In a beer centric city filled with the nation’s most respected breweries, North Park’s neighborhood bistro and beer bar, Waypoint Public, is making a name for itself as the city’s go-to for unbeatable craft beer and food pairings. Founded by a team of hospitality industry veterans -- John Pani (Hotel Vyvant, Waypoint Public, Park & Rec) and Brian Jensen (Bottlecraft beer shops in Little Italy and North Park), Waypoint Public is recognized as one of the “Best New Beer Restaurants” in the U.S. by Draft Magazine and “San Diego’s Best Beer Restaurant” by West Coaster. Waypoint’s expansive beer program showcases a lineup of 100 bottled craft beers from all areas of the globe, plus a custom 30-tap system playing heavy on the West Coast craft brews — and with a seasonal menu highlighting an exceptional hodgepodge of cultural characteristics, eclectic dishes including the Po’ Boy Tacos with Fried Oysters, Carlsbad Black Mussels & Slow Cooked Pork Belly, Housemade Chicharrones, and The Waypoint Public Burger topped with pulled pork and a fried egg, round out a selection of perfectly paired plates.
John Pani has spent the last 12 years of his career in San Diego where he has participated as principal/owner, consultant and investment manager on a number of local hospitality projects. Between 2002 and 2010, John was a Vice President at JMI Realty, the real estate investment and development arm of the John Moores family. In this capacity, John was intimately involved in the development and asset management of the Omni San Diego Hotel / McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks, Hotel Solamar / Jsix Restaurant & Lounge and Marriott Del Mar / Arterra Restaurant.
After cutting his teeth on these hospitality projects John started ELE Collective, a hospitality investment and management firm that is committed to providing guests with a hospitality experience grounded in community, authenticity and exceptional service.
John attended the University of California at Berkeley. After graduating with a degree in Development Studies, John spent several years in Investment Banking where he developed a strong background in finance and business management.
John is an active member of the local community, and has served in various capacities with local philanthropic organizations. He currently sits on the YMCA Mission Valley Board of Directors. John is a native of San Diego, and lives in Kensington with his wife and three young children.
Beverage Manager & Partner
Born and raised in Southern California, Brian Jensen has been passionate about hospitality his whole life. After getting his Bachelor’s in Management
Communications from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Brian attended The French Culinary Institute in New York City where he studied French Cuisine and Wine. Following culinary school, Brian continued his study of wine and earned certificates from the
In 2011, Brian opened Bottlecraft Beer Shop and Tasting Room, a craft beer boutique and bar that, in his words, “curates the best local, domestic and international craft beer”. Bottlecraft quickly gained notoriety after its opening and has since been featured in local and national publications including The New York Times, Time Magazine, and Sunset Magazine. Brian is recognized as a craft beer industry expert and has been quoted in Market Watch Magazine, Beer Advocate, and San Diego Magazine. In February 2013, Brian opened a second Bottlecraft location in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego, California.
Hailing from Scottsdale, Arizona, Travis discovered a passion for the culinary industry while working at several elite area restaurants throughout college. He spent three years on the corporate training team with Fleming’s Steakhouse, opening and managing several restaurants across the country. From there, Travis migrated to sunny San Diego, taking the wine director position at The Oceanaire Seafood Room in the Gaslamp. Upon the departure of Oceanaire’s former chef Brian Malarkey, Travis left to help open Malarkey’s Burlap in Del Mar and subsequently Herringbone in La Jolla. He then spent a short period of time the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, working in their iconic restaurant The Marine Room, before joining the team at Waypoint Public.
Travis’ take on hospitality is to make guests feel welcome whenever possible. People want to go places where they feel they are a part of something. Providing that experience is the goal he preaches to his team every single day.
Rich Sweeny grew up in the restaurant business working for his parents who owned and managed bakeries in his native Long Island, NY. He graduated from San Diego Culinary Institute, one of the Top 10 cooking schools in the U.S., ranking #1 in his class. He owned and operated R Gang Eatery in Hillcrest, which received many accolades including San Diego Magazine’s Best Restaurants and was featured on LOGO TV, Food Network, The Travel Channel and Zagat.com. Rich won the coveted Chef of the Fest title at the 10th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival and was a contestant in the fifth season of Bravo TV’s Emmy®-winning hit show Top Chef. In October of 2015, Rich joined ELE Collective as the Executive Chef of Waypoint Public and to oversee the kitchen operations for the company’s current and future restaurants. Currently, Rich lives in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood with his husband Steve and their two chocolate labs.
The Bear Den can be booked for private or semi-private events throughout the year. With a seated capacity of 32 and an open floor maximum of 50 people, the Bear Den has hosted birthday parties, rehearsal dinners, business gatherings, networking happy hours and watch parties for sporting events.
We are happy to work with you in creating menus and offerings that make your event is unique and spectacular. For more information on the space, sample menus and pricing, click here.
To begin a booking, click on the picture of the Bear Den below.
Waypoint mirrors Baumgarten's individual vivacity, and every dish on her menu comes with recommended pairings from an impressive and deep list of draft and bottle offerings... Read the full article here (PDF)
Waypoint is featured on Eater National's 19 Best Burgers in the US right now...
Read the full article at www.Eater.com
San Diego Magazine
When Bottlecraft owner Brian Jensen took over the Linkery space in North Park, good beer was a given. Then he partnered with chef Amanda Baumgarten, a vet of fine dining joints. The result is Waypoint Public, a 30-tap, 300-bottle craft beer bistro. Read the full article here (PDF)
San Diego Union Tribune
Front page of the U-T Night + Day section today! Learn more about our chef, Amanda Baumgarten...
Read the full article here (PDF)
San Diego Home and Garden
In North Park, even toddlers like to dine out at hipster havens, especially at Waypoint Public. So many familes show for early dinners that there is a fenced play area at the back... Read more here (PDF)
San Diego Eater
Amanda Baumgarten's command of her new kitchen was impressive in a way that few chefs achieved. And even this wine lover wants a beer there... Read the full article at www.SanDiego.Eater.com
San Diego Uptown News
The dress rehearsal's over and Waypoint Public is running smoother in its first two months than its predecessor ever did when occupying this coveted corner-lot space for the past several years. Read the full article here (PDF)
Where SD Magazine
The latest crop of casual outposts offering gourmet bar food and craft beer are high on style and food quality. Read the full article at www.WhereSD.com
San Diego City Beat
Waypoint Public has emerged from the ashes of The Linkery as North Park's newest bistro and beer bar. It's a welcoming space, as the unusual decor is just an extension of Waypoint's eclectic vibe.. Read the full article at www.SDCityBeat.com
San Diego Eater
Announcing the 2013 Eater Awards for San Diego. Waypoint Public won the award for So Hot Right Now Restaurant Category. Read the full article at www.SanDiego.Eater.com/
Rivera San Diego
With partners John Pani and Amanda Baumgarten, Jensen who cooked in the Village at hot table The Spotted Pig before first becoming a somm and now S.D.'s consummate beer expert just opened Waypoint Public on 30th Street... Read the full article here (PDF)
San Diego Uptown News
The beer-centric bistro, Waypoint Public, opened this week in North Park with a 30-tap selection of West Coast brews and more than 300 bottled labels from around the globe. Read the full article at www.SDUptownNews.com/
San Diego Tribune
John Pani, one of the co-owners of Waypoint, said he believes that a more affordably priced menu than what had been offered at The Linkery, in combination with an extensive beer selection, will help boost the restaurant's chances of succeeding financially. Read the full article here (PDF)
Hours of Operation:
Dinner is served daily starting at 5pm. Kitchen closes one hour before posted closing time.
Brunch is served 8am - 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.
For general inquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For private event inquiries, please email
3794 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92104