The “Sweet Escape” Cocoa Cabana speakeasy gives adults 21 and up the chance to get away from traditional fair stereotypes. This is a high-rise bar and restaurant with a gorgeous view of the fairgrounds and Del Mar. There is one catch though.
You can’t just go to it, you must be granted access.
There is only one location on the grounds, and workers have done their best to not reveal where that is in hopes of making it a must-see mystery. To access it, look for employees with a button on that says, “ask me about the Cocoa Cabana.” They will then lead you to a secret location where flight attendants, or actors, from Southwest and other airlines will take you to the Speakeasy, if there is room available.
Once inside, patrons can enjoy a variety of candy-infused cocktails, local beers and foods you can actually find outside of the fair. Try their “Cabana-Rita,” which is a mix of fresh squeezed orange and lime juice, Bone Daddy sour mix, Disarono Amaretto float and Don Julio Reposado tequila.
Chocolate and bourbon lovers alike absolutely must try a cocktail option that plays into this year’s theme, “How Sweet It Is,” the S’mores Crunch Cocktail. This drink is like a Crunch bar with a thrill featuring a combination of bourbon, Kahlua coffee liqueur and heavy cream with a chocolate crunch rim and a toasted marshmallow on top.
Ballast Point will also be releasing some San Diego-exclusive beers including the highly anticipated Aloha Sculpin, a traditional Sculpin infused with different fruit juices, and the Made in San Diego Golden Ale. With each purchase of the Made in San Diego Golden Ale, Ballast Point will donate a portion of the proceeds to local entrepreneurs wanting to start breweries. So, get out there, drink your fill and support local business.
But their drinks are not the only reason for hunting down this “sweet escape.” The food will blow you away as well.
When you get sick of the chili-dogs, funnel cakes and deep fried anything, the Speakeasy has you covered. From Ahi to vegetarian spring rolls to avocado toast, the food here is far different than its neighbor’s below. The crispy pork is what stood out the most though. This savory treat is drizzled in Kahlua sauce with a coleslaw garnish.
This place isn’t all healthy foods though. For those with a sweet tooth they have chocolate espresso latte cake with Italian buttercream frosting, a mini-cupcake sampler and frozen cheesecake bars.
The Cocoa Cabana is open every Thursday through Sunday during the fair’s month-long run, beginning the opening night, June 2. On Thursdays and Fridays it is open from five to 10 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays it’s open from five until 11 p.m.. It will also be open during all concerts as well.