Last August we broke the news that Knotty Barrel was coming to Rancho Penasquitos. Now that they’ve finally opened to the public, I went back to check out the new space, grab a beer, and interview James Thorp, who is the General Manager of the new restaurant and a local PQ resident himself.
Ok I’ll be honest – this wasn’t my first visit since Knotty Barrel Rancho Penasquitos opened. But I’ve been enjoying the new spot so I knew I wanted to do another feature with these guys to share with you all the cool things they’re working on. If you missed our first interview with the owner of Knotty Barrel, Ken Lovi, you can check it out here.
What really impressed me about the new restaurant is their commitment to making Knotty Barrel a place by and for the community. Yes they serve great food and great beer, but they also have a vision in mind of Knotty Barrel as a gathering spot for the people of PQ.
First, there’s the great indoor/outdoor space they’ve created. They have tables and a bar inside, but outside they’ve got great conversational spaces around fire pits, AstroTurf for the kids to play on, and even a dog hooks so you can bring fido along without worrying about spilling your beer. Knotty Barrel is really a place for the whole family to comfortably enjoy and that’s reflected in the thoughtful way the restaurant space has been designed.
Next, they’ve designed their menu to serve the quality food and drink people were looking for without breaking the bank. They’ve got a great Monday special right now – $13 for a burger and pint of beer. On Wednesdays, they do half off pint nights after 8pm. On Thursdays they host a trivia night. And they’ve got Happy Hour from 3-6pm Monday through Friday. James also told me they’re working on creating a more sharable menu for large groups like the Little League and soccer crowd. And if that wasn’t enough, they’re also planning to launch a weekend brunch menu this summer.
If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out their menu yet, click here. I’ve tried a bunch of things off the new menu, but I really like the Knotty Burger and the steak sandwich. The salads are also quite good. And of course, you have to try a pint of their own Knotty Brewing beers. The beer is made downtown next to the other Knotty Barrel location. They also have additional craft beers on tap and a robust drink menu if you’re more of a cocktail drinker.
I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the new restaurant continues to develop in response to what the community is looking for. It’s obvious James and Ken are very open to feedback from their customers and that’s a really exciting thing to have for the people of PQ and the rest of the Off the 56 communities.
Have you checked out the new Knotty Barrel Rancho Penasquitos? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think!