As the inaugural bar manager for the Grill at Point Pinos, Jaime Morales was faced with a challenge in designing cocktail programs for two types of people at two times of day. The Grill is open mainly from breakfast to lunch, which largely means brunch cocktails for golfers coming off the Pacific Grove Links. A happy hour was added with an eye toward creating a 19th hole for late-afternoon golfers, plus neighbors stopping in for a drink and a nibble.
“I included the kind of cocktails people like in the morning that are fresh,” says Morales, starting with his brunch lineup. He has 37 years in the industry, including at Montrio Bistro and Seventh & Dolores. Tamie Aceves, owner of La Créme Hospitality which operates the grill, asked him to come on board. Fans of her last restaurant, Crema, will recognize the bloody Mary topped with fried chicken and bacon, “the breakfast of champions,” Morales says.
Also on the menu are Crema’s sangria and margarita. There are mimosas in five flavors. Morales added a John Daly, an alcoholic twist on an Arnold Palmer, and a bacon michelada, a spicy Mexican beer cocktail popular with golfers in Mexico where he grew up.
For happy hour, Morales created a menu with $10 classic cocktails – whisky sours, old fashioneds and more – $5 craft beers and $7-$8 glasses of wine. The prices are purposely low, he says: “We’re not Pebble Beach and we’re not a fine dining restaurant.”
THE GRILL AT POINT PINOS, 79 Asilomar Blvd., Pacific Grove. Open 8am-3pm daily and 3-7pm Fri-Sat, bar open until 4pm Sundays. 375-1300, grillatpointpinos.com