Cohn Restaurant Group picks Carlsbad as site of new restaurant

The steady influx of new restaurants into Carlsbad continues with the announcement that San Diego’s acclaimed Cohn Restaurant Group will open a Draft Republic gastropub in the former home of the Claim Jumper at 5958 Avenida Encinas.

The first Draft Republic opened in La Jolla’s University Town Centre in 2014.

According to a press release, the Carlsbad Draft Republic will be “similar in nature to its La Jolla counterpart, but with a few unique twists for the coastal community.”

Construction on Draft Republic Carlsbad begins in February, with an anticipated opening by summer.

With resident designer Philippe Beltran (Coin Haus, BO-beau kitchen + bar, Draft Republic La Jolla, Indigo Grill) tapped for the restaurant’s overhaul, Draft Republic Carlsbad will occupy 11,300 square feet of space. Beltran, known for his industrial-style design, “will manifest modern Americana aesthetics complete with a patriotic color palette, retractable garage doors, custom vintage furniture and additional textural elements including rustic wood, handcrafted steel, and corrugated metal,” according to a press release.

Draft Republic Carlsbad will showcase an open warehouse environment with communal seating, as well as nostalgic table games such as ping-pong, foosball, billiards and retro arcade games. Exclusive to the new Carlsbad site, two massive video walls and over 40 televisions will cater to the sports TV crowd.

As the name suggests, the highlight of Draft Republic’s beverage program is an impressive lineup of more than 101 craft beers on tap. With a heavy emphasis on local San Diego breweries, the bar program will also feature a diverse wine list and a variety of craft cocktails including beer cocktails and sangria.

Draft Republic La Jolla’s executive chef, Mike Camplin, will simultaneously helm the kitchen in Carlsbad, “bringing his affinity for in-house sausage production and Draft’s innovative American cuisine to the North County neighborhood,” the release said. “Originally from New Zealand and part of the Cohn Restaurant Group since 2014, Camplin will implement a chef-driven menu with an in-house charcuterie program, as well as a rotating list of house-made sausages. Guests can also expect to see signature favorites from the original flagship location.”

“We’ve had interest in Carlsbad for quite some time now, and we’ve kept our eyes peeled for the ideal location for Draft’s expansion,” said David Cohn, owner of the Cohn Restaurant Group. “Carlsbad is an amazing community and has a thriving dining scene. We’re optimistic that the concept’s casual atmosphere combined with a few fun and interactive elements will complement the surrounding neighborhood. We want it to be a great local hangout to enjoy a cold brew with good food & friends.”


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