“The focus has always been on beer and on the slow-food movement,” said Sabrina LoPiccolo, Stone Brewing Co.’s public relations specialist, who defined slow food as “products that are local and organic, farm-to-table.”
LoPiccolo said much of Stone’s food comes from its own farm located near its original brewery-restaurant in Escondido, which opened in 2007.
“It’s good, wholesome food,” said Scott Ambrose, general manager of the cuisine of the sprawling brewery-restaurant which opened May 15 at 2816 Historic Decatur Road, Building I, Suite 116 in Point Loma.
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens-Liberty Station encompasses more than 23,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor dining and bars, as well as a bocce ball court, outdoor cinema space and a lush outdoor garden.
The restaurant offers an eclectic menu of world-inspired cuisine featuring local, organic fare. Stone is not a place to go to if you want burgers and fries — they’re not on the menu. What is on the menu is more exotic fare like grilled wild-boar ribs, tilapia, house made hummus, local mussels, Korean Kimchi and shepherd’s pie.
The brewery has 40 taps and more than 100 bottles of exceptional craft beers, including Stone year-round and special releases, as well as craft and specialty beers from other breweries around the world.
But Stone Brewing World Bistro @ Gardens-Liberty Station is not a sports bar. There are no TVs. They’re not needed. The destination is the attraction, according to Stone Brewery officials.
Stone is also not a place to go for the commonplace. It’s a place to go if you want something bold and different, to try something new, like a new beer, a new food dish, a new atmosphere, a new style.
Noted for taking its brand and customizing it for a given location, Stone’s done exactly that at Liberty Station, building around the “bones” of the old site and incorporating natural elements.
“This was the mess hall, now it’s the banquet hall,” said Ambrose of the converted, wide-open, state-of-the-art restaurant building space.
“We picked up the caricature of the other one (original restaurant) and we integrated it with the architecture and the history here,” said David Robinson, the architect for both Stone facilities whose office is in Bird Rock.
Of the architecture, which has an almost Asian, minimalist feel, Robinson said, “There’s certainly an influence of natural — organic.”
Ambrose said the floors and the ceiling of the former military facility have largely been left intact.
“In other restaurants, we’d spend a lot of money covering up these floors,” said Robinson. “Here, you don’t even notice it.”
A tour of the facility reveals just how diverse — and uncommon — it is.
There are separate smaller banquet rooms with cozy fireplaces mixed with big outdoor patio spaces with huge sun umbrellas.
There is a bocce ball court and faux grass play areas for kids. Water fountains and fire pits transform a central courtyard area into an outdoor garden. Another side area offers weekly summer movies with beverages and food.
At the Stone company store, guests can select from an array of gargoyle-themed gear, everything from caps, coats and shirts to hot sauce, hops and golf towels. Guests can even purchase refillable “growlers,” containers of various sizes that can be returned to be refilled and taken home again.
Stone Brewing Co. owns the distinction of being the only company to have been named to the San Diego Business Journal’s “100 fastest-growing private companies list” 10 years in a row.
Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch, and president and co-founder Steve Wagner, now preside over a craft-brewing company whose products are distributed throughout San Diego County and to about 40 states nationwide.
For more information, visit http://www.stonelibertystation.com.