As supermarkets compete for your hard-earned moolah, they have evolved to offer one-stop shopping experiences, with everything from the usual staples to hand-rolled sushi and carving carts holding rotisserie chicken and rib roast to fresh-baked pizza and humungous salad bars. While more chains are dabbling with these concepts, Whole Foods has taken the lead, featuring in-store bars equipped with wine, craft beer on tap and cocktails—a neighborhood bar inside a food mecca.
Hangar Bar, located within the gigantic Whole Foods at the District in Tustin, offers 35 craft beers on tap, 12-plus wines and signature cocktails for you to enjoy before or after your shopping escapade. It’s also a great place to watch a game during the week; happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and includes delicious daily specials (salads, burgers, various toasts and bar bites). The in-house bar menu varies, so I used the TapHunter app to access the Hangar Bar’s full list of rotating pours, which includes a great selection from such local breweries as Noble Ale Works, the Bruery, Barley Forge and Four Sons.
Evil Dead Red (6.7 percent ABV) from AleSmith Brewing in San Diego is malt-forward and complex, with plenty of hops for a full-flavored, hearty brew. From Three Weavers Brewing in Inglewood, Ripple Saison (5.5 percent ABV) is a refreshing Belgian, with notes of coriander and spice; it’s deliciously smooth with a beautiful, clean finish that pairs well with Mary’s hot wings.
Thick As Thieves IPA (6 percent ABV)—a collaborative brew from Mason Ale Works, Burgeon Beer Co. and Pure Project Brewing, all from San Diego—is an approachable hazy, with notes of mango and other tropical fruit, and perfect to wash down a juicy, free-range burger.
Hangar Bar at Whole Foods, 2847 Park Ave., Tustin, (714) 566-7650; www.wholefoodsmarket.com.