Justin Safier, the co-owner of the Tipsy Chef. (Tiffany Rose)

The team behind Brick + Mortar have replaced the bar with a restaurant serving up Californian shared plates, craft beer and cocktails.

Brick + Mortar’s owners closed the bar last December after seven years on Main Street, intending to refresh the rustic interior with a minor renovation, said co-owner Justin Safier. Instead, the team transformed the space inside the Edgemar Building into a bright, airy restaurant, swapping Brick + Mortar’s brown leather booths for communal tables and refinishing the bar with white marble, patterned tiles and a moss wall.

The Tipsy Chef, which will host its grand opening Wednesday, aims to emulate Brick + Mortar’s lively atmosphere in a more mature setting with elevated fare, Safier said.

The menu is designed to be shared and features vegetable-forward appetizers, pastas and pizzas featuring butternut squash and lamb, and meatier mains like steak, short ribs and crispy chicken. On the brunch menu, diners can find everything from white cheddar biscuits and gravy to eggs in purgatory with goat cheese and garlic sourdough.

The restaurant will also host “Tipsy Time” seven days a week, from 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 3 to 6 p.m. on weekends. The menu includes bar snacks, salads, pizza, sandwiches and drinks specials.

“It’s driven by what’s at the farmers market, what’s in season — we’re trying to play with things,” Safier said. “As the Tipsy Chef name implies, it’s supposed to be fun and chef-driven.”

The restaurant’s locavore approach also extends to the cocktail menu and beer and wine list. Cocktails mix in limoncello and pear vodka from Ventura County, Torrance’s Strand Brewing Co. and Hawthorne’s Common Space Brewery are on tap and wine from Paso Robles and the Santa Maria Valley are available by the glass and bottle.

At brunch, guests can order bottles of champagne served alongside three kinds of fresh-squeezed juice and housemade Bloody Marys with candied bacon.

Safier said he envisions the Tipsy Chef as a neighborhood joint where friends can gather and share good food and drinks.

“I equate it to eating at home with friends, where everyone cooks a special dish and brings a bottle of wine,” he said. “It’s a more communal, familial atmosphere than the traditional dining experience.”


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