or off the pier. Actually, pretty soon I’ll be looking for some squid charters, and after that fish for some rock fish, like Sculpin. The fish, not the beer. I’ll likely be returning to Shelter Island for these activities, not out of habit, but rather, for the love of Craft Beer!
Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle, located at 1776 Shelter Island Dr. is right on the pier just past Humphrey’a By the Bay. By on the pier I mean ON THE PIER. Like they took over a small bait and tackle added 12+ taps of Craft Beer goodness.
Brain-child of Dennis Borlek (pictured above) Fathom Bistro will appeal to fishermen, kayakers, small engine boaters, sailors, and anyone near Shelter Island that may want good beer and good eats. I can also almost guarantee that this will be a new destination for the Craft Beer geek, fan, and industry insider as Dennis has served everyone, in the San Diego area, a beer or two at one time or another. I mean look at it:
Wait… Here is a better picture:
Look at that list! Not impressed. Okay. How ’bout this. This is the opening day list. As in the first day; without a proven clientele, customer base, or fan base, Dennis (based on his reputation) was able to secure such an amazing tap list. Well, when you manage one of San Diego’s premiere Craft Beer bars (Hamilton’s Tavern) and help shape what they are, have become, and will be, well, you meet a few folks, moreover you work with a few who get to know just who you are. So yes. Fathom does have Silva Stout, Pliny The Elder, New Albion Pale Ale, Alpine’s Token (first time anywhere on nitro) and Kong Barleywine on draft… Because Dennis knows what to do with them.
As you walk down the pier look for a small building. No. Picture a smaller one. A shack if you will. Yup. That’s it. That’s Fathom. As you walk past the ample outdoor seating and standing room outside you will enter a very small dining room adorned with many aquatic themed knick-knacks, posters, and the like. My favorite deep-sea adventurer Steve Zissou looked down on me as I sat with well known Craft Beer Taster, Chris…
He and I were, in fact, Fathom’s first customers. Technically Chris was the first to order a beer, I was first to order food. Arlette walked me through the beer list and food menu. I was determined to have my Ratatouille moment (Disney/Pixar) during my first visit to Fathom, so I wanted to do it right.
That beautiful picture above is of Fathom’s World Famous ($5) Fathom EXPLODO Dog a Vienna Beef Hot Dog, wrapped in bacon (order extra bacon), with Pepper Jack cheese, House Made (Read Dennis) Kimchi and mustard!! The Kimchi reminded me of growing up in Korea. No, I didn’t grow up in Korea, it just tasted that authentic.
I paired it (upon Arlette’s suggestion) with New Albion’s Pale Ale. If you are unfamiliar with New Albion I’ll share with you what Dennis told me. Sonoma based New Albion was the Original Original o.g. as in the first craft beer brewery founded in 1976 by Jack McAuliffe. Word on the street is Jim (Not Greg’s Dad) Koch from
Sam Adams The Boston Beer Company threw a bag of cash at approached Jack to join BBC and bring New Albion’s Pale Ale back to life. The result? A clear and bright straw colored pale ale with a viscous mouth feel and spicy flavor throughout. This paired perfectly with the Explodo.
This week is the soft opening of FATHOM BISTRO open daily 3-8pm, but Saturday (Groundhog Day) is the Grand Opening! Noon to Midnight this Saturday 2/2/13 you should be at 1776 Shelter Island Dr. heavily tipping Dennis and his Fathom Shipmates while eating house made sausages, Borlek Kimchi, and a Stupid Good selection of beer.
It’d be unfathomable of you not to attend.
P.S. Thank you to Fathom’s Beer (mer)Maiden Arlette Sherrill for providing several of the pictures above.
Cheers my dears!
Craft Beer Tasters