Wormwood Opening Doors Soon in University Heights

San Diego’s First Absinthe Bar and Restaurant to Open in University Heights in November 2021
Official Photo: Arlene Ibarra

From Amar Harrag, who brought us Tahona Bar in Old Town, Wormwood is coming soon to the University Heights/Normal Heights border. Dubbed French Haute Cuisine, the restaurant is taking over the space previously housed by Jayne’s Gastropub. 

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Led by Chef Janina Garay, and along with Chef Daniel Romero, Wormwood promises a full gastronomic experience with progressive French dishes with a Baja twist. Set in a close-knit neighborhood on 30th just below Adams Avenue, the restaurant design is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland meets luxurious French bistro.

Matching their magical theme, a Absinthe-forward cocktail menu will highlight their creative menu. Wormwood is the ingredient which gives Absinthe its lovely green color but won’t give you hallucinations, as its reputation suggests. The new restaurant will pay homage to the history and mysticism surrounding the drink while educating guests and bringing the liquor into the present day. Guests can partake in absinthe served from slow-drip fountains with a sugar cube, plus classic absinthe cocktails like the Sazerac.

“Wormwood is truly a passion project. The history of absinthe is intertwined with the history of France and even Algeria, both my countries of origin,” says founder Amar Harrag via Press Release. “In developing our concept, we decided to honor the cultural aspect of the spirit and built a team of passionate individuals to create a restaurant experience that will continue to enhance San Diego’s culinary status. We have big shoes to fill as we all loved Jayne’s Gastropub, and we feel honored to become an active part of one of San Diego’s most vibrant neighborhoods.”

The restaurant is currently bringing on staff and is planning for a November 2021 Opening. The Wormwood team shared via Facebook they’ll be taking reservations for Holiday events. Take a visit to their whimsical world on Instagram to keep updated. 

Photo Credit: Arlene Ibarra

Jeannine Boisse

Jeannine Boisse (she/her) is a What Now Media Group staff reporter with a background in Radio & Television. Based in San Diego, you can usually find her exploring local breweries, trying new recipes, and listening to podcasts.
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