Bear Roots Brewing’s upcoming Escondido den

After years of construction and delays, Vista company nearing completion of its new tavern location

It was autumn of 2021 when Bear Roots Brewing took over the former strip-mall home of First Auto & Payday Loans with the intention of expanding into Escondido. Owner Ryan Kiryakous felt the 3,000-square-foot stand-alone site was perfect to house a bar and restaurant. It would be his business’ third location and the first outside its hometown of Vista. Despite more than two-and-a-half years of hassles and holdbacks, Kiryakous still firmly believes in the project site along with the age-old adage that good things come to those who wait. It’s a healthy attitude, especially since he says the majority of the project’s delays were a result of strict and constantly changing city ordinances, permitting and inspections.

“This project has been a long and grueling process. It’s required a lot of hard work, but now that the opening date is near, we are extremely excited,” says Kiryakous. “The amount of support and feedback we have received via phone, social-media messages and comments from eager customers has been refreshing and provided a great deal of motivation.”

With final fire and health inspections the only hurdles separating Kiryakous and his team from the finish line, they are eager to pull back the curtain on Bear Roots Tavern. Located on El Norte Parkway northeast of the Interstate 15 and State Route 78 merge, the venue is described as an upscale casual eatery. It can accommodate just under 100 patrons indoors and is outfitted with 15 taps that will dispense the company’s wide array of beers. Five roll-up doors give way to a pair of outdoor patios providing additional seating and a source of Vitamin D (read: sunshine).

On the culinary side, Bear Roots Tavern will specialize in from-scratch “modern American bar food” made using all-natural ingredients, including a variety of flatbreads. And while ales and lagers will match those available at Bear Roots’ Vista locations, there will be one beer brewed especially for the Escondido venue. The name and style of that specialty have yet to be announced – it’s a surprise.

When asked what inspired him to set up shop in Escondido’s northerly expanses, Kiryakous cites multiple reasons.

El Norte Parkway is right off I-15 and is a perfect location with a close proximity to the many thousands of people that drive on that freeway every day. Escondido is a large city with many new developments on the horizon and opportunities for a brewery like Bear Roots. There also aren’t many craft breweries or tavern-style restaurants there, so that is a big factor, as well.”

Nasman Kiryakous, Owner, Bear Roots Brewing

Kiryakous expects to soft-open Bear Roots Tavern in July or August. Shortly thereafter, he and his team will put on a grand-opening event with live music, activities and more. Following its full-scale launch, the venue will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. In the meantime, locals looking for a preview of what’s to come can visit the company’s tent at the Escondido Street Festival, taking place on Historic Grand Avenue this Sunday, May 19

Kiryakous is currently laser-focused on getting the Escondido location open, but upon doing so he intends to quickly shift his attention to another big project, expanding and remodeling the company’s flagship location. Opened east of downtown Vista in 2014 by original owners, Terry and Page Little (Kiryakous purchased the business five years ago), that combination brewery and homebrew-supply store will be upgraded to increase overall production capacity in order to keep all three of Bear Roots’ locations sufficiently stocked with beer. 

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