Everyone has their favorite late night spot, right? Well, for Ian and I, our late night spot used to be South Park Abbey (about 1.5 miles from our house in the heart of South Park). South Park Abbey was a little dive bar with plenty of beer options and delicious bar food. We used to go there on lazy nights (or boozy nights) for their special wings and fried cheese curds. The wings were in a trash sauce- basically a mix of all the good stuff on one wing. We think they were smoked then fried. They were the best wings ever. You might be thinking to yourself… Am I confused? The title of this blog is Fernside, right? Did Arielle pull a HBO Game of Thrones Episode 69 moment? Well dear readers, you are not confused and neither am I! You see, much to our dismay South Park Abbey closed a few months after I moved here! We were despondent for weeks… months even! But then, the place got a total remodel from the inside out. From those ashes, Fernside arose! It took us a while to get over our disappointment and try it out, and boy are we glad we did! We have already been back several times!
Fernside is definitely NOT a dive bar. It is a very hip and fabulous cocktail bar/neighborhood food spot. It is the brainchild of several well known names in the San Diego food and drink scene. Honestly, walking into the place you would not know the spot used to be anything besides a high end (and slightly hipster- which we love) joint. It is bright, airy, and inviting with modern yet classic decor. The patio is great with a nice view of the comings and goings of South Park. The service is also friendly and efficient.
Not only did the space get a facelift, but the menu at Fernside has way more than just your standard bar food. The buttermilk fried chicken is perfectly crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The Fernside burger is where it’s at though- two smashed patties, American cheese, burger sauce, and the works on a perfectly soft and buttered bun. It comes with waffle fries which have a nice cornmeal dusting to add to the crunch. It’s the perfect classic-style burger! The drinks are also great! I highly recommend the Old Fernside (their take on an Old Fashioned- y’all know how I am about those). The bloody mary is a well balanced mix of spicy and refreshing. We still need to try the brunch- it is actually on the top of our actual list!
While we will always miss our wings and cheese curds at South Park Abbey, Fernside is the perfect example that change is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, a little sprucing up can really add to the ambiance of a spot. Plus, having great food and drinks doesn’t hurt! We are glad to have Fernside so close to home and hope that it continues to be a part of the South Park community!