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First-of-Its-Kind Gastronomic Experience Is Coming to Carmel Valley—and We’re Here for It

Written By: Donovan Roche
Photography Provided By: Del Mar Highlands Town Center Del Mar Sky Deck

As Del Mar Highlands Town Center’s $120 million expansion takes shape, one new concept stands out. Occupying 25,000-square-feet above Jimbo’s, the Sky Deck is set to be a gastronomic experience unlike any other. The main space will feature a central cocktail bar surrounded by eight to 10 curated restaurants. Follow the spiral staircase up to the next level and you’ll discover an outdoor brewer’s deck with sweeping views of Carmel Valley. Whether you’re grabbing drinks, sampling eclectic foods or locking in the perfect date night, the soon-to-be Sky Deck is sure to delight!

 

Global Gastronomy Del Mar Sky Deck

Make no mistake, the Sky Deck isn’t a food hall. In addition to offering varied culinary tastes—ranging from Japanese, Thai and Italian to Greek, Mexican and French—each restaurant will offer exclusive seating while socializers at the central cocktail bar can have food delivered to them from any eatery. “Our goal is to create a one-of-a-kind experience for our customers that is approachable, local and fun,” says Pat Donahue, chairman and CEO of Donahue Schriber, owner of Del Mar Highlands Town Center. 

The Sky Deck’s concept stems from a trip Donahue took to Barcelona, where he discovered El Nacional: a unique collective featuring numerous restaurants and bars all under one roof. At El Nacional in the heart of Passeig de Gràcia, visitors can try traditional recipes from around the Iberian Peninsula, all prepared with fresh produce in a communal environment.

 

Ahoy, Matey! Del Mar Sky Deck

As you approach the Sky Deck, you might pick up on the building’s ship-like architecture, which is apropos given San Diego’s maritime history. Upon entering the sprawling space—complete with its extraordinary skylight hovering overhead—you’ll find yourself immersed in the nautical theme, replete with décor like ocean-inspired murals, fish nets and other seafaring elements synonymous with shipping and the Port of San Diego. All the maritime elements are authentic—from actual boats suspended from the rafters to found objects sourced from local San Diego shipyards. It’s an inviting ambiance for this restaurant collective, which is the first of its kind in the US. 

The central cocktail bar, dubbed Understory after the layer of rainforest between the canopy and forest floor, was created by Scott Slater, the founder of Slater’s 50/50. Slater is known for his disdain for the boring and his passion for burgers, bacon and craft beer.

 

A Taste Above

The Sky Deck’s top level will feature a brewer’s deck with satellite tasting rooms from Northern Pine, Rough Draft Brewing and Boochcraft Kombucha—each unique to San Diego with roots stretching from Oceanside to Chula Vista. It’s a great place for both beer aficionados and curiosity seekers to enjoy local brews and food selections from each of the restaurants in a communal, rooftop setting. You can get your first taste of all the Sky Deck has to offer at its grand opening on May 5, 2021.

 

Del Mar Highlands Town Center
12925 El Camino Real 
San Diego, CA 92130
858.793.5757