obrARCHITECTURE was contracted by a team of local restaurant industry veterans to design Fernside, a “refined-neighborhood bar” concept located on the corner of Grape and Fern streets in San Diego’s historic South Park neighborhood. Replacing a storied dive bar, the design aimed to further enhance a sense of community and provide an inviting place for families and industry vets alike. Glass roll-up doors were added to the north façade to complement the existing sliding glass walls to the east, completely blending the interior and exterior environments. The operable facades open onto 2 new dining patios that extend to the busy pedestrian streetscape. A portion of the interior floor was raised to create a seamless transition with the new exterior deck, while also providing a dramatic split level dining experience within the space. The new bar was re-oriented to engage Fern St, and is clad with modern hexagonal tiles to compliment the classic wood bar-top finish. Decades old drop ceilings were removed to expose a 73 year old vaulted wood ceiling and a series of expansive bow trusses, revealing an entirely new identity for the space. Emerald green accents and brown leather booths come together with the exposed masonry, wood, and steel elements to craft a refined, yet comfortable neighborhood bar experience.