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Meet Krista Barrella of Tavern At The Beach in Pacific Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Krista Barrella.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Krista. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
After moving across the country in 2007, I picked up where I left off on the East Coast, going to college and working at a bar. As I progressed through my college career, I found myself moving up the ranks at Moondoggies and fell in love with the hospitality industry. Although it was the only industry I had ever worked in, the beach bar community of Pacific Beach is like no other and without any family here, I established a family of friends, coworkers and customers alike. In 2013, my tenure at Moondoggies came to a close and I joined the Verant Group, up just a few blocks east on Garnet Avenue at the Tavern at the Beach. After graduating from college and feeling pressure to “get a real job”, I dabbled in office work but always kept my job with Tavern simply because I loved it. Realizing that I thrive off bringing people together, throwing epic parties, raising money for charity and making sure that no one sits with an empty drink and with the support and encouragement from leadership above me including Larry Dillard, David Jones & Eric Lingenfelder, I transitioned into a management role. In 2017 I was appointed the Assistant General Manager at Tavern then one year later moved down to barleymash, in the heart of the Gaslamp. After spending just shy of a year under the direction of an amazing team including Aron Langellier and Fred Wurster, I returned to the beach and was named the first female General Manager of Tavern at The Beach. Although my role has changed, I still love to throw epic parties, raise money for charity and I can promise that you will never go thirsty if I am around! The best part about all of this is on a professional level, I am running a multimillion-dollar business all while having fun and supporting my community.

Has it been a smooth road?
I think the road leading to my current position has been fairly smooth. Don’t get me wrong, there have been both personal and professional setbacks and hurdles that I have had to overcome but, I have always strived to stay focused, work hard and keep my integrity intact. For me personally, I have struggled with being 3,000 miles away from my family. In good and bad times, it is always difficult feeling like you are sitting on the sidelines of life and although I have missed many final goodbyes, first hellos and all the in-between, I am fortunate enough to have kept the closest and most important relationships intact. Missing the births of best friends’ children are erased when I meet their smiling faces a few short months later and final goodbyes never spoken are camouflaged by my vivid memories of loved ones. Professionally, I think that my work ethic and drive to continue learning and growing have made my journey as smooth as I could ask for.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Tavern At The Beach – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Tavern at The Beach is a staple in Pacific Beach. We are known for late nights and strong drinks. We love our locals and strive to prove that to everyone that walks through our doors. Whether you are new to the neighborhood or have become a semi-permanent fixture at our bar top, Tavern has given birth to many friendships and continues to evolve as the community demands. For me personally, I am most proud of an event that started three years ago called Mannies for Mammies which raises money for breast cancer awareness. It truly has grown beyond my wildest dreams from when I first developed it with my dear friend Fadi. Together we have raised over $4,000 for breast cancer research from this event alone! As a whole, I think the fact that Tavern has withstood the test of time and still stands as a prominent fixture after over 22 years of business is something to be more than proud of. Together, we have watched the rise and fall of many other bars and restaurants in Pacific Beach and the fact that we are still here is a feat in and of itself. What sets us apart from other bars and restaurants is; although we are a high volume sports bar, when you walk into Tavern, it feels like home. The staff, our management team and owners alike can be seen hanging out together and with guests. We travel together, attend each other’s weddings and celebrate the birth of each other’s children. We truly value our guests and each other and that comes from the top-down.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
In San Diego, there is literally ALWAYS something to do. Whether it’s a street fair, music festival, baseball game, clear day to snorkel in the cove, concert or one of my all-time favorites, an epic sunset on the deck at Lahainas, you can always find something to do. I will never stop exploring this city and I will never stop gushing about it.

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Image Credit:
Jim Sloan Photography

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