November 5, 2012 | 1:00pm
These days, OC's most anticipated drinking joints aren't velvet rope, pinkie-raising hotspots with snooty bartenders and microscopic, overpriced appetizers. Instead, we're seeing a crop of new watering holes that seem cozy, casual and inviting, where everybody knows your name (well, maybe).
One of the places we can't wait to frequent is Wild Goose Tavern, a rustic, lodge-inspired bar and restaurant opening this Friday, Nov. 9, on 17th Street in Costa Mesa. Co-owned by Andrew Gabriel and Mario Marovic (owner of Marlarky's Irish Pub and former owner of the Landmark), the quaint spot drips with masculine, vintage-style touches: diamond-tufted booths, reclaimed wood planks, handmade metal bar stools, retro beer signs, repurposed lighting fixtures fashioned from old chicken feeders, hunting prints and paintings and an antique American flag. Walls are decked with taxidermic treasures: Canadian goose (the bar's mascot), a ram, a beaver and, yes, even a mythical jackalope.
The impressively stocked bar serves up cocktails in mason jars--specialties include a mango habanero margarita and a cucumber-basil concoction served with house-made simple syrup--along with a rotating selection of craft beer. A food menu features "elevated pub grub"--gourmet sausages (alligator, beer bratwurst, and chicken and jalapeno, among others), craft burgers and seasonal salads, all made with locally sourced ingredients.
Check out these photos of the tavern:
Wild Goose Tavern, 436 E. 17th Street, Costa Mesa, (949) 722-9453, www.goosebar.com.