Modern Times to host community meeting Nov. 14


Personnel from a contested, proposed tasting room in Downtown Encinitas are set to meet with residents for an informational meeting Nov. 14.

Modern Times announced in early October that it is looking to open a 3,007-square-foot tasting room and restaurant at 470 South Coast Highway 101. Prior to that, the popular San Diego brewery submitted plans for a tasting room alone. The original proposal, reviewed July 20 by the Planning Commission, received 3 to 2 approval from the commission and disapproval from some citizens.

Residents at the meeting argued the establishment shouldn’t be allowed due to limited parking and an oversaturation of alcohol-serving establishments downtown. In September, a group called the Encinitas Citizens Committee submitted an appeal for a re-hearing with the city council, which was tentatively set for Oct. 11 before Modern Times pulled its original plans.

Jacob McKean, CEO and founder of the award-winning Modern Times, confirmed in an email Nov. 3 that the brewery will be holding a community meeting at city hall, 505 S. Vulcan Ave., Nov. 14 from 6 to 7 p.m.

“Our goal for the meeting is to present our new plan for the location,” he said. “The folks who came out to the hearings to express their concern clearly said they are not opposed to new restaurants that close at 10 p.m., so we have changed our plan in response to their feedback. We have shown repeatedly that we are eager to find a way forward that works for everyone.”

McKean said the restaurant would serve plant-based cuisine daily and brunch would also be served on the weekends. Currently, none of Modern Times’ other locations are restaurants.

The business, which has two other locations in San Diego, as well as upcoming tasting rooms in Anaheim, Los Angeles and Portland, won “Best Brewery in San Diego” in 2016 by the readers of West Coaster and also received local design awards for its existing tasting room establishments, McKean noted.

“We are a proven operator with a strong history of providing safe retail environments with a focus on an educational atmosphere for craft beer and coffee enthusiasts alike,” he said, adding that employees would earn at least $15 an hour, have access to competitive benefits and have a share in Modern Times’ stocks.

In a notice sent to the Encinitas Citizens Committee, McKean said the restaurant will serve beer and wine, but no hard alcohol will be sold at the Encinitas location.

“We are proactive about preventing issues that might arise from over-serving customers through mandatory staff training, both internally and through ABC certification, and have a zero-tolerance policy for serving intoxicated or underage customers,” McKean said in the notice. “We are extremely diligent about all aspects of service, and strive — at all times — to create a mature, responsible environment for appreciating world-class beer.”

Restaurant hours would be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and last call would be at 9:30 p.m. The location will have no televisions, live entertainment or live music, McKean said.