Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is a low-key coffee operation that Chuck Patton founded in 2002 in a sleepy La Jolla neighborhood and now runs five locations throughout San Diego County. Bird Rock most recently opened near the Del Mar marshes last month. This newest location is part of a boost from PT’s Coffee Roasting Company, the Kansas based coffee company from Jeff Taylor and Fred Polzin that purchased Bird Rock last spring. This new, modern coffee bar features a mural of “relationship coffee” and is basically caffeinated catnip to passing cyclists. The cafe’s equipped with a three-group Slayer espresso machine, Mod Bar pourover, cold brew, nitro, and some fun specialty beverages.
Chuck’s Root Beer ($5.75) honors Patton, who remains the coffee buyer for both Bird Rock and PT’s and apparently favors an unlikely coffee and root beer mash-up that somehow works. Bright fresh-pulled espresso balances harmoniously with mineral rich tonic water and bittersweet house-made sarsaparilla syrup, served over ice in a branded surf van glass.