SAN DIEGO, CA – Name three things that combine better than nice coastal weather, bbq and beer…go ahead, I’ll wait.
For those who couldn’t wait, however, downtown San Diego was the place to be on this past beautiful Saturday afternoon, as The Quartyard hosted their first annual “Backyard BBQ Party”. The event brought together some of the best local food spots in San Diego County, along with the venue’s signature full service beer garden, dog park, games, and all the bomb 1990s-early 2000’s old school jams.
From the minute you pull in, you see Seaside Coffee, their signature craft coffee shop, serving some of the best coffee in the East Village. Once you actually walked into the event, though, all you saw was a festive environment, with families and friends alike stuffing their faces with kettle corn, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and of course many variations of barbecue food from brisket, to tri-tip, to “clucky fries”.
Larry, a security guard from the Quartyard, said that this is one of the first events the sustainable park has hosted since re-opening in April. After closing their original location closer to Petco Park last summer, it took nearly a year to find the right spot and get approval from the City Council.
“What makes the park unique is that it’s open to the public seven days a week, and at the old venue we used to host live music until 11 p.m.,” the guard said. “And here, we can only host live events until 9 because we’re closer to housing, but we find ways to make it work. It’s a place for all of downtown to unite and just hang out. You can come here, grab a beer, watch Padres games, and play games with your children.”
The “Backyard BBQ Party” had card games, Connect Four, cornhole, old-fashioned dominoes, and all the fixings you’d be used to at your own kickbacks with your friends and loved ones. The beer garden had 16 different beers on tap, as well as some of the best top shelf liquor that you would expect your uncles to be sipping on, telling stories of a much simpler time.
While I sipped on a canned Pabst Blue Ribbon, my wife enjoyed a delicious Raspberry Saison cider while we played Connect Four with the young ones. Sounds of Afroman, Digital Underground and NWA filled the speakers while the sizzling of fryers, the cutting of meat and sights of other families playing cards and Jenga filled the small park on the corner of 15th and Market Street. One of the vendors, Scratch BBQ, was among the hottest vendors at the event.
Antonio, owner of Scratch, said that he has only been doing the business full-time for a year and a half, but this business has been around for nine. Assisting him with the smoking of meats and cleaning was his son, Antonio Jr., who he plans to pass the business down to when he retires. This wasn’t the first event that he has done with Quartyard.
“The last event was a little bit bigger, but it was also at the old location,” Antonio said. “It’s been pretty busy here though, and I like it because it’s a little more of a personal feel. I’ve been making pretty good business.”
Thankfully the clouds that had been plaguing San Diego over the last week drifted away, clearing the way for a nice, breezy afternoon. And nothing goes together on a beautiful afternoon than family and friends, good music and some bomb BBQ and brew.